Oil revenues are for Azerbaijan’s future generations
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 3 / Trend /
Ellada Khankishiyeva, Trend Analytical Centre Head
The more money accumulated in the Azerbaijani State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) as a result of oil sales, the more responsibility for the expenditure of these funds is observed. Currently the funds accumulated in SOFAZ, equate to half the country's GDP.
While guiding the 'Oil revenues must benefit future generations' principle, Azerbaijan has transferred the funds obtained after oil sales to perform significant tasks and those it serves for the benefit of the country in the long term.
Today, Azerbaijan receives dividends on many projects implemented through SOFAZ. An example is the construction of the Azerbaijani section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline for which SOFAZ has spent 298 million manat, enabling Azerbaijan to export energy resources in a volume produced by the country, as well as being a transit country.
Many residents of the capital were provided with uninterrupted quality drinking water due to the construction of the Oguz-Gabala-Baku water pipe (779.6 million manat). The reconstruction of the Samur-Absheron canal (922.7 million manat) aims at solving the problems of water supply of Baku and Sumgayit, as well as irrigation of the Azerbaijani northern regions. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project, to which SOFAZ allocated 342.6 million manat, will create very favourable conditions for cargo transportation from Asia to Europe following its implementation by late 2013.
All tent camps have been eliminated on the territory of Azerbaijan due to the oil revenues directed to resolve the social problems of refugees and internally displaced persons (1.207 million manat).
Modern refugee settlements with comfortable living conditions are being created.
SOFAZ's funds played an important role in financing the authorised capital of Azerbaijan Investment Company (90 million manat) and in participating in SOCAR's joint distribution in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli project (87.6 million manat). Transfers worth 37.92 billion manat helped while solving many state challenges.
The result means Azerbaijan has rapidly achieved great success in the economy. The road infrastructure has been upgraded. The country has turned from an importer of electricity to being its exporter. Roads and schools are being built. The sewage and water systems are upgraded and expanded.
The state programme on education of Azerbaijani youth abroad in 2007-2015 should be stressed. SOFAZ has allocated 58.6 million manat for this programme up till now. Some 1800 Azerbaijani students have already received education abroad through this state programme.
After receiving education in prestigious world universities through the state, a student will return home as a highly qualified professional to serve the future of the republic and protect the interests of the state.
From this year SOFAZ will finance a number of new infrastructure projects of equal importance for Azerbaijan's modern development. The creation of a high speed fibre-optic network is among them. It will provide all Azerbaijani settlements with high speed access to the Internet. The development of broadband Internet in Azerbaijan will also create opportunities for the private sector. For these purposes SOFAZ will allocate 103.55 million manat this year. The project is considered to be highly profitable. Starting from the second year of implementation, some 30-35 per cent of its total cost will be financed through reinvestments.
Moreover, SOFAZ plans to allocate 211.95 million manat to finance the share of Azerbaijan's participation in the construction of an oil and gas and petrochemical oil complex in 2013, at least 596.6 million manat in the construction of the Star oil refinery in Turkey, 86.35 million manat in TANAP project and 388.57 million manat in the construction of a new modern floating drilling rig in the Caspian Sea.
As one can see, SOFAZ's expenditure on financing the projects is of strategic importance. The most important thing is that they are carried out without delay. So today's costs for these projects will bring frequent benefits to current and future generations.
The world community noticed that an ability to correctly distribute the oil revenues has turned Azerbaijan into a rare country that has achieved high rates of economic growth, while using its natural resources. In this case, Azerbaijan is also accompanied by good luck in the form of high, world oil prices.