Weekly economic review

Analysis Materials 21 February 2007 12:02 (UTC +04:00)

A conference dedicated to the implementation of the State Program on Socio-Economic Development of Regions in 2004-2008 was held in Baku with the participation of the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev . The key objective of the program is rehabilitation of infrastructure in the regions, establish new industrial facilities, development of socio-economic centers, opening of new jobs. Thus, program envisages comprehensive development of Azerbaijan .

Three years would not so big term for the implementation of such a program. However, the results of socio-economic development can be summarized. Thus, the economic growth of Azerbaijan made up 26% in 2005 and 35% - in 2006. This year the figure is forecast to be the same. The public budget expenditure increases. In 2003 the figure was 1.4bln manats, in 2007 it was 6.5bln manats and even more. In a few months we will consider the budget further, because new income is under consideration. Over the last three years the share of private sector in GDP rose from 73% to 81%.

According to official statistics, migration from rural areas to the capital has decreased and the number of poor dropped from 49% to 20%. A total of 520,000 new jobs have been created in the country over the past 3 years in 2005-2007 the GDP doubled, while the amount of domestic investments also increased compared to foreign investment. In 2007 domestic investments are expected to comprise 1.5bln manats.

He attributed the opening of the railway route Baku-Tbilisi-Kars as a victory for Azerbaijan , Georgia and Turkey . "With the consideration of energy corridors we are becoming a transit country. This fact testifies the increase of the strategic significance of Azerbaijan

The President noted the problems existing in the country. "In some cases social justice is violated. There are also too many unfair decisions and illegal interference into business," President Aliyev stressed. Azerbaijan is in the first phase of development of its oil and gas potential.

The international credit organizations carry out in Azerbaijan projects with the total value of $1bln . These are a project on improvement of drainage system (a $42mln credit of the World Bank), a project on improvement of water supply of southern regions Agdash-Goychay-Nakhchivan (a $39.5mln credit of the Asian Development Bank), a project on Velvelchay water channel (a $22.5mln credit of the Islamic Bank for Development). This year the management system of Azerenerji state company will be improved ($55mln), Agrarian project of the World Bank ($15mln).

The attention to regions is an order of time, because only equal development of regions can lead to desired economic growth.