Country plans to convert public debt into manats

21 May 2019 11:08 (UTC+04:00)

By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade

Reforms carried out in Azerbaijan to strengthen the macroeconomic and financial stability positively affect the economic situation.

Finance Minister Samir Sharifov said at a regional public debt management forum that management of public debt is part of reforms which have been implemented in the country and these reforms have already begun to yield results.

"We managed to reduce the government’s debt in foreign currency in the share of GDP by 17 percent. Today, Azerbaijan’s nominated debt in foreign currency makes up only one fifth of the country's total income," the Minister said.

Sharifov noted that reforms bear fruits, macroeconomic environment has stabilized, economy is back to growth route and the non-oil sector is developing.

Further, the finance minister emphasized that at the beginning of this year, the strategy of regulating Azerbaijan’s public debt allowed reducing the debt in foreign currency from 24 to 19 percent of the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

He stressed that Azerbaijan plans to convert the public debt in foreign currency to national currency debt and added that one of the important goals of the state policy is to improve public debt management.

Sharifov stated that Azerbaijan’s nominated debt in foreign currency makes up only one fifth of the country's total income.

In addition, he said that according to the calculations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), at the end of 2018, global public debt exceeds $69 trillion, which is more than 80 percent of world GDP.

"In developing countries, the level of public debt is lower, but growth trends have been felt lately. The national debt in these countries has grown by 50 percent compared to 2012," the minister stated.

He also touched upon the cooperation with the Asian Development Bank, noting that to date, the Bank has invested in 23 projects in Azerbaijan worth $3.7 billion.

The minister added that Azerbaijan highly appreciates the cooperation with ADB and stressed that the regional public debt management forum will be a new phase of cooperation between the Bank and Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan joined ADB in 1999 and its share in the bank is 0.5 percent. In 2004, the Bank's local representative office was opened in our country. Azerbaijan hosted the 48th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Bank in 2015.

The main objective of ADB is to support the economic development of member countries and to help alleviate poverty and improve the living standards of the population.

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Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1

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