ADB ready to support social protection projects in Azerbaijan
By Amina Nazarli
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is ready to support the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan in the sphere of labor and social protection of population.
Head of the ADB delegation Giovanni Capannelli made the remark as he met with Azerbaijan’s Labor and Social Protection Minister Salim Muslimov on February 3, Azertac reported.
The minister provided an insight into the dynamics of socio-economic development that Azerbaijan gained in the past period.
"Despite the aggravation of global economic crisis, growing geopolitical and economic tensions in the region, successful reforms courses of President Ilham Aliyev created the conditions for the macroeconomic situation in the country could be protected from adverse external economic influences,” he said.
Muslimov reminded that 1.1 percent increase was provided even last year in the case of the present world economic recession. “Especially, as a positive continuation of the economic diversification processes non-oil industry grew by 8.4 percent and at present, its share in the country's gross domestic product reached 70 percent. Also last year, budget revenues on this sector increased 9.5 percent, last year and 3.6 percent increase manifested itself in the export of non-oil products ."
The minister noted that the implementation of all programs on social sphere is successfully continued, the next steps are being taken to strengthen the social protection of the population.
"Just last year, amount of funds allocated from the state budget for social spending was more than 5 percent compared to 2014, that it confirms once again the policy of the state is socially oriented. In recent days, increasing social payments aimed at socially vulnerable groups, salaries and so on was provided with the relevant documents signed by the head of state".
Muslumov stated that the aim of the new economic policy of the head of state is accelerating development of the non-oil sector nowadays.
"The cooperation ongoing successfully between Azerbaijani government and the Asian Development Bank for a long time covers the non-oil areas and contributes to the development of social infrastructure in the country,” he said adding that social projects implemented by ADB on related to the internally displaced persons, practical benefits are commendable.
"Country Partnership Strategy" approved by Organization in 2014-2018, is of paramount importance in terms of supporting the diversification of the economy in the context of cooperation, development of private sector, as well as measures related to the low-income population, the implementation of an inclusive approach to the social security system, according to the minister.
Capannelli spoke about the projects implemented in cooperation with the government, their positive results.
The meeting also featured discussion of ensuring inclusive social development, cooperation in this field under the conditions of maintaining macroeconomic stability and other issues.
Since becoming the member of the bank in 1999, Azerbaijan has received some 20 project loans, and one project grant totaling $1.64 billion, including six non-sovereign loans of $143 million, and $14.4 million in technical assistance grants to support its development programs.