New era in liberated economic regions of Azerbaijan
The fact that Azerbaijan is considered the eye of the South Caucasus from an economic point of view is not a questionable fact. However, the fact that the state of Azerbaijan always takes on big responsibilities has made it necessary to implement large-scale projects in the future. During the 30-year occupation, it was impossible to think about it, but today those realities have already been left behind.
The glorious Azerbaijan Army drives the enemy out of the occupied territories in the 44-day war under the leadership of the Supreme Commander in Chief. Immediately after the end of the Patriotic War, reconstruction and restoration works were started in the territories freed from occupation.
One of the regrettable points is that all the road infrastructure and buildings in the areas are completely destroyed during the flood. Despite all this, Azerbaijan undertook this difficult mission and carried out the restoration of the destroyed areas within 2.5 years.
In any case, inventory work is ongoing and recorded losses will serve as a documentary basis for future legal claims for compensation.
Despite all the unsuccessful attempts of Armenia to destabilize the border, the work started in the direction of the restoration of the liberated territories of Azerbaijan and the development of their economic potential continues rapidly. Large infrastructure is being created in two economic regions - Karabakh and East Zangazur.
"In creating the Karabakh and East Zangazur economic regions, they have a strategic purpose because they are liberated regions where there has been no Azerbaijani presence for 30 years, and this is a demonstration that there is a holistic approach to the restoration of these regions and their development," Azerbaijani political analyst Farhad Mammadov told Azernews.
According to the pundit, the administrative-territorial division of Azerbaijan implies districts that are not large in area, but economic, which are more interconnected with big development plans than a territorially small region.
"The political side of the matter is also very important here, because the Karabakh economic region also contains the territory where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is temporarily stationed, where the Armenian population lives, and it takes the whole territory, which improves conditions for the implementation of integration processes," F.Mammadov said.
The economy in Karabakh will develop in six main areas: agribusiness, food processing, mining, green energy, logistics, and tourism.
One of the important moments in construction works carried out by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in the liberated territories was the restoration of historical, religious, and cultural monuments. Among the priority works carried out in this direction are restoration and reconstruction of Juma Mosque in Aghdam, Yukhari Govkhar Agha, Ashagi Govkhar Agha, Saatli Mosque in Shusha, as well as the madrasah located in the yard of Yukhari Govkhar Agha Mosque. The construction of a new mosque in Shusha City was launched. Construction of mosques in Zangilan, Hadrut, and Dashalti has also started. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is doing all this at its own expense.
Farhad Mammadov also stressed the importance of economic districts in the liberated lands. "East Zangazur economic region is important from the political point of view because it implies in the future the development of relations with West Zangazur, which is now the territory of Armenia, because historically it was a single region, and in case of normalization of relations with Armenia, relations of East Zangazur region with West Zangazur, that is, with the region, which today is within the borders of the Republic of Armenia, will be considered as a whole development of the region," he stressed.
Speaking about Azerbaijan's main goal in investing in the Karabakh and Zangazur economic region the expert said: "The President of Azerbaijan said that from the beginning of the year the state budget revenues were higher than planned, and it was necessary to revise the budget in the middle of the year. Surplus revenues were directed to investment projects in the liberated territories, which demonstrates that Azerbaijan is accelerating the process of reconstruction, creation of infrastructure, roads, electricity, water, sewerage, etc., in order to accelerate the process of return of Azerbaijanis to the liberated territories".
Azerbaijan is implementing projects based on completely new, modern standards, declaring Karabakh and East Zangazur a green energy zone. There will be only renewable energy sources there, which will satisfy not only the needs of the population and industry but will also be very useful for the rest of the country.
"In principle, the liberated territories, and the production capacities that will be created there, will play an important role in increasing the economic activity of Azerbaijan, in increasing the gross domestic product, as well as play a role in the process of economic diversification, which is the most important element in the economic development of Azerbaijan," the pundit added.
Most of Lachin was rebuilt in eight months. By the end of June, many more Azerbaijanis will have returned to their hometown. At first, about 4,000 people will live in Lachin. In the first stage, 700 houses for 764 families were built in Lachin during 8 months of work, and works on the second stage are going on, workplaces will be created in the town, where 1100 people will be employed. An agro-park and an industrial park will also be established in Lachin.
Azerbaijan is carrying out large-scale reconstruction works in the liberated territories at the expense of its own financial resources where the Azerbaijani government has spent about $4 bn on reconstruction works in 2021-2022 in the liberated Karabakh and East Zangazur regions. Besides, according to the updates to the 2023 state budget, the state funds destined for the ongoing and new reconstruction projects in the both regions will be increased by AZN 3bn.
Thus, Azerbaijan is reviving the territories that have been longed for by humans for 30 years and thus starting a new era in the most strategic regions of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is capable of this, and despite some obstacles ahead, there is no turning back even a single step on this path.
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