Weekly economic review (Aug. 20 - 24)

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.

Previously, the IMF mission to Azerbaijan was led by Mr. Nadeem Ilahi who was recently appointed Deputy Division Chief in the Fund's European Department.

"Mr. Almarzoqi was also part of the IMF staff team for the April 24 - May 2, 2012 Staff Visit as an expert with extensive experience with oil-based economies," Aghgun Gadirli said. In his new role as Mission Chief to Azerbaijan Mr. Almarzoqi will lead a staff visit during November, 2012.

He brings a wealth of experience from his previous positions in the government, academia, and the private sector. Mr. Almarzoqi's extensive experience of oil exporting countries will be particularly relevant to his work on Azerbaijan.

"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.

The Azerbaijani government increased the forecast in terms of GDP by 3.5 billion manat by late 2012 within the adjustment of predicted parameters of the Azerbaijani state and consolidated budgets for 2012.

Thus, the GDP will exceed 50 billion manat.

The growth rate of the country's GDP as of 2012 were initially projected at 5.7 percent, in 2013 - 5.1 percent. However, economic growth rates are expected to reduce to around 2.5 - 3 percent due to a planned reduction in oil production in the country by the end of the year.

Azerbaijan's GDP in 2011 increased by 0.1 percent compared to 2010, by 0.5 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period of 2011 and by 1.6 percent in annual measurement for January-July 2012.

Azerbaijan joined the International Monetary Fund on September 18, 1992. The cooperation between the IMF and Azerbaijan was especially intensive between 1995 and 2005, and during these years Azerbaijan frequently benefited from IMF policy advice and financial assistance in support of the Government's economic programs.

The IMF Office in Baku has been open since 1992 and although since October 2009 its staff has been reduced, the IMF remains an important partner to the government of Azerbaijan. It is worthy of note that IMF played an important role during the global economic and financial crisis.

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