What will 2018 be remembered for in Azerbaijan?
2018 was the year of stability and execution of global economic projects for Azerbaijan, the deputy of the Milli Mejlis, Asim Mollazade, the deputy director of the Trend international agency Arzu Nagiyev and the economist Rovshan Ibrahimov told in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
The succession of development of Azerbaijan in 2018 was primarily indicated by Asim Mollazade. "It is important that stability is maintained in Azerbaijan, the economy grows. The republic implements a significant number of strategic programs that will further enlarge the country's welfare. At the same time, the main thing for us is still the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. We hope that the international organizations will help Azerbaijan to ensure peace, stability in the region, and the conflict will be resolved, "he said.
"The main result of both domestic and foreign policy of Azerbaijan is its stability. Azerbaijan’s foreign policy strategy is to maintain the mutually beneficial relations at the partnership level. Azerbaijan seeks to achieve similar relations not only with its neighbors but also with all major centers of power," the deputy of Milli Majlis said.
"In 2018, all strategic economic programs were executed according to plans - this is the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars transport corridor, which Azerbaijan created to link the East and the West, and the launch of the TANAP pipeline in Turkey, an essential part of the important Azerbaijani project ‘Southern Gas Corridor’. The work on the final part of the SGC -TAP pipeline continues. We hope that the next year the project of the International Transport Corridor ‘North-South’ will be completed. In general, this year was successful for the strategic Azerbaijani projects, and we look forward to the development of these achievements in the near future", Asim Mollazade concluded.
Arzu Nagiyev agreed that 2018 was a good year for Azerbaijan. “Undoubtedly, the biggest problem - the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict - has not gone away, and yet, diplomatically, Azerbaijan has achieved certain results in this direction. Azerbaijan also managed to eliminate all the slightest security threats during the year, despite the interference of external forces to the internal affairs of the republic. In general, in all directions, 2018 was a good year for Azerbaijan, and now we expect 2019 to be the culmination of the process of solving the Nagorno-Karabakh problem when both the OSCE Minsk Group and the occupiers finally move from the declarative statements to the concrete actions. These are the expectations of the Azerbaijani people, and what was started in 2018 will be the basis for the further implementation of the state reforms, "he said.
"With regard to the foreign policy agenda, the 6th Global Forum, a meeting of the NATO and Russian generals were held in Azerbaijan, which demonstrates Baku’s perception as an effective platform for the international dialogue at the world level. A very important event is the adoption of the Convention on the Status of the Caspian Sea, "the deputy director general of the Trend International Agency said.
"Our non-oil sector began to develop actively, including tourism. Many reforms were carried out in agriculture, long-term business contracts were concluded with many foreign countries, including European ones. Finally, we completed several mega-projects - the Trans-Anatolian TANAP pipeline was launched,’’ Arzu Nagiyev added.
Rovshan Ibragimov specified exactly what reforms of the non-oil sector were especially important. "The greatest importance was given to such sectors as agricultural, transport and petrochemical. It is worth noting that in all these sectors, the new enterprises were initiated and projects were started, some of them have already been completed. We will see the results of these investments in the coming years. The new tax code was approved at the end of 2018, which will also contribute to the development of the non-oil sector of the economy. These two factors are very significant in order to have a completely stable economic situation in the country, "he said.
"Azerbaijan also hosted a number of major international conferences, including the Baku Humanitarian Forum. The year was quite intensive at the bilateral level - for the first time Azerbaijan was visited by German chancellor and Italian president with official visits, which shows an increase in the importance of Azerbaijan in the international arena. Azerbaijan became a platform for negotiations between the highest command of NATO and Russia, which has become a tradition and once again confirmed the status of Azerbaijan as a neutral state and a country that can be trusted ", Rovshan Ibrahimov added.