By Nigar Abbasova
The realization of integrated measures envisaged in large-scale economic reforms that are underway in Azerbaijan are expected to provide for a swift transition to an export-oriented economy.
The recently presented strategic road maps for the national economy and its main economic sectors are assessed by experts as the main legal instrument to reach the objective.
In an exclusive interview with Azertag, Candidate of economic sciences Ali Hajiyev, said that the existence of a special and innovative development model is crucial for the post-oil era, mentioning that the fundamentals for the establishment of the inclusive and integrated model are reflected in the road maps.
“The document comprises consolidated measures aimed at minimization of negative impacts of the global economic slowdown. It will allow to create a new development model basing on short-term (until 2020), medium-term (until 2025) and long-term measures (post 2025) to be implemented in different spheres of economy,” he said, noting that the implementation of measures envisaged in the document will result in the establishment of a strong and inclusive economy.
The strategic road maps up to 2025 and beyond cover almost all sectors of the economy. Proper and timely implementation of measures envisaged in the documents is planned to require some 27 billion manats ($14.79 billion), while the sum will be provided through the state and private sources.
Hajiyev went on to say that the transition to a new model will allow the country to increase its income rate per capita by almost 5 percent. Moreover, the country which is currently in the list of low and middle income states, according to the World Bank, will manage to get the status of a high income country.
The expert said that the spheres of heavy industry and machine engineering are currently in anticipation of a new industrial revolution. In this regard the development of these spheres is of strategic importance for Azerbaijan.
“The industrial revolution, heavy industry and mechanical engineering have always taken a dominant position in the sphere. Therefore, they should stand in the attentional spotlight,” he said.
Mentioning the importance of the Road Map for the development of heavy industry and machinery, he said that despite a huge drop in oil prices, the country has managed to increase its industrial potential by 0.2 in recent years. He noted that the growth is linked to the fact that the sphere has good opportunities for the development.
The country intends to achieve a significant GDP growth through the implementation of measures envisaged in the Road Map for the development of heavy industry and machinery, by creating some 7,700 new jobs. A lion’s share of the growth, some 1 billion manats, is planned to be achieved through the development of mining industry and metallurgy, while some 250 million manats will be provided through enhancing the efficiency in the sector.
“The specific weight of the industry in the economy of Azerbaijan exceeds the average relevant index of European countries by 30 percent. Azerbaijan ranks among the leading countries for the share of industry in GDP, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe,” Hajiyev said.
He added that the first stage of the industrial development in Azerbaijan was based on hydrocarbon resources, emphasizing that the second stage should be based on efficiency.
Hajiyev went on to say that the era of industrialization has begun in Azerbaijan, mentioning that main peculiarities of the period is the development of regions, innovations, increased volume of industrial export, and competitiveness of the economy.
The short-term (2016-2020) objectives of the road map for heavy industry include creation of a competitive sector, provision of financial resources for its development. The implementation of these measures will allow to increase GDP by almost 560 million manats ($306.8 million).
Strategic goals covering the period until 2020 envisage enabling large industrial enterprises of the country to meet major domestic demand. At the same time, the share of Azerbaijani industrial production will be increased in the regional market, and achieving the long-term objectives (by 2025) will considerably boost the competitiveness of the country in the regional level. The measures designed for the period until 2025 will turn the country into a centre of machine engineering. Post-2025 objectives envision making the country an integral part of the global value chains.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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