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World Bank: Azerbaijan shows greatest growth in region for 25 years [PHOTO]

19 September 2017 [16:25] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

Azerbaijan has shown the greatest economic growth in the region of European countries and Central Asia for 25 years.

The vice-president of World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region, Cyril Muller, announced about this at a ceremony dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Azerbaijan-WB cooperation in Baku on September 19.

Muller stressed that the Bank has been cooperating with Azerbaijan since the 1990s, the most difficult period for the country.

“During the period of cooperation, Azerbaijan has shown the greatest growth in the region I oversee. During this period the poverty level in the country fell below the rate of 10 percent,” he said, adding that the WB is proud that it can link itself to the successes achieved by Azerbaijan in 25 years.

Azerbaijan joined the WB Group in 1992. Over the past years, the WB has allocated about $3.5 billion for the implementation of more than 50 projects in Azerbaijan. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is also a member of the WB Group, has issued loans worth $470 million for Azerbaijan to implement 56 projects.

Chairman of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) Elman Rustamov, in turn, noted that currently, the WB is implementing 10 projects in Azerbaijan totaling $1.4 billion.

He stressed that the WB portfolio in Azerbaijan is one of the largest among the CIS countries.

The Bank supports the development of education and healthcare in Azerbaijan, transport, water supply and sewage systems, agriculture, energy sector, etc, he added.

The WB has helped introduce independent technical supervision, which is now used in all road construction projects in Azerbaijan. The Agricultural Competitiveness Improvement Project of the WB has supported a country-wide vaccination program against brucellosis. This vaccination program makes meat and dairy products safe for people. 

The Bank also supported the improvement of the education system by helping develop a new curriculum, teaching materials and methods and by training around 160,000 teachers across the country.  

Further Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov stressed that the WB has allocated up to $170 million for projects related to IDPs and refugees in Azerbaijan.

Hailing that Azerbaijan has benefited from cooperation with the World Bank, he said the WB was also able to use the management system and mechanisms, created by national leader Heydar Aliyev and President Ilham Aliyev, in improving the socio-economic situation of IDPs and refugees.

Hasanov added that subsequently, the World Bank managed to use these mechanisms in other countries.

Azerbaijan has become an attractive investment destination for foreign investors, Finance Minister Shahin Mustafayev said when addressing the event.

“The number of the country`s trade partners reached 180,” he said. “The investments in the fixed capital of Azerbaijan amounted to about $200 billion. At the same time 76 billion of direct investment has been made in Azerbaijan by foreign investors.”

Mustafayev further added that the EU countries invested $3 billion in the non-oil sector of the Azerbaijani economy, which accounts for 35 percent of the total investment in this sector. Currently, there are over 1,300 European companies operating in the country.

Over the past years, total output in Azerbaijan has increased 22 times and the state budget has seen more than a 26-fold growth, the minister emphasized.

“The World Bank has provided technical support to increase competitiveness, develop industrial parks and districts in our country,” the Minister said.

Today, the World Bank program in Azerbaijan supports the country’s economic diversification agenda, as well as the delivery of quality, accessible and effective public services.

The World Bank Group is also financing the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) with a $ 800 million loan from IBRD and up to US$ 1.2 billion from a MIGA guarantee to support the diversification of energy export markets and to increase revenues. 

Minister of Finance Samir Sharifov, commenting on the WB-Azerbaijan cooperation, said that Azerbaijan has become a middle-income country, and increased its per capita income.

“Today, Azerbaijan is actively cooperating with five World Bank members, and I believe that our cooperation with the World Bank will continue to be successful and will serve the development of Azerbaijan, " he noted.

Later, the event saw presentation of a new postal stamp dedicated to the 25th anniversary of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the WB.

Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Elmir Velizadeh, presenting the stamp, noted that 25,000 copies of these stamps were issued.

“We hope that this stamp will be known throughout the world as a symbol of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the World Bank,” Velizade said.

Deputy Prime Minister Abid Sharifov and WB Regional Director Mercy Tembon then signed and approved the stamps.

The WB further awarded gratitude certificates to a number of government officials.The certificates were handed to Abid Sharifov , Ali Hasanov, Elman Rustamov, Shahin Mustafayev,   Samir Sharifov and head of the Cabinet of Ministers on work with international financial institutions Nail Fataliyev.

Founded in 1944, the WB has 189 member countries, staff from more 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations.

Today the Bank Group’s work touches nearly every sector that is important to fighting poverty, supporting economic growth, and ensuring sustainable gains in the quality of people’s lives in developing countries.














































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