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Azerbaijan's economic progress in 2023: Key highlights from Budget Execution Report

23 May 2024 20:18 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan's economic progress in 2023: Key highlights from Budget Execution Report
Nazrin Abdul
Nazrin Abdul
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The recent disclosure of the "Execution of the 2023 state budget of the Republic of Azerbaijan" illuminates a robust trajectory in the nation's economic landscape over the past year, Azernews reports.

Allocations from the state budget of 2023, amounting to 5,581.6 million manats, have been earmarked for the reconstruction and rejuvenation of territories liberated from occupation.

Of these funds, 86 percent, totaling 4,800 million manats, are designated for planned expenses associated with the revitalization of these regions. Further breakdown reveals allocations from various funds, including the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan's reserve fund and the state budget's reserve fund, highlighting a meticulous financial strategy.

145.4 million manats, or 2.6 percent, come from the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan's reserve fund, 138.9 million manats, or 2.5 percent, come from the state budget's reserve fund, 32.5 million manats, or 0.6 percent, come from state capital investment (investment costs), and 464.8 million manats, or 8.3 percent, are allocated to purposeful expenses provided for in the state budget.

A significant portion of the allocated funds, totaling 5,245.5 million manats, is directed towards infrastructure projects, underscoring the nation's commitment to revitalization efforts. Noteworthy investments encompass the construction and reconstruction of road infrastructure, residential complexes, hydropower plants, and other critical infrastructural assets, reflecting a comprehensive approach to development.

Out of the allocated funds, 5,245.5 million manats are designated for the construction and reconstruction of infrastructure projects, including 3,773.8 million manats for the design, construction, and reconstruction of road infrastructures (3,471.8 million manats for highways, 302 million manats for railways), design and construction of new residential complexes (839.5 million manats), construction of new hydropower plants and energy hubs (337.4 million manats), reclamation works (245.5 million manats), implementation of cadastral services (16.6 million manats), improvement of drinking water supply of areas (6.6 million manats), construction of tourism infrastructure (4.3 million manats), creation of solid household waste infrastructure (2.9 million manats), and other infrastructure projects (18.9 million manats). Additionally, 110.2 million manats are allocated for mine clearance, 106.8 million manats for the construction and repair of defense and law enforcement facilities, 59.7 million manats for social projects (education, healthcare, culture, sports, and other such social events), and 59.4 million manats are allocated to other measures.

Moreover, the report highlights a commendable surge in the export of non-oil and gas products, registering a notable increase in both actual prices and real terms compared to the previous year. This uptrend underscores the diversification efforts within Azerbaijan's economy, fostering resilience and sustainability.

In the report, export of non-oil and gas products saw a notable increase of 9.8 percent in actual prices and 3.9 percent in real terms compared to the previous year, reaching a total of $3.348 billion.

Additionally, the report indicates a 17.1 percent growth in the country's total foreign exchange reserves by the end of 2023, surpassing $68.5 billion. This surplus balance of payments, equivalent to 94.7 percent of the gross domestic product, exceeds foreign public debt approximately 10.6 times and supports 34 months of goods and services imports.

Despite a slight decrease of 1.1 percent in industrial product production, the non-oil and gas sector demonstrated resilience with an 8 percent increase, contrasting a 2 percent decrease in the oil and gas sector.

This divergence highlights the evolving dynamics within Azerbaijan's economic landscape, with a shifting emphasis towards non-oil sectors.

Investments in main capital witnessed a significant rise of 9.8 percent compared to the previous year, totaling 20.3 billion manats. The majority of investments (80.9 percent) were sourced internally, with $6.3 billion (30.9 percent) directed to the oil sector and $14 billion (69.1 percent) to the non-oil sector. Notably, the volume of funds directed to the non-oil sector saw a robust 9.3 percent increase.

This influx of investments underscores confidence in Azerbaijan's burgeoning non-oil industries, signaling a paradigm shift in the nation's economic trajectory.

Furthermore, the substantial allocation towards defence and national security expenditures underscores Azerbaijan's unwavering commitment to safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

For the purpose of strengthening the country's defence potential and further improving the material-technical support of the armed forces, an amount of 1,392.1 million manats has been allocated from the state budget, reserve funds, and other reserve funds. With this allocation, defence and national security expenditures in the state budget for 2023 amounted to 19.9 percent, or 7,246.9 million manats.

The notable increase in allocations for special defence projects further underscores the nation's proactive approach towards bolstering its defence capabilities.

It is noted that this amount is 1,560.5 million manats, or 27.4 percent higher compared to 2022. Last year's state budget allocated 5,854.8 million manats for defence and national security expenditures, representing an increase of 958.5 million manats, or 19.6 percent, compared to 2022. These expenditures constituted 4.8 percent of GDP (compared to 1.1 percent in 2022) for the Ministry of Defence and 16.1 percent (compared to 0.8 percent in 2022) for state budget expenditures.

In addition to the state budget's additional reserves, 815.9 million manats have been allocated for special defence projects and initiatives, totaling 3,883.9 million manats for the year, which is 994.5 million manats (34.4 percent) more than in 2022.

In summation, the execution of the 2023 state budget of the Republic of Azerbaijan reflects a judicious balance between reconstruction efforts, economic diversification, and national security imperatives. Moving forward, these strategic initiatives are poised to underpin Azerbaijan's continued socio-economic development and resilience in the face of evolving global challenges.

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