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14.07.2010 10:33

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made opening remarks at a Cabinet meeting he chaired to discuss the outcomes of the socio-economic development in the first half of 2010.

The President said Azerbaijan's economy had developed successfully throughout six months of the current year.

Our national economy saw considerable development in 2009 despite the year was marked by a global financial crisis and economic regression in many world countries. These positive tendencies have been continuing this year, and there has been progress in all spheres of our economy.

In the first half of 2010 our economy grew 3.5 percent. And it is a very good figure. In general, Azerbaijan`s economy is being developed in a diversified manner, and, as you know, developing the non-oil sector is our priority.

On the oil and gas sector, the Azerbaijani President said: What we`ve achieved here is enough for us, and we need to preserve the production rate.

Some 25 million tons of oil and 13 billion cubic meters of gas have been produced in the country in the first half of this year.

If we divide our industrial potential, we`ll see that the increase in the oil sector has been 2.4 percent while in the non-oil sector 15.3 percent.

We`ll continue placing a particular emphasis on developing the non-oil sector, and the fact the increase here exceeded 15 percent proves that Azerbaijan`s economy is a diversified economy. Our goal is developing all spheres of life in Azerbaijan through the effective use of oil revenues, and we`ve get it done.

The President said: Figures in other spheres of economy also show a positive picture. Inflation was 4.9 percent, and this is a normal figure. The population`s incomes increased 9 percent. And this shows that despite the years 2009-2010 were marked by the global crisis, the Azerbaijani citizens have had their incomes rise.

President Ilham Aliyev highlighted the country`s achievements in financial and investment sector.

We`ve created large financial resources. Thanks to our successful oil policy Azerbaijan is today expanding its financial potential. Our currency reserves have increased from 20 to 24.7 billion dollars since the start of the year. And this allows us to fulfill any economic task, realize any infrastructure project by ourselves.

Azerbaijan will further increase its currency reserves, which will ensure our successful economic and independent policy.

Azerbaijan has also been a success in continuing its policy of attracting investments. Azerbaijan has seen a continues flow of investment, while all international financial organizations, the world`s leading organizations, and countries have considerably cut their spending. In general, our economy saw 3.8 billion dollars invested in it, and a part of this comes from abroad.

In previous years we were much more dependant on foreign investment. And a favorable investment climate created in the country has helped us attract investments. Azerbaijan has always been the regional leader in terms of per capita foreign investment. But today our financial resources, our national incomes, ensured on the basis of foreign investment, our currency reserves and our strengthened economy allow us to increase the investment volume year by year. Some 3 billion out of 3.8 billion dollars is domestic investment made on the basis of state programs and with the help of Azerbaijani companies.

Companies representing the private sector are being strengthened. The government has been giving necessary support to them. Public companies are switching to a modern system. We are applying standard accounting, auditing and management systems in public companies in Azerbaijan. We support these processes, and our strategic aim is that all firms under the state control operate on the level of international companies. Their being state-owned doesn`t mean they must be controlled by the government...

On Azerbaijan's social policy, President Ilham Aliyev said we attach a special significance to solving social problems.

All social programs are realized in time, there is no delay in their implementation, we are working to a schedule. Average wages make nearly 400 dollars in Azerbaijan, it is increasing year by year. The first half of 2010 has also seen a growth in average wages. Average pensions make around 130 dollars, and there is an increase here as well. However, we must further increase the pensions and we`ll talk about it today. We`ve done concrete job in every sphere of life hospitals, schools, sports facilities, culture centers. Beautiful and state-of-the-art social facilities which opened in Baku and regions in the first half of the year are a vivid evidence of it.

The President praised a State program on development of the country`s regions.

We can see development in every region. We are investing and realizing socio-economic programs in all regions.

Some 36,000 jobs have been created in Azerbaijan in the first six months. In general, nearly 900,000 jobs have been created in the country in the last six years, with 600,000 of them being permanent.

Azerbaijan has made considerable achievements in decreasing unemployment.

The Azerbaijani President highlighted the country`s military achievements.

We took very important steps in the military industry sphere in 2009. We`ve been strengthening our military potential. Recently we`ve made certain changes to our budget, which now makes 15 billion. We allocated additional 500 million for military spending. And this is part of our single-minded policy. In our case, we must focus, first and foremost, on strengthening the country`s military potential, and we are doing it. Azerbaijan`s military spending is today 2 billion 150 million dollars, which is more than the total budget of Armenia. And we`ve achieved the goal that we set for ourselves a few years ago. This allows us to modernize our army and purchase state-of-the-art weapons and military equipment.

Our military power can play a decisive role in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. However, we don`t want that this to happen. We want the issue to be solved through negotiations, trough diplomatic means. But military power will strengthen our position.

I have expressed my views on the settlement of the conflict during my recent meeting with the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be solved on the basis of the will of the Azerbaijani people.

I want to reiterate that Azerbaijan's territorial integrity has never been and will never be a topic of discussions. And what the mediators propose is that Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity must be restored, the Armenian aggressors must withdraw from all the occupied territories, and Azerbaijanis internally displaces persons - must return and they will return to their native lands, including Nagorno-Karabakh.

And as far as Nagorno-Karabakh`s future status is concerned, no status can be given to Nagorno-Karabakh without the consent of the Azerbaijani state. It is an integral part of the talks. It means that neither Armenia nor the separatists of the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh nor any third force can give a status to Nagorno-Karabakh without Azerbaijan`s participation and consent. And this is the essence of the negotiations. And this is why the Armenians` saying that the day will come when Nagorno-Karabakh will be independent is nothing but their illusion, nothing but their wish, nothing but their dream. The documents on the table clearly show everything related to the status of Nagorno-Karabakh and to how it should be defined.

The Azerbaijani state and the people of Azerbaijan will never grant a status to Nagorno-Karabakh that can separate it from Azerbaijan. And the negotiations contain no mechanism related to Nagorno-Karabakh's separation from Azerbaijan, and they can never contain such a mechanism.

We must be ready to liberate our occupied lands at any time. And, I`m completely confident, that Azerbaijan is today capable of doing it. We`ve considerably increased our military power.
In Armenia, some believe that they have won the first stage of the war. But I think they have lost. Azerbaijan has gone through a big and successful path during the ceasefire period. Azerbaijan is today held in great respect on the international level, and we are playing a decisive role in the region.

Azerbaijan must make it to the rank of the developed countries in terms of the economic progress, and this is our goal. We are a modern country. This is why the first stage of the war decides nothing. It only proves that the people of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani state will never accept this situation and restore, by any means, their territorial integrity.


/AzerTAc/

URL:http://www.today.az/news/politics/70904.html

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