Weekly economic review (march 12-17)

The Azerbaijani Parliament approved the Azerbaijani government's report on the activity in 2011 last week.

The government's report was presented to the parliament by Prime Minister Artur Rasizade.

Rasizade said that the Azerbaijani government's goals were achieved in 2011.

Maintaining the macroeconomic stability, accelerated development of non-oil sector, food and energy security, strengthening the military potential of the country and the defense complex, constant improving level of human capital are the government's main objectives for 2011 set by President Aliyev," Rasizade said.

The government fulfilled several measures to ensure sustainable socio-economic progress to accomplish these tasks. As a result of these measures, the objectives were achieved. A course of economic modernization has given results.

During these years the country's GDP increased by three times, the state budget revenues by12.9 times, investment in general five times, including the non-oil areas which rose by 14.1 times. The real incomes of the population rose 2.6 times with more than a million new work places being created, living standards improved and the poverty rate decreased by 5.3 times, " Rasizade said.

"In 2011 the rate of the manat remained stable, inflation was kept at a single digit level which eventually formed the basis for the growth of the population's real income," said Rasizade.

He said as a result of the diversification policy carried out in Azerbaijan, development of social and industrial infrastructure in 2011 and a high growth of 9.4 per cent in non-oil sector was achieved.

He said the increase in wages of workers in science, education, health, culture, agriculture, land reclamation and other areas, the rise in benefits for the families of martyrs, war invalids and poor families made it possible to improve the social situation of 1.8 million people.

"During the year funds to the sum of 399 million manat were spent addressing the social problems of refugees and the homeless," said Rasizade.

"In 2011, $21.7 billion was invested in the Azerbaijani economy from all financial sources, including $15.7 billion dollars in the non-oil sector. Some 60 per cent of all investments fell to domestic ventures," Rasizade stressed.

He said in 2011 the country's trade turnover grew by 30 per cent to reach $36 billion and strategic currency reserves increased during the year exceeding $40 billion.

"Reforms in the pension system implemented in 2011 allowed an increase in pensions to around 900,000 retirees to an average of 40 per cent," Rasizade said.

Azerbaijan maintained the stability of its economy and macroeconomic balance in terms of the crisis in world markets in 2011.

It was also stressed by international financial institutions and rating agencies.

In the reporting year, Azerbaijan among the countries with above average income, high human development, has become a leading country in the region.

"Significant work to implement the strategy of the oil and energy
security of the country was carried out in 2011. Rich hydrocarbon reserves have been found in the result of exploration work in the fields of Umid and Absheron," Rasizade said.

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