Azerbaijan achieves high financial performance in early 2022
By Ayya Lmahamad
Four years ago, in his speech at the inauguration ceremony, President Ilham Aliyev announced serious and profound reforms, the goals of which were to make the country even stronger, become an even more powerful state, so that the citizens of Azerbaijan would live even better. Now looking at the financial results of the first quarter of 2022 it is possible to say that the country has already made serious progress.
The financial results of the first quarter of 2022 can be assessed as a continuation of Azerbaijan’s achievements. The country has maintained a stable mode despite the external negative impacts, which included the turbulences of the world economy, a sharp rise in inflation, a coronavirus pandemic, and the recent Russian-Ukrainian war.
The country’s development has become possible primarily thanks to an effective system of state management. When talking about the efficiency of public administration, one should keep in mind the serious political will demonstrated by the head of state.
Azerbaijani economy has strong potential for stable and sustainable development. Last year’s socioeconomic results showed that after Azerbaijan’s great victory in the second Karabakh war, the country achieved great progress in the economy by mobilizing its resources in a very short period of time.
Finance Minister Samir Sharifov, while speaking at the meeting dedicated to the results of the first quarter of 2022, noted that last year’s GDP growth was exceeded by 2.2 percent, i.e. it reached 5.6 instead of 3.4 percent. This year Azerbaijan's GDP increased by 6.8 percent, which is indeed a great achievement in the current conditions when even the economies of the world's leading powers are facing problems.
The continuation of these positive trends is also reflected in the execution of the state budget for the first quarter of this year. In January-March, state budget revenues exceeded the forecast by 6.3 percent or AZN 418 million ($245.8m), with budget revenues amounting to AZN 7.1 billion ($4.1bn).
Moreover, speaking about the execution of state budget expenditures, it is worth noting that they are usually not so high in the first quarter of the year. This year though it was 99 percent, and even with this high level, the state budget surplus amounted to AZN 1.38 billion ($811.7m).
At the same time, thanks to the implementation of the external debt management strategy, the country’s foreign debt accounted for 12.5 percent of the GDP. This means that Azerbaijan was able to reduce its external debt by more than $600 million in one year. 12.5 percent is a figure any country can be proud of. Azerbaijan set a goal a few years ago that the country’s foreign debt should not account for more than 10 percent of the gross domestic product, and is successfully approaching that. In addition, taking into account the fact that the world's leading powers have a three-digit external debt to GDP ratio, it is an incredible success.
Azerbaijan also continues to reconstruct the country’s liberated territories at its own expense. So far, Azerbaijan has not received a single manat in support from anyone. The government has allocated funds worth AZN 2.2 billion ($1.2bn) for the implementation of the Karabakh reconstruction program, of which 16 percent or AZN 346 million ($203.5m) have already been executed in the first quarter. Looking at all these measures and the reconstruction work no one should have doubts that Azerbaijan will rebuild both Karabakh and Zangazur as an exemplary region where Azerbaijani citizens will live comfortably and prosperously.
In short, a lot has already been done, as evidenced by facts and figures. It is already possible to say that 2022 should be a year of strengthening positive trends, both nationally and regionally, under the leadership of Ilham Aliyev.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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