President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev chaired the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on Oct.12 dedicated to the results of socio-economic development in the first nine months of 2015 and objectives for the future.
Addressing the meeting, the president said that Azerbaijan’s economy has been developing throughout the past nine months despite the ongoing crisis in the world, sharp decrease in oil prices, groundless pressure and in some cases, provocations against the country.
During this period, the country’s economy grew by 3.7 percent, industrial production by 2.1 percent, non-oil industry by over 10 percent, and agriculture by 6.7 percent, president Aliyev stressed.
From January to September of 2015, the inflation in Azerbaijan stood at 3.7 percent, the population’s cash income increased by 5.8 percent, he said, adding that $16 billion has been invested in the country’s economy from all sources.
Speaking about the projects implemented in the social sphere, the president noted that 34 schools, 26 kindergartens and 11 medical facilities have been constructed or overhauled in the country during this period.
Ilham Aliyev said great work was done to improve the population’s social state, transparency was ensured in rendering targeted social assistance, adding that 500,000 people, that is114,000 families, receive targeted social assistance.
President Aliyev said that as a result of a consistently pursued government policy for creation of new jobs, 87,000 job vacancies have been opened in the country in nine months, and 67,000 of them are permanent ones.
He related the achievements with the country’s independent policy, and ensuring stability and security, strengthening civil solidarity in Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijani president noted that this year there were significant events to expand the country’s transit capacity, recalling that the first container train from China arrived in Azerbaijan and that the construction of the Azerbaijani section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was completed.
President Aliyev drew attention to that within nine months of this year, considerable amount of work was carried out on the Southern Gas Corridor, as well as serious steps taken to develop the Shah Deniz-2 field and implement the TANAP project.
The president said that significant work was done in the country regarding army building, adding that this sphere will be the priority in 2016 as well and measures will be taken to strengthen the army’s logistics.
The president further touched upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, saying that Azerbaijan possesses superiority on the contact line, all Armenian sabotage attempts have been prevented. The president added that the enemy’s subversive group was destroyed last month on the contact line, and the opposing side suffered heavy losses.
“The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be resolved based on the principles of the international law and within Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity,” Ilham Aliyev said.
With regards to the statement made by the criminal dictatorship regime in Armenia that allegedly, Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Armenia, Ilham Aliyev said that the international community and international organizations recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijan’s territory.
“This statement, made in such a tense psychological situation, exposes and disgraces the Armenian authorities,” said the president, underscoring that nothing else can be expected from Armenia’s junta regime.
“Azerbaijan is a strong state, it has achieved great success in the economic and political sphere and plays an important role in regional issues, and no project can be implemented in the region without our country’s consent and participation,” said President Ilham Aliyev.
He added that the economic and military capabilities further enhance Azerbaijan’s power.
Afterwards, the Azerbaijani Economy and Industry Minister Shahin Mustafayev, Healthcare Minister Ogtay Shiraliyev and Education Minister Mikayil Jabbarov made reports on the work done over the nine months of 2015.
In the closing speech, President Ilham Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan ranked 40th in the global competitiveness index of the Davos Economic Forum.
Thus, Azerbaijan ranks first in the CIS, he said, adding that the international rating agencies have also raised the country’s ratings. The president noted the importance of enhancing the financial discipline in the country and avoiding unnecessary expenditures.
He furthermore underscored the necessity of suspending the allocation of funds for projects that aren’t a priority, reviewing the structure of budgetary spending, and to frugally spend budgetary funds. Aside from that, the president said, entrepreneurs should pay taxes in a timely manner, and unfounded payments shouldn’t be demanded from them.
President Aliyev also noted the need to further strengthen the fight against corruption cases, to continue systemic reforms in this area, and to expand the activity of the ASAN Service.
He spoke about the importance of strengthening the public control in the fight against corruption and bribery.
The president said that in order to ensure a sustainable development of the country, it is necessary to further focus attention on the development of entrepreneurship, foreign investments should be, most of all, directed to non-oil sector, business climate should be improved, mechanisms should be developed to regulate inspections, and the number of inspections and licenses should be significantly reduced.
President Aliyev also noted the importance of developing the agriculture and industry, carrying out land reclamation, and creating new cultivation areas.
He said the control over the situation in the market of medicines needs to be further strengthened.
President Aliyev also noted that the construction of new metro stations should continue.
Noting that the first-ever European Games have even more raised interest in Azerbaijan and gave a momentum to the development of the tourism sector, the president said the sports events to be held in the coming years, will be significant from this point of view.
Afterwards, President Aliyev gave instructions to timely implement the activities related to the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor, and expressed confidence in a successful implementation of all the activities envisaged to be done until the late 2015.