"First of all, we had to do some organizational work and create suitable conditions to attract investors. It is clear that Azerbaijan is a landlocked country and it is more difficult to create free economic zones in such countries. In countries with a more favorable geographical location, these zones have been very successful primarily due to their geographical location. Therefore, taking into account this geographical situation, we had to work more efficiently and provide more attractive conditions for investors," said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in an interview with Azerbaijan Television, APA reports.
"First of all, work had to be done in the field of legislation, and in 2017, I signed a decree on accelerating the establishment of the Alat Free Economic Zone. In 2018, the law was adopted. This is a very progressive law that fully meets the interests of both our state and investors. This is very important. Because if there were any uncertainties for investors in the legislation, of course, it would not be possible to attract them here. In particular, the global economic and financial recession of recent years has reduced the volume of investment. Of course, the pandemic has also had a negative impact on the global economy. Taking this step at such a historic moment, of course, requires great courage and is underpinned by our confidence of it. Therefore, I believe that the work done in the field of legislation fully meets the interests of both investors and the Azerbaijani state. After that, specific work began already in 2018. This 850-hectare area has been allocated, the development of the concept of the Alat Free Economic Zone has been started, a working group has been established and work has already reached a practical level.
Of course, the pandemic interfered in our work and delayed our plans for a while. But now the pandemic is slowing down both in our country and in many others. I think that this groundbreaking ceremony being held today shows that we are fully ready for it. After that, practical work will begin, and I am confident that this work will be completed on time," the head of the state noted.