Development of non-oil sector helps to tackle social issues
Development of non-oil sector remains one of the main priorities for Azerbaijan, as the government is keen to diversify economy and improve business climate in the country.
Azerbaijan ensured gross domestic product (GDP) growth and economic development, mainly due to the export of oil stock, however, in the context of falling energy prices in the world, the development of nonoil exports has become an extremely important strategic task of the state.
The deputy of the Milli Mejlis [parliament] of Azerbaijan Musa Guliyev said that in the first quarter of 2017, the export of products of the non-oil sector in Azerbaijan increased by 32.5 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, while the export of industrial goods for this period from Azerbaijan increased by 25 percent. All this suggests that the state targets to increase the export of the non-oil industry.
He noted that as a result of the development of the non-oil sector, the resolution of social issues is accelerating, new jobs are being created, which partially resolves a problem of unemployment of the population.
The state always supports entrepreneurs, creates the necessary conditions for the development of a healthy business climate in the country, and issues concessional loans.
In this regard, it is planned to create the Agency of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Guarantee Credit Fund in 2017-2018. Similar agencies already operate in Europe, the UK, the USA, China, Singapore and other countries, stimulating the development of small and medium-sized businesses.
In these agencies, any representative of a small or medium-sized enterprise can relatively quickly and easily find out about all the opportunities for the company's development, new methods and technologies, about raising the qualification of employees, and assessing the risks of working in another country. Also, the Fund introduces a huge number of various programs on concessional lending, which include special loans, credit risk insurance and subsidies. In general, the agency's mission is to help and protect the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises, create free market competition, and support and strengthen the country's economy in whole.
Guliyev added that according to statistics, over 10 years of the implementation of state programs the GDP have increased more than threefold, including the non-oil sector by 2.6 times, industry by 2.7 times, agriculture by 1.5 times. As a result of the reforms, more than 1.2 million new jobs were created in the country, including 900,000 permanent jobs, about 56,000 enterprises, unemployment fell to 5 percent, and poverty to 5.3 percent.
Besides, the government is interested in promoting domestic products to international markets, and there is success in this direction. The export of Azerbaijani products is increasing, which means that new opportunities and new markets are emerging.
The practical measures have been taken to promote the ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand worldwide.
President Ilham Aliyev said that we need to try to completely meet our demand for consumer products in the next 3-4 years and this will create additional opportunities for export and we should constantly increase production in order to fully meet the domestic demand and present competitive export products.
“Farmers are exempted from all taxes except land tax. Machines are purchased, fertilizers, fuel, subsidies are allocated in concessional conditions. All these revives our non-oil sector. However, additional support should be provided to entrepreneurs in order to take their products to foreign market. This will bring currency to our country. Therefore, we began to extend our participation in these exhibitions. We decided to create trade houses in several countries and we are approaching to it. Any step taken by the state creates new opportunities for entrepreneurs,” the head of state noted.