By Rasana Gasimova
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has made a huge contribution to the government's work in strengthening economy, Azerbaijani Minister of Finance Samir Sharifov said while addressing an event dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the country's cooperation with ADB held in Baku on December 5.
Sharifov said that Azerbaijan is interested in further cooperation with the ADB, noting that thanks to ADB, Azerbaijan has passed a long way of development in all the spheres of economy, as well as in social and cultural spheres.
“During the cooperation, ADB issued loans, grants and rendered technical assistance not only in the field of finance and infrastructure, but also in healthcare and education sectors,” Sharifov said.
He recalled the period of drop in oil prices back in 2015, which affected the national economy, emphasizing that ADB effectively responded to the crisis and allocated $500 million to the Azerbaijani government to minimize the impact on the country’s economy.
Sharifov stressed that ADB thus once again proved that it is Azerbaijan’s reliable and trusted partner.
Sharifov also said that Azerbaijan plans to allocate $7 million in 2020 to participate in donor programs of international financial institutions, noting that this amount is already provided for in the state budget for 2020.
He added that of this amount, $2 million will be allocated to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, $2 million to the Asian Development Fund, and the remaining $3 million will be used as part of a donor program with the World Bank.
Speaking at the event, ADB's Country Director Nariman Mannapbekov said that the bank is pleased with Azerbaijan’s loan portfolio performance.
"Today, ADB's loan portfolio for Azerbaijan amounts to $5.1 billion. The level of portfolio performance is suitable for us. We are proud that we have the largest portfolio among Azerbaijan’s international partners. We are ready to continue supporting the country's development," Mannapbekov said.
Azerbaijan became a member of ADB in 1999. Since then, Azerbaijan and ADB have been working together to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth. In 2004, ADB opened its resident mission in Baku. In May 2015, Azerbaijan hosted ADB’s 48th Annual Meeting.
Today, ADB is Azerbaijan’s largest multilateral development partner with $5 billion of investments in over 80 projects implemented.
ADB plans to allocate $900 million to the country in 2019-2023 within the framework of the new five-year strategy. The main directions of the new strategy include developing the private sector, improving the efficiency of the public sector, improving the infrastructure and strengthening the human capital. Moreover, ADB will provide support in the field of high technologies and finance innovative projects as well as will analyze opportunities of lending in national currency.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz