Our Analytics 3 february — 17:18

Five priorities of Ilham Aliyev (Our comment)

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BY ELNUR MAMMADOV, ECONOMY SECTION

The National Priorities for Social and Economic Development Azerbaijan 2030 were approved by the order of President Ilham Aliyev. There are five such priorities for the next decade. This is a steadily growing competitive economy, a dynamic, inclusive and based on social justice society, competitive human capital and a space of modern innovations, a great return to the liberated territories, a clean environment and a country of green growth.

And the main place is again given to the citizens of the country, their social problems. In particular, the head of state points out the need for social protection of low-income and vulnerable segments of the population, people with disabilities, including children under 18, which should be strengthened through a more effective and equitable social security system. But for this we need to achieve a decent level of minimum pensions, benefits, scholarships and other social benefits. But all this requires appropriate funding, which is impossible without economic growth.

Ilham Aliyev unveils five main priorities of socio-economic development of Azerbaijan

Moreover, economic growth is seen in innovative and effective private initiatives. Therefore, the President calls for strengthening public-private partnerships, reviving the activity of the innovative private sector and increasing its share in financing the non-oil sector. Oil, as one can see, for the next ten years will remain in the monopoly of the state, which has its own clear rules. But the private sector receives special attention. Therefore, the business environment needs to be improved so that the private sector, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, becomes the main source of economic growth and employment. And this requires increasing the transparency of the judicial system and preventing unfair competition. A new transparent privatisation strategy should be implemented, and the economic efficiency of business promotion mechanisms should be increased. Tax and customs policies should serve as an incentive for entrepreneurship, while creating adequate opportunities to meet government spending.

It is gratifying that the head of state is seeking to gradually reduce the share of transfers from the State Oil Fund to the budget, the goal is to maintain a stable level of foreign exchange reserves. And put the total debt at the service of macroeconomic stability, including the stability of the state budget. In the long term, the economy's resistance to internal and external influences should be strengthened, macroeconomic stability should be strengthened. It is necessary to form a fiscal framework based on a budgetary rule in accordance with the new realities. Only a diversified economy can be sustainable.

The development of the economy requires attracting foreign direct investment in the economy, including strategic investors in infrastructure areas. It is only necessary to ensure the protection of national interests and effective regulation of investments by creating a competitive environment for foreign investors. At the same time, it is necessary to increase the economic efficiency of state investments and the activities of state-owned companies, and to raise the level of their transparency. The head of state instructs to create a basis for the activities of state-owned companies within the framework of commercial principles, applying corporate governance standards taking into account the best international practices, and ensuring an increase in profitability.

And, of course, the shadow economy should be minimised, and the level of transparency in the private and public sectors should be brought to the highest standards. The use of a modern culture of corporate behaviour in economic management should be expanded and encouraged, the fight against corruption should be strengthened, and a modern civil service system and ethics should be formed to meet new challenges.

Development should provide the regions with a standard of living comparable to that of the capital; the share of regions in the national income should be increased. Yes, the capital developed faster than the regions. But in the long term, it is necessary to adjust their level of development. The necessary economic and social infrastructure in the regions has already been created for this, and in order to further increase economic activity, the labour force existing in the regions and all resources must be fully involved in the economic turnover. Rapid development must be accompanied by people's access to quality economic opportunities and physical infrastructure.

To fully meet the needs of present and future generations, it is planned to expand the use of environmentally friendly 'green' technologies, the share of alternative and renewable energy sources in consumption in all sectors of the economy in order to reduce the impact on the climate. For the same purpose, the use of environmentally friendly vehicles will be expanded. And through the effective use of the economic potential of the liberated territories, it is necessary to ensure the pre-occupation level of the population here. To successfully implement this priority, it is necessary to achieve two goals -- sustainable settlement and reintegration into economic activity.

As one can see, in the next ten years Azerbaijan faces great challenges. The head of state has clearly defined national priorities for social and economic development. There is nothing unexpected about them. These tasks were previously set before the government. And they were solved. But today they are formulated in accordance with the new realities, and there is no reason to postpone them.

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