Azerbaijani Economy 12 august — 12:15

World Bank predicts economic growth in Azerbaijan

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The World Bank (WB) forecasts the growth of the Azerbaijani economy in 2018 at the level of 0.5-1 per cent, said the head of the Baku office of the bank, Naveed Hassan Naqvi, Trend agency reports.

According to Naqvi, this year the bank expects the country's economy to decrease by approximately 1-1.5 per cent.

'Unfortunately, the economy of Azerbaijan is too dependent on the oil sector, but the decline in energy prices and the subsequent devaluation of the national currency created an opportunity for the development of other sectors of the economy. The current exchange rate will allow many potential agricultural exporters to sell produce at more competitive prices in various markets,' Naqvi said.

The decline in oil prices, Naqvi continued, means that the state's revenues have declined and this forces to think about reforms that will allow to diversify the country's economy.

'Naturally, the Azerbaijani government, proceeding from the situation in the world economy, continues to work on various reforms, in this context we welcome the adoption of strategic road maps that were published in late 2016 - early 2017,' he said.

Naqvi, among other similar reforms, also highlighted the creation of the Financial Stability Board. However, in his opinion, any reforms take time, so it is still too early to speak about their effectiveness. Nevertheless, the interlocutor of the agency added that the reforms implemented by the Azerbaijani government have the potential to have a very good effect on the economy of the country.

The expectations for the economic growth of the Azerbaijani economy from the World Bank are approximately similar to those of other financial organisations. Thus, the International Monetary Fund expects the economy of the Caspian littoral republic to decrease by one per cent in 2017, and in 2018 it will grow by two per cent. The Dutch ING Bank predicts a reduction of one per cent this year and an increase of 1.6 per cent in 2018, the Asian Development Bank - a decrease of 1.1 per cent and an increase of 1.2 percent, respectively, and the international rating agency Standard & Poor's - one per cent decrease and growth by two per cent respectively.

Azerbaijan joined the World Bank Group in 1992.

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