President Aliyev chairs cabinet meeting on Q1 socio-economic development

By: Aynur Jafarova

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has chaired the 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.

Addressing the ministers, the Head of State said the country maintained its rapid development rate in the first quarter of 2014, adding that the economy grew 2.5 percent and the GDP and the share of the non-oil sector in economy increased during the mentioned period.

The president said various measures are adopted to diversify economy and to resolve the social problems. The Head of State said the population’s bank deposits grew 20 percent, adding the average monthly salary saw a seven percent rise, and currency reserves reached $53 million.

President Aliyev also noted the country’s main economic parameters were very positive, adding this allows looking forward with optimism.

The president went on to say that the population’s medical check-up program was successfully implemented in this quarter, adding four million people underwent the check-up in two months.

The Head of State stressed the importance of implementing the third state program for socio-economic development of the country’s regions and the state program for socio-economic development of Baku and its suburbs.

The Azerbaijani president said measures were taken to develop entrepreneurship and improve business climate in the country in the first three months, adding there was an excellent investment environment in Azerbaijan, and the volume of domestic investment exceeded the size of foreign one.

The president said Azerbaijan’s foreign debt made eight percent of the gross domestic product.

President Aliyev also noted the country strengthened its positions in the world in the first quarter of the year.

“Our foreign policy is open, principled and based on international law and justice,” the president said, adding all this helped the country have earned great respect across the globe.

The Head of State said he once again witnessed the importance attached to Azerbaijan during his foreign visits and the international events he attended, adding his meetings were a success as well.

Touching on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, President Aliyev called on international community to impose sanctions on Armenia.

“Armenia occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s lands, carried out ethnic cleansing policy, violated four resolutions of the UN Security Council, and committed the Khojaly genocide,” he noted.

President Aliyev said measures are being adopted to create a strong army, adding the Azerbaijani army was supplied with modern weapons and armaments.

Taxes Minister Fazil Mammadov, Energy Minister Natig Aliyev and Education Minister Mikayil Jabbarov highlighted what was done in the first quarter of 2014, and outlined further tasks.

Finally, President Ilham Aliyev made a closing speech at the meeting.

The Head of State instructed relative officials to continue work to execute social infrastructure projects, direct foreign investment to priority sectors, increase entrepreneurship support, and ensure food security.

The president said a new order would be signed shortly with the aim of deepening agricultural reforms. The President hailed the execution of projects aimed at developing the non-oil sector and industry as a success.

President Aliyev noted the new air terminal would soon be commissioned in the Heydar Aliyev International Airport.

The Head of State said efforts would continue to strengthen the army, to implement infrastructure projects and to resolve the problems of Karabakh war disabled and veterans.

The President praised what was done in the oil and gas sector.

The Head of State stressed the importance of the environmental protection, saying the illegal cutting of trees had to be stopped.

President Aliyev said this year will see Azerbaijan enter the final stage of preparations for the inaugural European Games, noting the country will organize the event based on Summer Olympic Games standards.