Azerbaijan’s total trade turnover exceeds $18 bln

By: Aynur Jafarova

Azerbaijan’s total trade turnover with 137 foreign trade partners exceeded $18.13 billion in January-July 2014, the State Customs Committee said on August 18.

The volume of foreign trade operations of the country decrease by 9.53 percent in January-July 2014 compared to the same period of last year. Meanwhile, foreign trade surplus stood at $1.25 billion as of July 2014.

About 4,676 legal and physical entities were involved in foreign economic activities in the reported period, some 3,107 of which were legal entities and 1,569 physical entities.

Export operations reached $13.25 billion, which is 4.44 percent less compared to the same period of 2013.

The share of the public sector in export operations was estimated at $12.47 billion, the private sector at $659.57 million and physical entities’ share stood at $115.65 million.

Imports exceeded $4.88 billion in January-July, which is 20.97 percent less compared to the same period of 2013.

The share of the public sector in import operations was estimated at $1.22 billion, private sector share at $3.47 billion and physical entities’ share at $192.16 million.

About 1,732 kinds of goods were exported from Azerbaijan and 5,436 imported to the country in January-July.

The total volume of foreign investment made in Azerbaijan’s economy exceeded 2.646 billion manats in January-July 2014, and this figure is 18.9 percent more compared to the same period of last year.

The State Statistics Committee said the prices for consumer goods and tariffs for services in Azerbaijan decreased by 0.8 percent in July 2014 compared to the previous month.

Also, Azerbaijan observed a two-percent decrease of the food prices in July.

The prices of the non-food goods in the country remained unchanged, while prices for services grew by 0.2 percent.

In the first seven months of 2014, food prices grew by 0.9 percent, prices of non-food goods grew by 3.6 percent, and tariffs for services increased by 0.4 percent compared to January-July 2013.

One of the main priorities of Azerbaijan’s government is promoting its non-oil sector by attracting investment, advanced technologies and management experiences from abroad.

Azerbaijan has achieved most of its goals in this field, and successfully attracted $83.8 billion worth foreign investment from 1995 to 2013, some $35 billion out of which accounted for non-oil sector.

Political and macroeconomic stability, secure protection of investors’ rights, favorable geographical location, rich natural resources and highly skilled workforce have turned Azerbaijan into one of the most attractive countries for foreign investment.

Some $10.5 billion foreign investment was invested in Azerbaijan’s economy last year and it is important to direct over half of this amount to non-oil sector.

Azerbaijan’s government has set a goal to minimize the dependence of its national economy on the oil factor and to double the country’s GDP by developing its non-oil sector by 2020.