Last week review (Sept. 4-8)

Sept. 4

Ilham Aliyev observes school in Baku after major overhaul

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has viewed conditions in the secondary school No 74 in Bakikhanov, Sabunchu district, Baku, after a major overhaul.

Head of Baku City Executive Authority Hajibala Abutalibov informed the head of state of the reconstruction work.

The building of the school was constructed in 1960. The school underwent a major overhaul under the “State Program for socio-economic development of Baku and its suburbs”, which was approved by the President of Azerbaijan.

The territory of the 912-seat school occupies a total area of 11,000 square meters.

There are photo stands in the foyer of the school highlighting national leader Heydar Aliyev’s, President Ilham Aliyev’s and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva’s attention to education.

Reconstruction of the school saw the installation of video surveillance, fire alarm and internet systems. All classrooms and laboratories feature furniture and necessary equipment. The school now also has a football pitch.

Extensive landscaping was done in the territory of the school.

President Ilham Aliyev toured the school, and wished its staff success.

Sept. 5

Ilham Aliyev meets participants of 17th session of CIS Council of Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received a group of participants of the Baku-hosted 17th session of the Council of Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The head of state noted the importance of the organization of the 17th session of the CIS Council of Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions in Baku.

Pointing out the necessity of exchange of experience in the area of audit between the CIS countries, President Ilham Aliyev emphasized that the countries faced similar problems during the period of transition and reforms.

“Discussions to be held at the session are of pivotal importance in terms of addressing the audit problems facing the CIS countries and, of course, further improvement of the state control mechanism requires tight coordination. This event also creates a good opportunity for the visitors to closely familiarize themselves with the work recently done in the field of audit in Azerbaijan.”

The head of state noted that apart from state control much attention is paid to public control over spending.

Pointing out the global economic and financial crisis continuing over the recent years, Ilham Aliyev noted that all these processes necessitate further optimization of public spending. “And a great deal of responsibility in this regard rests with the audit institutions of our countries.”

President Ilham Aliyev expressed his hope that the event will feature constructive and fruitful discussions and exchange of experience.

Chair of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova hailed the beauty of Baku, saying she was deeply impressed by the development processes in the country.

Golikova thanked President Aliyev for the hospitality shown to them and for organizing the 17th session of the CIS Council of Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions in Azerbaijan. She noted that the issues to be discussed at the session are of crucial importance, adding that the key task is to improve the efficiency.

“Cooperation between our countries plays an important role in this regard,” she said.

Golikova underlined the importance of cooperation and mutual exchange of views between the audit institutions of the CIS countries.

President Aliyev receives Georgian FM

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Foreign Minister of Georgia Mikheil Janelidze.

The head of state touched upon a trilateral meeting of the Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish foreign ministers to be held in Baku, and described this event as an important format of cooperation which contributes to the strengthening of regional cooperation of the countries.

President Ilham Aliyev said this format created a good opportunity for discussing the bilateral and trilateral issues. The head of state noted that the Azerbaijani-Georgian bilateral relations successfully develop and good results were achieved in all areas.

President Aliyev hailed the dynamics of development of relations, and pointed out the expansion of cooperation in several important fields.

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister of Georgia Mikheil Janelidze thanked President Ilham Aliyev for Azerbaijan’s assistance to his country during wildfires. The foreign minister described this as a great support for his country.

Janelidze said bilateral relations actively develop, adding that this is evidenced by the expansion of trade and economic cooperation.

The minister said significant work has been carried out under strategic transport projects in Georgia, and expressed hope that construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be completed this year.

The sides exchanged views on the prospects of relations between the two countries.

President Aliyev views school-lyceum in Baku after major overhaul

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has viewed conditions created at school-lyceum No 62 named after Khalid Guliyev in Nizami district, Baku, after a major overhaul.

Head of Baku City Executive Authority Hajibala Abutalibov informed the head of state of the reconstruction work.

The head of state also viewed the Healthy Education classes which were created in the school-lyceum.

Banking ombudsman to start operating soon in Azerbaijan

Institute of banking ombudsman, which will operate under Azerbaijan Banks Association (ABA), will be launched till the end of this week, the ABA told Trend.

“One will be able to apply to the ombudsman to handle disputes with the amount of a claim up to $2,000,” the ABA said. “A website, through which it will be possible to send appeals, is almost ready (www.bankombudsman.az).”

The main task of the institute of banking ombudsman is to help banks and their clients to settle disputes on execution, conclusion, modification or termination of contracts in pre-trial order.

Before sending an appeal to the ombudsman, an individual must send his/her claims to the bank in written form. In turn, the bank must provide the claimer with an answer within 30 days. An individual can apply to the ombudsman within 60 days after receiving the answer or 30 days after the letter was sent to the bank.

Azerbaijan’s Chamber of Accounts working on new strategic development plan

The Chamber of Accounts of Azerbaijan has started developing new strategic development plan for 2018-2020, said the Chamber’s Chairman Vugar Gulmammadov.

He made the remarks while addressing the 17th session of the CIS Council of Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions in Baku.

According to him, the Chamber will try to identify specific goals, as well as the criteria by which it will be possible to assess the achievement extent of these goals.

“We are trying to expand the scope of public funds related to control activities. Thus, for example, this figure was 3.5 billion, 4.2 billion and 5.6 billion manats, respectively, from 2014 to 2016. Our goal is to achieve the minimum indicator (50 percent) in the state budget’s control coverage extent, specified in the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Assessment report, and exceed this indicator,” noted Gulmammadov.

He added that in 2015, the Chamber of Accounts began the process of classifying violations and shortcomings and in 2016, grouped the deficiencies in line with the previously prepared classifier of violations and shortcomings.

Sept. 6

Ilham Aliyev attends launch of Khankendi subsea construction vessel

The state-of-the-art Khankendi subsea construction vessel has been launched in Baku.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the ceremony.

The state-of-the-art subsea construction vessel has been specifically designed and built to install the biggest subsea production system in the Caspian Sea as part of the Shah Deniz Stage 2 project.

Ilham Aliyev receives Turkish FM Cavusoglu

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu.

President Ilham Aliyev said that he recently had a phone conversation with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha, adding that they maintain regular contacts.

Touching upon the importance of a trilateral meeting of the Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish foreign ministers in Baku, the head of state noted that the meeting also created a good opportunity for discussing bilateral relations between the countries.

Saying that there are a number of issues to be discussed between the three countries, President Aliyev underlined that good results have already been achieved in areas such as politics, economy, energy and transport.

The head of state noted that the work carried out between the three countries is of great importance for both the countries themselves and the whole region. Stressing that meetings in this format have been held for several years, President Aliyev said that these gatherings proved to be an important and exemplary trilateral format for addressing both political and economic issues.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu extended greetings of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to President Aliyev. Mevlut Cavusoglu emphasized that the trilateral meeting of the Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish foreign ministers is important for stability and economic development of the region where the three countries are situated. The Turkish foreign minister expressed his gratitude to the head of state for Azerbaijan’s contributions to these works.

The Azerbaijani president thanked for the greetings of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and asked Mevlut Cavusoglu to communicate his greetings to the Turkish president.

The sides also exchanged views on issues of cooperation between the two countries.

Ilham Aliyev receives deputy speaker of National Assembly of Korea

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Park Joo-sun.

The head of state expressed his confidence that the visit of Park Joo-sun will play an important role in development of Azerbaijani-Korean relations.

President Ilham Aliyev praised a very good level of bilateral ties between the two countries. The head of state recalled his two visits to the Republic of Korea and visits of Korean high-level state officials to Azerbaijan.

President Ilham Aliyev highlighted successful involvement of Korean companies in construction and infrastructure projects in Azerbaijan. The head of state pointed out successful cooperation in economic and political fields and good cultural ties of the two countries. President Ilham Aliyev stressed the importance of holding the days of Korean culture in Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev noted that the Republic of Korea achieved great economic success, describing the Koreans as talented and hardworking people. The head of state pointed out similarities between the two nations, saying it is important that the peoples try to keep their traditions. President Ilham Aliyev noted that the visit of Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea will contribute to the development of inter-parliamentary ties.

“Mr. President, we follow with pleasure the successes made in Azerbaijan not only in economic, but also in political area under your leadership as a continuation of national leader Heydar Aliyev's policy," said Park Joo-sun.

He also said the main aim of the visit is to develop relations between the parliaments of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Korea. Park Joo-sun underlined the importance of the fact that the visit coincides with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Park Joo-sun highlighted the current development in the Korean peninsula. He thanked the head of state for supporting this process.

President Ilham Aliyev said the incidents occurring in the Korean peninsula raise concern and are a source of danger, expressing his hope that the tension will be tackled soon.

The sides stressed the importance of mutual cooperation and support of the two countries within international organizations.

FM: Azerbaijani, Turkish, Georgian presidents’ summit under preparation

Azerbaijani, Turkish and Georgian Foreign Ministers Elmar Mammadyarov, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Mikheil Janelidze have agreed to prepare a summit of presidents of three countries.

“The countries also agreed to develop a road map for further cooperation,” Mammadyarov said at a briefing following the trilateral meeting in Baku Sept. 6.

"Interesting and fruitful talks were held,” he said. “The three countries are implementing many regional projects and we have discussed the stage of their implementation."

Mammadyarov said that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway construction project will be implemented till late 2017.

"There is a need for this project, as well as the necessary volume of cargo transportation," he added. “Three countries also intend to use other ways of cargo transportation."

"We also discussed the issues of cooperation in ICT, energy and other spheres,” the minister added. “We also signed an action plan for 2017-2019, which will cover cooperation in all spheres."

The BTK railway is being constructed on the basis of the Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement. The peak capacity of the railway will be 17 million tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.

Indonesia ready for broader economic partnership with Azerbaijan: ambassador

Indonesia is ready for a broader economic partnership with Azerbaijan, said Ambassador of Indonesia Husnan Bey Fananie during an event dedicated to the 72nd anniversary of Indonesia’s independence. He pointed out that according to Azerbaijan's State Statistics Committee, bilateral trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Indonesia increased from $19 million in 2015 to $46 million in 2016.

The increase in bilateral trade turnover shows that the two countries have many opportunities, added the ambassador.

Sept. 7

Azerbaijan, EBRD mull expansion of co-op

Since the beginning of its cooperation with Azerbaijan, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has allocated $1.7 billion for implementation of 151 projects in the country, said Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev.

He was addressing a meeting with EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti, who is currently on a visit in Baku.

Azerbaijan attaches great importance to cooperation with the EBRD, said Mustafayev.

He informed the EBRD president about recent reforms that have been implemented in Azerbaijan in various spheres of economy, especially those aimed at developing the private sector.

Chakrabarti, for his part, expressed satisfaction with his visit to Baku. He pointed out the importance of such visits for holding EBRD-Azerbaijan talks. The EBRD head also shared his opinions regarding the possibilities of expanding cooperation with Azerbaijan.

The sides also mulled financial support to the private sector, the Southern Gas Corridor project, transport infrastructure and a domestic waste management project.

Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Iran, Georgia, Poland to continue co-op on South-West route

The heads of railway authorities of Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Iran, Georgia and Poland signed a protocol following a meeting of the Coordinating Committee for the Development of the South-West International Transport Route, the Ukrainian Railways said.

The document was signed by Javid Gurbanov, chairman of the Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, Evgeny Kravtsov, acting chairman of the board of the Ukrainian Railways JSC, Władysław Szczepkowski, director for corporate affairs at the Polish State Railways JSC, Mamuka Bakhtadze, director general and chairman of the board of directors at the Georgian Railways JSC, and Saeed Mohammadzadeh, head and chairman of board at the Iran Railways.

“The South-West route has great potential,” Gurbanov said. “We want to develop the route and it is principal now to attract a bigger volume of cargo transportation. For this purpose, each of the participating countries is developing its railway and port infrastructure.”

In his turn, Kravtsov said the signing of the protocol was preceded by two years of intensive cooperation among the project participants.

Following the meeting, Bakhtadze said the project participants will introduce through rates, which will help attract additional cargo to the international route.

Meanwhile, Szczepkowski said the project participants will popularize the route in the transportation market, adding that a South-West corridor website is already operating (http://southwest.adyexpress.az/int/).

In his turn, Mohammadzadeh added that the Iranian side promotes the development of the route and develops the infrastructure inside the country.

Along with the Trans-Caspian and North-South corridors, the South-West corridor is of great importance for Azerbaijan. The South-West corridor is supposed to run from India to Europe through the Persian Gulf, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the Black Sea. At an initial stage, it is planned to transport 10 million tons of cargo via this route with the possibility of increasing the transportation volume by several times in the future.

An agreement on the South-West corridor was signed in 2016 by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and Ukraine in Baku. The corridor will make it possible to slash the time of cargo transportation from India to Europe by two or three times.

Germany’s DAkkS reveals cost of EU project on Azerbaijani accreditation system

The cost of the EU-Azerbaijan twinning project, titled “Strengthening the National Accreditation System of the Republic of Azerbaijan”, is 1.2 million euros, Stephan Finke, managing director at the German accreditation body DAkkS, involved in the project, told Trend.

He noted that extensive work is planned to be carried out in the next two years of the project’s implementation. Forty-six EU experts are involved in the project and there is a plan to hold seven informative events on the project progress and 31 trainings, as well as organize four study visits to the EU, said Finke.

According to him, four mandatory results are to be achieved by the end of the project, which is planned to be completed until late June 2019.

The first two results are to be achieved by DAkkS and envisage the modernization of legal framework of accreditation service, as well as increasing the capacity and skills of State Accreditation Service employees in line with international standards, noted Finke.

The third result is to be achieved by the Latvian National Accreditation Bureau (LATAK) and will be aimed at improving institutional capacity, said the DAkkS managing director.

He added that the fourth result is to be achieved by the Italian National Accreditation Body (ACCREDIA) and will be aimed at developing external relations and international cooperation.

Earlier, Sabig Abdullayev, head of the Accreditation Center at the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patent of Azerbaijan, told Trend that the project aims to contribute to development of Azerbaijan’s economy and expand access of local exporters to the world markets by creating an accreditation system that meets the European requirements.

DAkkS (Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH) is the national accreditation body for the Federal Republic of Germany. It acts in the public interest and as the sole provider of accreditations in Germany.

Sept. 8

Ilham Aliyev attends opening of Zugulba training and sports base

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended the opening of Zugulba training and sports base of “Tahsil” Republican Sports Center in Buzovna settlement of Baku's Khazar district.

EBRD says interested in helping Azerbaijan create energy regulator

Azerbaijan’s Energy Ministry and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed a memorandum of intent on Strategic Road Map for the development of utilities in Azerbaijan, the ministry said.

Baku has hosted a meeting of Azerbaijan’s Deputy Energy Minister Gulmammad Javadov and EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti, according to the ministry message.

During the meeting, Javadov commended the contribution Azerbaijan’s cooperation with EBRD made in the development of the country’s energy sector.

He informed the EBRD president about the progress of work within the Strategic Road Map for the development of utilities and noted that one of the most important priority areas, outlined in the document, is creating a central body that will play a bridging role in the effective regulation of the energy sector.

“It is necessary to benefit from the European experience in the establishment of an independent regulatory body for energy. The EBRD support for the acceleration of this process is very important,” Javadov said.

Chakrabarti, for his part, noted that EBRD has extensive experience in the energy sector and 30 percent of the bank's investment is channelled to this area. He pointed out that one of the bank’s main objectives is to increase this share up to 40 percent in the future.

He expressed interest in assisting in the creation of the regulatory body and said EBRD has made cooperation with Azerbaijan’s Energy Ministry its goal.

“The document to be signed between the two bodies will further strengthen cooperation and ensure efficient activity,” the EBRD head said.

Azerbaijan has been a member of EBRD since 1992. Since the beginning of its cooperation with Azerbaijan, EBRD has allocated $1.7 billion for implementation of 151 projects in the country.

Afghanistan can access Europe market through Azerbaijan – ACCI

Azerbaijan route will enable Afghanistan to send its goods to European markets, the Afghan media quoted Siyam Psarlai, spokesman of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), as saying.

According to Psarlai, the trade relations between Afghanistan and Azerbaijan have improved in the past two years.

Afghanistan imports machinery, fuel and other goods from Azerbaijan.

According to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee, trade turnover with Afghanistan totaled $13.37 million in January-July 2017.

The entire amount accounted for the export of Azerbaijani goods to Afghanistan.

Azerbaijan’s ADIF, Switzerland’s SECO mull co-op prospects

The Azerbaijan Deposit Insurance Fund (ADIF) and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) discussed the improvement of legislation in deposit insurance and prospects for cooperation, said ADIF in a message.

According to the message, the discussions were held at a meeting of SECO delegation led by Reto Veermann, head of the macroeconomic support program, with ADIF’s Acting Executive Director Vugar Abdullayev.

During the meeting, the parties discussed the latest changes in the deposit insurance legislation related to the payment of compensation for insured events.

Moreover, the two sides discussed the future plans and goals of ADIF and prospects for cooperation as well as further improvement of deposit insurance legislation.

In February 2017, the World Bank, with the support of the Swiss government, launched the second phase of a project on modernization of Azerbaijan’s financial sector.

Main objectives of the project are improvement of the legislative and regulatory environment in the financial sector in line with international standards, institutional development of Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FIMSA), and possible changes in ADIF activity.

The Azerbaijan Deposit Insurance Fund has been operating since August 13, 2007.

Sept. 9

Ilham Aliyev arrives in Kazakhstan for OIC Science and Technology Summit

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has arrived in the Republic of Kazakhstan for a working visit to attend the First Science and Technology Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

A ceremonial guard of honor was set up for the Azerbaijani president at the Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport in Astana.

The head of state was greeted by Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Yerbolat Dosayev and other officials.

EBRD keen to co-op with Azerbaijan in domestic waste management

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is interested in cooperating with Azerbaijan in the sphere of domestic waste management, EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said during his visit to the municipal solid waste incineration plant in Baku.

Chakrabarti pointed out Azerbaijan’s success in the sphere of domestic waste management, according to a message of Azerbaijani Economy Ministry.

Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev, for his part, informed the EBRD head about the plant’s activities.

Chakrabarti further visited the Balakhany landfill for solid waste disposal and also familiarized himself with the conditions created around the Boyukshor lake.

On Nov. 1, the EBRD Board of Directors plans to approve a loan for Azerbaijan’s Tamiz Shahar JSC, established to improve the ecological condition of Baku.

A loan in the amount of up to $39 million will be allocated for financing investments in the solid domestic waste management in Baku and adjacent settlements on the Absheron peninsula (“Big Baku”). The funds will be used to finance the construction of two transfer stations and sorting facilities, which will allow optimizing the transportation of waste and reducing the volume of its utilization.

The project’s goal is to improve the efficiency of solid domestic waste management in Big Baku.

Total cost of the project is $39 million. In total, the EBRD, together with the technical assistance, will allocate $40.3 million for the project.

Azerbaijan has been a member of EBRD since 1992. Since then, the bank has invested more than $2.8 billion in 161 projects in Azerbaijan’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors.

Sept. 10

Ilham Aliyev meets with chairman of presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Astana

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met with Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic in Astana.

Ilham Aliyev meets with Iranian president in Astana

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met with President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani in Astana.

Ilham Aliyev attends First OIC Summit on Science and Technology in Astana

The First Summit on Science and Technology of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has kicked off in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is attending the Summit.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev greeted President Aliyev and other heads of state and government.

(The Summit participants posed together for photographs.

An initiative of President Nazarbayev, the First OIC Summit on Science and Technology is attended by heads of state and government, ministers responsible for science and technology from 57 countries, and nearly 80 delegates from observer countries and international organizations.

The Summit opened with the recitation of verses from the Quran.

Addressing the opening session, President Nazarbayev expressed his confidence that the Summit will give impetus to cooperation in the Islamic world.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain and other heads of state made speeches.

The Summit aims to identify priorities, goals and targets for the advancement and promotion of science, technology and innovation in the OIC Member States.

The Summit, which is the first ever meeting of heads of state and government devoted exclusively to science and technology, will set the stage for shaping the future of science and technology agenda, reaffirm the commitment of the leadership to science and technology at the highest level and identify priorities, targets and recommended actions for the Muslim countries in the field of science and technology for the next decade.

President Aliyev views Azerbaijani, Kazakh booths at EXPO 2017 Astana int’l exhibition

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has viewed the national booths of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan at EXPO 2017 international exhibition in Astana.

Chairman of Board of EXPO 2017 Astana National Company Akhmetzhan Yessimov informed President Ilham Aliyev about the exhibition.

President Ilham Aliyev was informed that Azerbaijan, which is one of the first countries to confirm its participation in EXPO 2017 Astana, has one of the most visited booths. More than one million people visited the Azerbaijani national booth at the exhibition.

The Azerbaijani booth organized by the Heydar Aliyev Center and the Ministry of Energy was made on the basis of the concept of "Land of Energy - energy from the past to future". On July 9, the National Day of Azerbaijan was organized and the booth was officially presented.

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New transmission line to provide opportunities for both Georgia’s and EU energy network - expert
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Bank Melli Iran’s branch in Azerbaijan completes Q1 2021 with profit
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