President Ilham Aliyev` s economic development model ensured Azerbaijan`s sustainable economic boom
Q: The year 2014 ended. What were the highlights of the past year in terms of socio-economic development of the country?
A: Since the presidency of national leader Heydar Aliyev, and throughout the administration of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has undergone an economic transformation. From the constrictive restraints of the Soviet economic model, Azerbaijan has rapidly undertaken steps to become a market economy that has achieved regional and global economic and geopolitical reach.
Azerbaijan is among the most dynamic and successfully developing countries worldwide, one can expect the country's further successful future while preserving the current dynamics of the economic development.
The year 2014 was a success for Azerbaijan in all areas. It was the year of industry, and numerous industrial enterprises and other facilities were constructed in the country.
Two state programs on the development of regions have considerably boosted the socio-economic development of the country. Azerbaijan is now considered a new role model in terms of economic development. The country has managed to preserve the dynamic pace of development and to achieve rapid growth in non-oil sector of the economy. Significant contribution to the dynamic development of the non-oil sector of the country and increase in production volume of the export-oriented and competitive products contributes to the implementation of government programs on socio-economic development of Baku settlements and the regions of country which gave a jump-start to the expansion of business activities.
Azerbaijan is the author and the initiator of massive energy projects of the geopolitical significance. These projects have drawn particular attention of the leading analysts. They are two features here: first, they are economically viable and second, in geopolitical terms, they may play a crucial role in the establishment of a global energy security system. The Southern Gas Corridor is one of such projects. This project is important for us, the same as for Europe. Today we start real work with participation of many countries. We are committed to the timely and highly profitable implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project.
Q: Municipal elections can be considered a highlight of the past year. Radical opposition attempted to cast shadow on the result of these elections, but in vain. The elections took place in a free democratic, just manner. We would like to learn your opinion on the municipal elections…
A: Municipal elections were held to 1,607 municipalities in 5,015 polling stations of 118 constituencies, except the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.All 1,607 municipalities have been formed, 15,035 leading candidates nominated. As a member of parliament I also monitored the election in Gusar region, and can say that turnout was high there. This means that our people are familiar with the activity of local self-governance bodies, and appreciate their role. Reforms taken in this area have considerably improved the work of municipalities. All conditions were created across the country to ensure the conduct of free, fair and democratic elections. The elections were observed by more than 50,000 monitors, and all of them agreed at the end that there were no infringements and irregularities.
These elections marked success for the New Azerbaijan Party. As in previous elections our citizens put great trust in our representatives and once again proved their commitment to the policy, which was founded by national leader Heydar Aliyev and is now successfully continued by President Ilham Aliyev.
And allegations and lies of the radical opposition should not be taken seriously. Last year they wanted to stage a demonstration, but their attempt was a fiasco. They cannot gather more than 200 or 300 people. This clearly demonstrates that people do not trust them. They do not have a social basis in the society.
Q: What can you say of the state programs for the development of the regions?
A: The reforms carried out in Azerbaijan and the sound policies have given an impetus to the comprehensive development of our country. Today Azerbaijan is looking to the future with very high hopes and optimism. The key to this is our economic independence, our economic strength and political will.
The adoption of the first program in 2004 has played a special role in the development of the regions of Azerbaijan. The first five-year program managed to create a major change in the regions. After this, the second program was adopted. The program covering the years 2009-2013 has also been completed.
Over the last 12 years Azerbaijan has developed most rapidly in the world. The main prerequisites for this are the reforms, the stability and public order observed in our country. Of course, stability and sound policies have created favorable conditions for the development of the economic sphere. In Azerbaijan, economic reforms are complemented by political transformation.
The next five years we will have sufficient economic, financial and technical resources to successfully implement the third program.
Q: How do you assess the prospects of the country in 2015?
A: First and foremost, we hope that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan`s number one problem, will be justly solved. Azerbaijan has achieved crucial success both in military area and on the international scene. And this has been possible thanks to President Ilham Aliyev`s wise and resolute policy. We believe that the Armenian government will leave its unconstructive policy and withdraw its armed forces from Azerbaijan`s occupied lands.
Next year will be very remarkable for our country. We will host the inaugural European Games. This is a remarkable event both from economic and political points of view. The international community hails Azerbaijan`s growing reputation and its establishment of a new democratic development model.