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Azerbaijan economy to be further diversified in 2014 – expert


April 16, 2014


Azerbaijan achieved high economic growth rates in the first quarter of 2014.

It was stated by Vugar Bayramov, PhD, chairman of the Center for Economic and Social Development, while commenting on the speech delivered by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev at the 13 April Cabinet meeting discussing socio-economic development of the country in the first quarter of 2014 and outstanding tasks.

The GDP growth totaled 2.5% in Azerbaijan in the first quarter, Bayramov said.

“In the first quarter, non-oil GDP grew by 8.8% and national economy maintained growth rates despite reduced volumes of oil output. This shows that economic growth is now ensured due to the non-oil sector,” added the expert.

Cash income of the population increased by 4.5% with inflation settling only at 2% in the report period, Bayramov noted.

“As you can see, population’s income is twice higher than the inflation. Moreover, compared to the first quarter of 2013, average monthly salary nationwide increased by 7% which exceeds inflation rate by 3.5 times. This testifies to a real growth in salaries in Azerbaijan,” Bayramov continued.

Bayramov also emphasized a growth in strategic currency reserves in Azerbaijan.

It amounts to $53bn or 74% of GDP at the moment, he said.

“For comparison, currency reserves totaled almost 69% of GDP in 2013.”

Expert stressed that Azerbaijan is the only country in the CIS who has one-digit external debt, that is, only 8% of GDP.

The outcomes of the first quarter including growth in non-oil GDP enables us to estimate that the economy will continue to be diversified in 2014.

“I believe share of non-oil sector in GDP will exceed the level of 60% and reach at least 62%,” he mentioned.

While addressing the Cabinet meeting, President also stated that the outcomes of three months show that 2014 will be successful for Azerbaijan in terms of economic development.

Azerbaijan could maintain fast growth rates, Aliyev said.

“Our country is moving forward with success in all fields,” Aliyev added.

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