Our Analytics 8 august — 18:42

Challenges of Azerbaijan, theses of Ilham Aliyev (Our afterword)

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BY ELDAR ALIYEV, ECONOMICS SECTION

Azerbaijan has achieved low inflation. But despite this, we often become witnesses to artificially high prices. True, this situation usually does not last long, as it causes excitement in society, the media interfere in the matter and, under the pressure of public discontent, the situation improves. But, as it became known during the last meeting devoted to socio-economic matter, this issue is always under close attention of President Ilham Aliyev.

President pays special attention to the problem of artificially increased prices

The head of state clearly stated that the relevant structures need to seriously address this issue. 'As soon as I receive information, instructions are given immediately. That is, constant monitoring of the consumer market is necessary, since cartel transactions are not excluded here. Of course, we cannot allow artificially overpricing,' said Ilham Aliyev.

The President noted the need for a strict control mechanism and urged to keep this sphere in the spotlight. And indeed, sometimes some 'trifle' escapes the attention of individual officials, and this may create a false impression about the work of the entire government.

Over the past year, numerous projects have been implemented in Baku, including the renewal of public utilities, more than 400 lifts purchased and installed, more than 50 exemplary landscaped yards have been transferred to citizens. For urban transport, 300 new modern buses are imported, and this will really be a big advance, since the modernisation of urban transport is very important - both for the convenience of citizens and security measures. Metro construction is underway and carriages for it are being purchased. In general, a lot of work has been done to improve, modernise, and enhance the beauty of the city of Baku. Today, Baku is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But there are problems, and their solution should always be in the spotlight.

In particular, the head of state expressed dissatisfaction with the lighting of Baku streets, which is still not up to par. The city centre is naturally illuminated, but in some places there is no street lighting. This issue needs to be given very serious attention.

Steps are currently being taken in the area of household waste management. A few years ago, a large household waste plant was built in Balakhani, a landfill was created, sorting is being carried out. But a single chain is already required - from the apartment to the household waste plant. This project is currently being implemented with the participation of international consultants. The laying of a suburban railway line continues, and new recreation areas are being created. Today Baku is a city of parks, squares, several recreation areas are at the disposal of citizens, which is very appreciated by the population. And all this must be maintained at the proper level.

Steps are being taken to revitalise the construction sector. Currently, several hundred residential buildings are under construction in Baku. This is a positive fact, which has a positive impact on the building materials sector, creating conditions for job creation. It is appropriate to note here that since the beginning of the year 60 thousand new jobs have been opened. Some of them appeared in the public sector. And this is done to combat unemployment, which is already at a low level. Therefore, important steps have been taken to create paid public jobs, of which about 40 thousand are open.

July theses by Ilham Aliyev

And this is already a big contribution to the social sphere. On the one hand, the economy is growing, and on the other, social problems are being solved. These jobs are being opened so that citizens are provided with work. And if usually they only talk about the public sector, then we must not forget that the private sector should also make a greater contribution to job creation. And, as the president emphasised, as a result of interaction with representatives of the private sector, growth is already observed in this area. Economic recovery, of course, also contributes to job creation. This should be an ongoing process. And that's why.

The country's population is growing. Over the years of independence, the population has grown by about 3 million people. This year marks the birth of a 10 millionth citizen. This is a great asset. But, on the other hand, this factor dictates the need to constantly engage in job creation. The government needs to create social infrastructure, additional measures must be taken in the transport sector so that the growing population, citizens feel relaxed, are employed. It is no accident that the head of state emphasised that this is an ongoing process, since the successful development of Azerbaijan, development in the field of industry, and the economic sphere are factors that directly affect population growth, and we must always be prepared for this.

At the same time, it is necessary to find new sources for economic growth so that it is sustainable. The main role here is played by the development of the non-oil sector. However, we must not forget at the same time that the main sector for our economic development today is still the oil and gas sector, in which very important steps have also been taken. Substantial work has been done in connection with the Southern Gas Corridor project, the implementation of which is currently drawing to a close. The execution of its last segment is already being completed. This is a historical project. As a result of the activities of this gas corridor, Azerbaijan will receive additional income. Many believe that depleted oil revenues will lead to the impoverishment of the country, but we must not forget that the growing volumes of gas production and export will be able to compensate them to a large extent.

And in general, the country is developing steadily. The financial and economic crisis that swept the world a few years ago, which affected us too, was left behind and managed to be overcome. It was possible to maintain and increase foreign exchange reserves, in just six months Azerbaijan has accumulated $4 billion of additional foreign exchange reserves. Of course, this creates good conditions for the implementation of new infrastructure projects. At the same time, the reforms carried out in the tax and customs systems, the work carried out in the field of administration and the growth of revenues, of course, should be the main source of the budget. Azerbaijan must use the funds very economically. In particular, very strict control over state investment projects is needed. A corporate governance system should be created in state-owned companies, which President Ilham Aliyev also calls for. The head of state believes that a new model of the economy is today's need. These questions are answered by the Strategic Roadmap, designed until 2025.

Azerbaijan should develop along the path of innovation, modern governance, and a liberal economy. All necessary measures have been taken. It is no coincidence that this is noted by international financial institutions. The work aimed at improving the business environment indicates that today the Azerbaijani state is among the countries developing successfully in the economic sphere on a global scale. In parallel, great attention is paid to the social sphere. The projects and initiatives implemented this year in the billions of dollars vividly demonstrate the intentions and policies of the government. They show that the citizen of Azerbaijan is at the centre of this policy. 'Our economic power should and has a direct impact on the social sphere. We will continue to follow this path,' the head of state emphasised.

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