Last week review (Aug. 20 - 24)

Analysis Materials 27 August 2012 12:00 (UTC +04:00)

Aug. 20

Azerbaijan submits bill on "Tourism" to World Tourism Organization

Azerbaijan has submitted the bill on "Tourism" to the World Tourism Organization (WTO). After receiving recommendations from WTO, the bill will be submitted to the Azerbaijani relevant bodies. The bill was prepared taking into account the recommendations of international organizations in the field of tourism and proposals of the Azerbaijani state bodies. It was presented for public discussion in February for 30 days. The bill reflects a number of innovations that will give impetus to the development of tourism.


Number of companies willing to engage in compulsory types of insurance increases in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani insurance company Bakı Sığorta intends to enter the bureau of compulsory insurance, deputy chairman of the company Mehman Aliyev said.

Bureau on compulsory insurance is created in Azerbaijan in accordance with requirements of the new law On compulsory types of insurance.

The law regulates four types of compulsory insurance - real estate, liability of owners of vehicles, passenger insurance and liability insurance while touching on real estate. Insurance companies started using the law since December 16, 2011.

"We intend to engage in all the species, except for compulsory insurance of passengers," Aliyev said.

He noted that the company has already applied for a permit to the Ministry of Finance.

Currently the bureau includes 12 companies. The founders of the bureau are six companies - Pasha Sıgorta, Ateshgah Sıgorta, Ata Sıgorta, AXA MBASK, Xalq Sıgorta and Standard Insurance. Later AzSıgorta, Alfa Sıgorta, State Insurance Commercial Company of Azerbaijan İpək Yolu Sığorta, Azərbaycan Sənaye Sığorta and Meqa Sıgorta entered the bureau.

Azerbaijan to be connected to new backbone network

Azerbaijan will be connected to a new international backbone network, the Iranian news agency ISNA said.

A fibre optic cable which will run to Europe, will start from Indian Mumbai, and then pass through the territory of Iran (Chalus) and Russia (Astrakhan). Azerbaijan will be connected to the project through the Caspian segment which will run under the Caspian Sea from Iran towards Astrakhan.

The Azerbaijani segment will be connected to the EPEG (Europe Persia Express Gateway) cable line which is expected to be commissioned within two months after the completion of the offshore segment of the cable line which should be laid between Iran and Oman.
EPEG originates in Oman and will be routed to Frankfurt. It is supposed to pass through the territory of three countries (Azerbaijan, Poland and Ukraine).

Construction of the main route of the Azerbaijani segment of the EPEG cable line has been completed and the network is being tested. In parallel, work is currently underway to build additional backup route.

The bandwidth will reach about 3.2 Tbps, and its length will extend to 6000 kilometres. The preliminary project cost is more than $200 million.


Situation with African swine fever in Azerbaijan is stable

The situation with African swine fever epidemic in Azerbaijan is now under control and currently not a single case of the disease has emerged, head of the press service of the State Veterinary Service under the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan Yolchu Khanveli said.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned about the presence of the epidemic threat of African swine fever in the Caucasus region. Main FAO veterinarian Juan Lubroth said a review of recent cases in the Caucasus show that the region can expect new outbreaks of swine fever in the near future.

In this regard, the State Veterinary Service of Azerbaijan said the situation in the country is stable. Moreover, the number of pigs in the country is low. However, African swine fever is a viral disease and no one can guarantee that this disease does not make itself felt in Azerbaijan.

"Wild boars can pass the border and infect healthy pigs which are not in enclosed spaces, so the entrepreneurs and farmers have to be very careful and keep their pigs indoors to avoid contact with wild animals and also not to eat the meat of dead animals" Khanveli said.


IMF to update its assessment of developments and prospects for the Azerbaijan economy

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has scheduled a staff visit mission to Baku which will be led by a new Mission Chief to Azerbaijan Mr. Raja Almarzoqi", head of the IMF Local Office in Baku Ms. Aghgun Gadirli said. "The purpose of the staff visit is to update its assessment of developments and prospects for the Azerbaijani economy and to hold discussions on macroeconomic policies", she added. "As per agreement with the Azerbaijani government, a staff visit will take place during November 8-20, 2012," she said.

According to the April report, the IMF predicts Azerbaijan's GDP growth as of 2012 at 3.1 percent, in 2013 - 1.9 percent, in 2017 - 3.1 percent. According to the IMF, inflation in the country in 2012 will hit 5.6 percent, in 2013 - 5.6 percent, in 2017 - 6.5 percent. According to the IMF updated report "World Economic Outlook" published in July, the International Monetary Fund lowered the forecast for global economic growth in 2012 from 3.6 percent expected in April to 3.5 percent and in 2013 - from 4.1 percent to 3.9 percent.

Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan discuss joint investment projects

Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan discussed the implementation of joint investment projects during the course of the meeting of Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Artur Rasizade and Kyrgyzstan Omurbek Babanov, the press service of the government of Kyrgyzstan said.

Rasizade arrived to Kyrgyzstan to attend the 2nd Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (CCTS), held in Bishkek on Thursday.

The Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan welcomed the intensification of bilateral cooperation and noted that the official visit of the President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev to Azerbaijan this year raised bilateral relations to a new stage of development. Babanov noted that large investment projects were submitted to the Azerbaijani side for consideration.

He proposed to Azerbaijan that it invests in the reconstruction of the airport to the village of Tamchy in the Issyk-Kul region of the country, as well as Azerbaijani banks should open branches in Kyrgyzstan.

The implementation of projects for the construction of joint Kyrgyz-Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan oil pipeline, a refinery in the Kyrgyz Republic and the creation of the Kyrgyz-Azerbaijani investment fund were also discussed during the meeting.

Rasizade also expressed Azerbaijan's interest in studying the reconstruction project of Tamchy airport. He noted the willingness of Azerbaijani side to invest in mutually beneficial projects and added that Baku is ready to allocate funds for a feasibility study of specific investment projects.

The Prime Minister of Azerbaijan also said there should be a stable situation in Kyrgyzstan to attract investment.

Both sides also discussed issues of large Kyrgyz-Azerbaijan Investment Forum in Bishkek.

Azerbaijan and Belarus to cooperate in science and IT

Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Belarus in the field of science and information technologies has been stipulated in the protocol, which is expected to be signed following the seventh meeting of the joint Azerbaijan-Belarus Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation. A meeting of the intergovernmental commission will be held in Minsk on August 27. Co-chairmen of the commission are First Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyyubov and Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko. Minister of Communications and IT Ali Abbasov is expected to participate in the meeting of the intergovernmental commission. The cooperation in science and information technologies is being considered at the level of the National Academy of Sciences of the two countries. According to the protocol, the prospects of organizing business forums on ICT were stressed. The next business forum is scheduled for 2013.


ADB to provide technical assistance to explore financing possibilities for Baku urban transport

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) plans to provide technical assistance to Azerbaijan to study financing possibilities for Baku urban transport this year, the ADB said. "In particular, the facilities of ground transport will be explored, and the bank is interested in supporting the development of the Baku Metro," the bank said. Technical assistance will vary between $0.5-1 million.