By Nigar Abbasova
Azerbaijan, with its favorable location at the crossroads of East and West and wide range of promising investment opportunities and planned projects, is considered as very attractive for foreign investments.
The volume of foreign investments made in the fixed capital of Azerbaijan in January-July 2016 stood at 4.92 billion manats ($ 3.03 billion) recording an increase by 27.1 percent as compared to the same index of 2015, the State Statistics Committee reported.
Some 87.9 percent (4.33 billion manats ($ 2.67)) of investments made by foreign countries and international organizations to the economy of Azerbaijan in the reported period fell to a share of investors from Great Britain, Turkey, Malaysia, Switzerland, Russia, USA, and Japan.
The biggest portion of foreign investments in the fixed capital of the country, which was made in April, amounted to 935.1 million manats ($ 576.9), while minimal volume was made in May and totaled 544.1 million manats ($ 335.6 million)
The country is currently engaged in the implementation of different projects that cover many regions of the country and envisage development of such spheres as agriculture, heavy and light industry, alternative energy, tourism, information technologies, construction, which are considered to be priority areas of the national economy and are able to catch interest of investors.
The country plans to minimize its oil dependence, which requires ensuring growth of non-oil sector of economy and increasing the volume of foreign investment in this field. Azerbaijan has already took certain steps to improve conditions for attraction of foreign investors by creating new industrial, chemical, and high-tech parks. Investors wishing to work in these parks are granted with tax and customs privileges, allowing them to reduce their production costs. All foreign investment is adequately protected in the country, enhancing investor confidence in Azerbaijan.
Agriculture and food industry of the country, which offers appealing prospects, is considered to be attractive for investors. The fertile lands, abundance of water and climatic diversity create favorable conditions for a strong agricultural sector in the country. Experts state that within three years, this sector will bring significant revenues to the state budget due to increased demand for processed agricultural products.
Priority investment areas in the sphere of tourism are construction of hotels, tourism complexes, recreation zones, as well as development of touristic sites.
Favorable geographic location promises expansion of transport routes, which will further increase the country’s attractiveness to investors in terms of easy delivery of products made in Azerbaijan to other markets.
Azerbaijan currently ranks 63 out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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