Na­tion achieves pos­i­tive dy­nam­ics in de­vel­op­ment of non-oil sec­tor

Azer News - - Front Page - By Amina Nazarli

Azer­bai­jani Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev chaired a repub­li­can con­fer­ence of non-oil ex­porters in Yevlakh's re­gion of the coun­try on April 17, where the main ac­cess was made on agri­cul­tural sphere.

The meet­ing cov­ered very im­por­tant is­sues and re­vealed the re­sults and suc­cesses of the coun­try's econ­omy dur­ing the past year.

Ad­dress­ing the event Pres­i­dent Aliyev spoke of the most prof­itable prod­ucts such as nuts and toma­toes that bring a lot of cur­rency to the coun­try. The coun­try earned $105 mil­lion on nut and $94 mil­lion on tomato ex­port, said the head of state.

“Per­sim­mon comes third with $68 mil­lion and sugar ranks fourth with a 62-mil­lion profit,” he said.

Talk­ing about cot­ton grow­ing, Pres­i­dent Aliyev said that the prod­uct brought $24 mil­lion to Azer­bai­jan last year and this is only the first year.

“Last year the coun­try earned $350 mil­lion on these five prod­ucts. By in­creas­ing pro­duc­tion of these prod­ucts twice we can get big money,” he said.

Re­gard­ing the al­mond or­chards, Pres­i­dent Aliyev said that the coun­try starts to cre­ate al­mond or­chards this year, of­fer­ing entrepreneurs to fo­cus on this sphere.

The head of state said 2017 will be very suc­cess­ful for the coun­try tak­ing into ac­count in­di­ca­tors of the first quar­ter of the year.

“The in­di­ca­tors of this year are truly pleas­ant. I have al­ready said this, and I would like to re­peat that the re­sults of the first three months of this year in­spire us very much. This once again demon­strated that the de­ci­sions we made and re­forms we started in 2016 have pro­duced won­der­ful re­sults in a short pe­riod of time,” Pres­i­dent Aliyev said.

The Pres­i­dent fur­ther added that the non-oil sec­tor of econ­omy grew 2.4 per­cent in the first quar­ter of 2017, calling this “a very good in­di­ca­tor”.

“Our non-oil in­dus­try rose 2 per­cent, agri­cul­ture in­creased 3.5 per­cent. More than 80,000 jobs were cre­ated in three months. Our trade turnover in­creased 15 per­cent, ex­ports saw a nearly 50 per­cent growth, and im­ports fell 17 per­cent. The ex­port of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts in­creased 44 per­cent,” he added.

Pres­i­dent Aliyev men­tioned that Azer­bai­jan made a profit of $1 bil­lion in the first quar­ter of the year. “Our for­eign ex­change re­serves are grow­ing. This pos­i­tive dy­nam­ics al­lows us to say that we will achieve even greater out­comes this year,” the Pres­i­dent added.

“Today we can con­fi­dently say that Azer­bai­jan man­aged to have di­ver­si­fied its eco­nomic po­ten­tial. The non-oil sec­tor today ac­counts for around 65 per­cent of our econ­omy,” said Pres­i­dent Aliyev. “But we can­not say this about our ex­ports. The largest part of our ex­ports falls on oil and gas, which is ob­vi­ously nat­u­ral for the cur­rent pe­riod, be­cause we are in­creas­ing our oil and gas po­ten­tial. But one of the out­stand­ing tasks for us is to en­sure di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of our ex­ports. We need to achieve this in ex­ports, just like we have done it with the Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct.”

The head of state high­lighted re­sults of re­gional de­vel­op­ment pro­grams, say­ing thou­sands of new en­ter­prises have been es­tab­lished across the coun­try.

The Pres­i­dent said that 1.7 mil­lion jobs have been cre­ated, in­clud­ing 1.3 mil­lion per­ma­nent ones, in Azer­bai­jan.

“The de­ci­sions, laws and de­crees I signed last year cre­ated good op­por­tu­ni­ties to di­ver­sify our econ­omy even more. In par­tic­u­lar, the mea­sures taken to pro­mote ex­port of non-oil prod­ucts yield good re­sults”, the Pres­i­dent said.

‘We be­gan to ap­ply a pro­mo­tion sys­tem. I have told about this in the past years, too. Be­cause the sys­tem of pro­mo­tion has jus­ti­fied it­self in some other coun­tries and led to growth of ex­port. We have stud­ied ap­pro­pri­ate ad­vanced ex­pe­ri­ence in the world and on this ba­sis we ap­plied pro­mo­tion of in­vest­ing and ex­port­ing sys­tems in Azer­bai­jan. Both sys­tems are suc­cess­fully func­tion­ing. The entrepreneurs may even not be­lieve that the state would ren­der them such as­sis­tance. Some­times they were even sur­prised. Now, they see if their prod­ucts reach the world mar­kets, the state re­turns some per­cent of its price to them­selves. That is, this is a great ini­tia­tive for stim­u­la­tion. The en­tre­pre­neur gains ex­tra profit, on one hand, and this has moral sense, on the other. Be­cause, peo­ple have strong con­fi­dence for them, and they work con­fi­dently and in­volve high amount in­vest­ments for the coun­try," the Pres­i­dent un­der­lined.

Pres­i­dent Aliyev fur­ther stressed that de­vel­op­ment of en­trepreneur­ship is one of the pri­or­ity is­sues for the state.

“The gov­ern­ment is pro­vid­ing both po­lit­i­cal and great method­olog­i­cal sup­port for the de­vel­op­ment of en­trepreneur­ship. Aran Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter for entrepreneurs in Yevlakh re­gion was built and com­mis­sioned by the Azer­bai­jani gov­ern­ment. And this is an­other sign of sup­port for the de­vel­op­ment of en­trepreneur­ship," Pres­i­dent Aliyev said.

"We are hold­ing meet­ings with entrepreneurs on a reg­u­lar ba­sis sev­eral times a year. We have held hun­dreds of meet­ings with entrepreneurs over the past 13-14 years. I have per­son­ally at­tended the open­ing of a num­ber of en­ter­prises in the field of en­tre­pre­neur­ial ac­tiv­ity. Entrepreneurs are well aware that a great sup­port, as well as po­lit­i­cal sup­port is given to their ac­tiv­i­ties by the state," the Pres­i­dent said.

Pres­i­dent Aliyev noted that low-in­ter­est loans to­tal­ing more than 2 bil­lion man­ats ($1.19 bil­lion) have been granted to entrepreneurs by the state through the Na­tional Fund on En­trepreneur­ship Sup­port in re­cent years.

The Pres­i­dent went on to say that prac­ti­cal mea­sures have been taken to pro­mote ‘Made in Azer­bai­jan’ brand world­wide.

The brand is al­ready gain­ing world fame, said the Pres­i­dent. The head of state noted sev­eral ex­port mis­sions have been dis­patched to for­eign coun­tries, adding that this has been of great ben­e­fit. “We de­cided to open Azer­bai­jani trad­ing houses in sev­eral coun­tries, and we are al­ready close to do­ing it. All steps taken by the state cre­ate ad­di­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties for entrepreneurs.”

The head of state said: “We need to try to com­pletely pro­vide our­selves with con­sumer prod­ucts in the next 3-4 years. This will cre­ate ad­di­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­port.” “We should con­stantly in­crease pro­duc­tion in or­der to fully meet the do­mes­tic de­mand and present com­pet­i­tive ex­port prod­ucts.

Pres­i­dent Aliyev also stressed the im­por­tance of food se­cu­rity, say­ing Azer­bai­jan is close to com­pletely pro­vid­ing its food se­cu­rity.

At the event, the Pres­i­dent also hailed the de­vel­op­ment of tourism in the coun­try.

“The num­ber of tourists in­creased by 11 per­cent last year, while it rose by 25 per­cent in the three months of this year. It is ob­vi­ous now,” said Pres­i­dent Aliyev in a clos­ing speech.

“The num­ber of tourists is in­creas­ing dra­mat­i­cally both in Baku and re­gions of the coun­try. And there are, of course, rea­sons for this. This has not hap­pened spon­ta­neously. The work done in re­cent years has led to this sit­u­a­tion. First of all, sta­bil­ity, tran­quil­ity, so­cial and po­lit­i­cal or­der reign­ing in Azer­bai­jan, of course, make the coun­try more at­trac­tive to tourists. Par­tic­u­larly, un­der cur­rent cir­cum­stances when there is ten­sion in var­i­ous parts of the world, threats, con­flicts, so­cial dis­con­tent is grow­ing, mass protests are wide­spread. None of these prob­lems ex­ists in Azer­bai­jan,” he noted.

“Azer­bai­jan en­joys unity of the peo­ple and the gov­ern­ment. Our pol­icy is sup­ported and ap­proved by the peo­ple. And this is the key fac­tor of sta­bil­ity in Azer­bai­jan,” added Pres­i­dent Aliyev.

Other speak­ers at the event in­cluded Azer­bai­jani Econ­omy Min­is­ter Shahin Mustafayev, chair­man of Wine Ex­porters' and Pro­duc­ers' As­so­ci­a­tion Elchin Mada­tov, chair­man of Hazel­nut Pro­duc­ers and Ex­porters As­so­ci­a­tion Is­mayil Oru­jov, CEO of Az­er­sun Hold­ing Savaş Uzan, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of AzGranata LTD Rovshan Farhadov, CEO of Gok-NUR Baku LLC Farid Farhadzade, founder of D-Fruits Farm­ing Isamaddin Damirov and Busi­ness In­cu­ba­tor par­tic­i­pant Ariz Mikay­ilov.

Prior to the meet­ing, Pres­i­dent Aliyev viewed Aran Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter as part of his visit to Yevlakh.

The pres­i­dent first viewed an ex­hi­bi­tion of non-oil ex­port prod­ucts launched in the foyer of Aran Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter.

Econ­omy Min­is­ter Shahin Mustafayev in­formed the head of state about the prod­ucts dis­played here. He noted that the ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures nearly 450 kinds of prod­ucts of more than 60 com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing wine, tea, fruits and veg­eta­bles, min­eral wa­ter, juices, honey, sweets, tex­tile.

Apart from be­ing used in do­mes­tic mar­ket, these prod­ucts are ex­ported to a num­ber of coun­tries, in­clud­ing Europe, CIS coun­tries, US, UAE, China, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Ara­bia.

Then, the pres­i­dent viewed con­di­tions cre­ated in Aran Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter.

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