Azerbaijan’s economy developed in 2016 despite all objective problems, said the country’s President Ilham Aliyev.
The non-oil investment in the country increased by 5 percent in 2016, President Aliyev said addressing a conference dedicated to the results of third year implementation of "The State Program on socio-economic development of Azerbaijani districts in 2014-2018" in Baku Jan. 30.
“Azerbaijan’s non-oil investment increased by 5 percent in 2016,” he said. “We were able to ensure this development due to work carried out over the preceding years and deep reforms implemented in 2016.”
“Of course the ongoing global economic and financial crisis negatively affected our work as well, but I believe that Azerbaijan managed to get out of such a hard situation with minimal losses in comparison with other countries,” Ilham Aliyev said. “More than 100,000 permanent jobs were created last year. This process has been going on since 2004.”
The president went on to say that Azerbaijan was able to maintain the currency reserves of the country's State Oil Fund.
"I think this is very significant," he said. "The majority of oil-rich countries spent a part of their currency reserves, while we tried to save, and succeeded.”
“We are going to need our currency reserves for today, tomorrow, and these reserves are a factor that strengthens our economic opportunities, economic independence in general,” President Aliyev said.
Ilham Aliyev went on to add authoritative international economic institutions also highly assessed the work carried out by Azerbaijan in 2016.
“The biggest global non-governmental economic institution among them - the Davos World Economic Forum, which unites all the world leaders, as well as world’s political and economic elite, - once again gave a positive outcome in its report on Azerbaijan,” he said.
“Thus, in terms of competitiveness of countries, Azerbaijan has stepped up, settling for 37th place,” he said.
“According to another indicator of inclusive development among the developing countries, these estimates bring together about 80 developing countries, and Azerbaijan shares first and second places in this rating. This is the assessment given to our work by the leading international economic institutions.”
Azerbaijani president noted that from now on, it is necessary to seek to have the work done using the internal capabilities, because the growth of external debt is not a positive factor.
“In Azerbaijan, this indicator stands at a very good level, at about 20 percent,” he said. “This is a higher figure compared to previous years, and the reason is the devaluation of the manat. During the previous periods, our foreign debt didn’t exceed 10 percent. Nowadays, this is also an acceptable level, but we must try so that this figure wouldn’t grow, but on the contrary, would decrease.”
“In order to reduce the external debt, we must take foreign loans with utmost care,” Ilham Aliyev said. “But we can take foreign loans for projects of strategic importance for Azerbaijan.”