Azerbaijan’s economic progress covers Baku and regions

By: Aynur Jafarova

One of the characteristic features of Azerbaijan’s economy which stands at a leading position in the world in terms of development rate is that its progress covers not only the capital city of Baku, but also the country’s regions.

This was announced by Azerbaijan’s Finance Minister Fazil Mammadov at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on the results of the country’s socio-economic development in the first quarter of 2014 and future tasks chaired by President Ilham Aliyev.

“State programs on the socio-economic development of the country’s regions, Baku, and its surrounding towns, calculated for 2014-2018 and 2014-2016 respectively, will not only be the continuation of the targeted policy on comprehensive development of all Azerbaijani regions, but also play a fundamental role in commissioning new facilities and working places and implementing large-scale infrastructure projects,” he said.

“Only in the first quarter of the current year, around 100 industrial, agricultural, and trade enterprises and facilities in the service sphere started operating in the regions, and the construction of another 500 facilities is underway,” he added.

Mammadov also noted during the implementation of the previous two state programs on the development of the regions, the number of registered business entities increased by 7.2 times, and tax incomes increased more than 12.7 times.

He said the growth of tax incomes helped Azerbaijan’s Sumgayit, Shirvan, and Mingachevir cities, as well as the Absheron and Imishli regions to fully meet their own expenditures on the expense of local taxes.

The taxes minister went on to add that Azerbaijan’s strategic currency reserves are increasing, which ensures the strengthening of stable economic bases.

“The country’s GDP grew by 2.5 percent in the reported period compared to the first quarter of last year, reaching 13.15 billion manats, and the non-oil GDP showed growth by 8.8 percent, reaching 7.2 billion manats. The inflation in the reported period amounted to only two percent in the background of the 4.5 percent income growth rate of the population,” Mammadov said.

Forecasts on the incomes of the state budget were 106.1 percent in the first three month of 2014, while expenditures from the state budget amounted to 4.37 billion manats in the reported period, the minister added.

In the first quarter of 2014, some 1,014 entrepreneurs were allocated preferential loans worth 44.7 million manats through the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support, with which over 2,400 working places were created. Despite the rise in unemployment in some developed countries, Azerbaijan created about 29,000 new working places, Mammadov stressed.