Despite the tense situation observed around the world in 2017 both economically and in terms of conflicts, Azerbaijan followed the path of development, Ali Hasanov, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs, said in an interview to APA.
“We’re about to end the year successfully. Of course, these attainments have been made as a result of joint efforts of President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva, as well as the Azerbaijani government and the country’s whole human resources fulfilling the president’s assignments to the fullest extent,” he said.
In a government report back in 2008, President Ilham Aliyev assigned the task of developing a state program aimed at developing the non-oil sector, Hasanov recalled.
“The head of state said at the time that the price of oil might drop at some time. The president assigned the task of developing a state program aimed at developing the non-oil sector. The government fulfilled the task, so the non-oil section began to be developed under the president’s leadership. The price of oil did drop. Although there were some setbacks, the Azerbaijan economy managed to remain stable,” he said.
The deputy PM noted that the non-oil sector grew steadily, and today this sector accounts for over 60 percent of the country’s GDP.
“There was a 3-4-fold decline in oil prices. Had the president not done it at the time, imagine what we would have had to go through. In two years, in 2020, dependence on oil will be close to zero. We’re getting to it,” he said.
He stressed that President Ilham Aliyev has ensured Azerbaijan’s development over the past 14 years.
“By 2020, Azerbaijan will be among developing countries. Another strategic priority in the president’s activities is elimination of poverty. While the current poverty rate is 5 percent, the target is to reduce it to zero by 2020. The poverty rate will drop to zero by 2020. There will be no one destitute left in Azerbaijan. We’re doing all that it takes to achieve it,” added Hasanov.