Friday, 24 January 2020 07:55

Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan is the territory of security, balance and stability of Europe and Asia

President of the Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev. As you said, there are key players in Eurasia today. On the one hand it is Russia, on the other it is China. Where would you call first as the President of Azerbaijan – Moscow or Beijing?

“Baku”, the President answered expressly.

“Yes, we implement a friendly policy towards our neighbors. However, the national interests always come first. All our achievements in the years of independence were reached owing to the commitment of our nation to independence and implementation of very serious reforms in field of policy and economy. Our achievements were also reflected in the annual assessments of the Davos world economic forum. A high level of development has been reached in the field of infrastructure. As far as the construction and the quality of roads are concerned, we are taking the 27th place in the world”, the leader of the country noted.

“I think that we have invested heavily into infrastructure projects before. Therefore, once again, according to the Davos forum, Azerbaijan is now coming on the second place in terms of access to electricity on a global scale. Provision of gas supply in Azerbaijan makes 96%. We have built roads with a total length of 16,000km, and over 3,000 schools and 700 hospitals. However, it was a part of public investments. What we need now is a new approach in a good governance, transparency, accountability and in further bringing of welfare standards to conformity with those of the EU. I think that it is possible to achieve”, the President noted.

“I once again would like to touch the assessment of the Davos forum which awarded the Azerbaijani government’s strategic view the 10th place, and the 11th place to the government’s ability to ensure stability. Thus, the new government will focus its attention on a big challenge such as the growing population. Therefore, our economic growth should comply with the growth of the population. Our population increased from 7 up to 10 million in the years of independence”. In this way, the population is in need of additional infrastructure and additional food supply, Ilham Aliyev said. Our population is growing by 100,000 people every year. It means that every year we need at least 100,000 working places. It is not easy. Therefore, the government will take care of this issue. We will try to maintain the poverty level on the current level which is lower than 5%. Apart from this, we have a long-term strategy associated with the reduction of our plain external debt. This debt is very low now and makes 17% of GDP. But our goal is to reduce it down to 10% of GDP. Of course we also work to keep the inflation at the low rate – at 2.5%, as we did last year. The population’s income shall always outstrip inflation. Creation of working places should also exceed a demographic growth.

 

Yesterday President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev also met with the Chief Executive Officer of BP Robert Dudley. It was noted that the TANAP project had already been launched and that TAP project would be ready by the end of this year. In the course of the meeting the parties discussed a new project on the next stage of development of Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli fields. President Ilham Aliyev noted that it is a very important project. The head of state said that the ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor advisory council would take place in February of this year in Baku. 

Robert Dudley noted that BP will attach a much bigger importance to the environmental protection in its work.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met with Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia in Davos on January 22.

The importance of implementation of global and regional energy and transport projects with the participation of the two countries was stressed. The sides touched upon the significance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. It was noted that the importance of this project was emphasized at a session on “New Vision for Eurasia - Partnerships for Sustainable Growth” held as part of the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 21, and its special role in establishing a new format of cooperation was mentioned.

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