Monday, 28 October 2019 10:31

Ilham Aliyev: Oil-gas sector remains priority

September 20 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Contract of the Century

Quarter of a century has passed since the first international agreement on exploration, development and production sharing for the Azeri and Chirag fields and the deep water portion of the Gunashli field was signed under the supervision of the National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev in Baku on 20 September 1994.
The Contract of the Century nowadays can only be compared to the “Roman law”, which is today the basis of the legislation of many highly developed Western countries, it is the “economic constitution”, an ode to independence, the history of which is being written in gold letters even today by a country that always has a chance for success by applying the model of the century’s contract in all areas of economy, thus fully diversifying its economy.
- It is no secret that energy security issues are of big importance today. Energy security issues imply national security of countries. Imagine if the Contract of the Century had not been  signed in 1994 and Azerbaijan would not have exported its rich oil-gas resources to the world markets, our economic condition could be quite different, President Ilham Aliyev says.
-  In 2011 the European Union and Azerbaijan adopted a joint declaration concerning the Southern Gas Corridor.
- The Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council meeting is annually hosted in Baku at our initiative. The 5th meeting took place in February of this year. We certainly have no doubts that we will ensure successful implementation of this giant project as there are no problems left today, both in terms of the international cooperation and in terms of financial resources, in order to get this project done. 
- We can get such giant projects implemented only within the framework of the international cooperation. It is impossible to have them realized without it.  We managed to achieve it owing to oil and gas pipelines, making of investments, involvement of international financial institutions and of course thanks to joint efforts.
- Creation of the State Oil Fund and solution of the most important issues via this fund also turned out possible owing to our successful oil policy. The State Oil Fund financed the construction of more than 100 towns for displaced persons. Diversification of economy of Azerbaijan and making investments into infrastructure projects are also associated right with these projects. In recent years we have implemented our main infrastructure projects and the work in this direction is ongoing. Issues concerning road construction, provision of gas supply and electricity are also successfully handled in Azerbaijan. Provision of gas supply reached 95%. It would be impossible if we did not have sufficient gas resources. The major task facing the country today is to lower dependence on the oil-gas factor and develop the non-oil sector. Important measures are taken in this direction as well. In the World Bank’s latest report on business environment index Azerbaijan is taking the 25th position on a global scale.
- We are successfully implementing the program on regional development.  We certainly have to keep working in order to have our budget filled mainly at the expense of the non-oil sector and we are getting close to this goal. However, you have to know that the oil-gas sector will remain a priority for us, the President said.

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