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Economic diversification is key to successful implementation of Great Return program

20 July 2023 16:00 (UTC+04:00)
Economic diversification is key to successful implementation of Great Return program
Abbas Ganbay
Abbas Ganbay
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Rapid restoration of the territories liberated from occupation, successful implementation of the "Great Return" program is a clear indicator of the policy pursued by President Ilham Aliyev, the strength and power of the Azerbaijani state.

A number of projects, the realization of which is moving along the set path, make themselves known, and one of such projects on "Great Return" is the "smart village" in Aghali, the foundation of which was laid by the head of state in April 2021. To date, starting July 19, 2022, 41 families (about 200 people) have been resettled in four phases as part of the return to the village of Aghali.

But big projects are not over yet. There are greater prospects for the Karabakh Economic Region and East Zangazur. However, if there is one reason that slows down the process, it is the landmine issue.

Fuad Ibrahimov, an economic expert commented on the issue for AZERNEWS, touching on the problem of landmines and unexploded ammunition, which seriously hinder the processes and are still hidden under the ground.

"The work done under the great return program is obvious, the infrastructure works, and everyone understands of course, but in the previous phase of the program, security was not much allocated, this should be considered first. Now, the process of clearing the land of UXOs, landmines and other war remnants is in the security program and it is appreciated, which is much more difficult than the work done, and again, as you mentioned, the infrastructure work within the Great Return program is moving full speed ahead, and security should be considered first," the expert said.

F.Ibrahimov also expressed his positive remarks, noting that despite the difficulties encountered in clearing the liberated lands from landmines, the "Great Return" project continues in full swing.

As mentioned earlier, "smart villages" are being built on the liberated lands, the foundation of which was laid by the head of state Ilham Aliyev, and one of such villages is Aghali village, where more than 420 people from 86 families of Zangilan district live today, with newly built infrastructure and alternative energy sources.

In this regard, the economist clarified the issue of future employment of the residents living there.

"Let me note that the implementation of the issue of employment of the population will form the basis of the Great Return program from now on. Our assets, which will be involved in the economic cycle in a short time, will be stimulated precisely when our citizens fully return. Of course, what we talk is not about 200 people, but about more numbers. I think that announcements about this will be made soon," the economist noted.

In addition, the expert talked about the importance of urban development projects and spoke about their benefits in the future. Explaining the advantages of Aghali village, Fuad Ibrahimov also noted that Azerbaijan currently has a great demand for the development of the non-oil sector.

"It should be taken into account that one of the most priority development programs of Azerbaijan these days is of course the development of the non-oil sector. We need to further diversify this in our economy. The basis of this is the agricultural sector in Azerbaijan. The agricultural sector and urbanization are completely opposite civilizations. Yes, urbanization is the need of the hour. But I am a supporter of moderate and controlled urbanization. From this point of view, I think that it is a "smart village". We will move towards our "smart city" innovations. We should prioritize contour urbanization policy (ruralization) in these matters. I think that the government will also value it in this direction," the expert concluded.

Abbas Ganbay is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @Noend33


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