ON SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF REGIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF
AZERBAIJAN FOR 2009-2013 YEARS
Economic and political stability has been achieved in the country, image of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been significantly increased and basis for dynamic development has been founded as a result of large-scale reforms launched by national leader of Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev in the mid of 90s of the last century. The main objective of implemented reforms was to establish democratic state with strong economy. Measures undertaken in the economic sphere were aimed at expanding business activities based on market economy principles, creating new job places and enterprises producing competitive goods through attraction of local and foreign investment, modern technology, and consequently boosting economic power of the country.
Start of implementation of the "Agreement of century" signed in 1994, that marked a new stage in the history of the Republic of Azerbaijan, contributed to significant inflow of foreign investment into the country. One of the priority tasks of the Azerbaijani Government over recent years was to achieve a balanced development of the economy through directing oil and gas revenues, that was increasing on annual basis as a result of successful oil strategy, to the non-oil sector. In this regard, acceleration of development of regions was defined as one of the main targets of economic policy of the Government.
The State Program on "Socio-Economic Development of Regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2004-2008 years" was approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated February 11, 2004 in order to implement comprehensive measures on efficiently using labor, natural and economic resources in regions, accelerating development of the non-oil sector, expanding reforms in agrarian sector, increasing employment of population, decreasing the level of poverty, renewing the infrastructure, creating favorable investment climate, modern enterprises and new job places. At the same time, 17 additional Decrees were signed aimed at speeding up socio-economic development of cities and districts included in Guba-Khachmaz, Sheki-Zagatala, Upper Shirvan, Lenkeran, Aran, Ganja-Gazakh and Upper Garabagh economic regions.
In addition to socio-economic development of regions, the "Action Program on acceleration of socio-economic development of settlements of Baku city for 2006-2007 years" was approved by the Presidential Decree #1338 dated February 27, 2006 in order to upgrade and more effectively use resources of adjacent settlements of Baku city. This Program defined concrete measures covering different areas on each settlement.
As a result of successful implementation of tasks set in both programs, tangible progress was achieved in sustainable development of the non-oil sector, in creation of new enterprises and job places, in rise of quality and quantity of provision of public utilities and social infrastructure in regions, as well as, in Baku city, in further improvement of business climate, in increase of employment of population and in decrease of poverty level. In view of this, "The State Program on Socio-Economic Development of Regions for 2009-2013 years" has been prepared in order to build on achievements of "The State Program on Socio-Economic Development of Regions for 2004-2008 years" and "Action Program on acceleration of socio-economic development of settlements of Baku city for 2006-2007 years".
The Action Plan of the State Program was drafted based on following directions:
1. Measures of national imortance.
2. Measures on districts and settleemnst of Baku city.
3. Measures on economic regions of the country:
3.1. Absheron economic region (Absheron, Xizi districts, Sumgait city);
3.2. Aran economic region (Aghjabedi, Aghdash, Beylagan, Berde, Bilesuvar, Goychay, Hajigabul, Imishli, Kurdemir, Neftchala, Saatli, Sabirabad, Salyan, Ujar, Zerdab districts, Shirvan, Mingechevir, Yevlakh cities);
3.3. Upper Shirvan economic region (Aghsu, Ismayilli, Gobustan, Shamakhi districts);
3.4. Ganja-Gazakh economic region (Aghstafa, Dashkesen, Gedebey, Goranboy, Goygol, Gazakh, Samukh, Shemkir, Tovuz districts, Ganja and Naftalan cities);
3.5. Guba-Khachmaz economic region (Devechi, Khachmaz, Guba, Gusar, Siyezen districts);
3.6. Lenkeran economic region (Astara, Jelilabad, Lerik, Masalli, Yardimli, Lenkeran districts);
3.7. Naxkhchivan economic region (Nakhchivan city, Babek, Julfa, Ordubad, Sederek, Shahbuz, Kengerli, Sherur districts);
3.8. Kelbejer-Lachin economic region1 (Kelbejer, Lachin, Zengilan, Gubadli districts);
1Special program will be prepared and implemented for administrative districts of Kelbejer-Lachin and Upper Garabagh economic regions after they are liberated from Armenian occupation.
3.9. Sheki-Zagatala economic region (Balaken, Gakh, Gebele, Oghuz, Zagatala, Sheki districts);
3.10. Upper Garabagh economic region1 (Aghdam, Terter, Khojavend, Khojali, Shusha, Jebrayil, Fuzuli districts, Khankendi city).
Implementing organizations of the State Program are relevant central and local authorities. The Ministry of Economic Development of The Republic of Azerbaijan coordinates the implementation process.
1. "Main outcomes of implementation of "The State Program on Socio-Economic Development of Regions for 2004-2008 years" and "Action Program on acceleration of socio-economic development of settlements of Baku city for 2006-2007 years"
High growth rate was achieved in macro-economic indicators of the country as a result of successful implementation of "The State Program on Socio-Economic Development of Regions for 2004-2008 years" and execution of actions related to socio-economic development played an important role in improvement of living condition of population. Over the past 5 years, real volume of GDP increased by 2.6 times to reach 38 bln. manats and nominal per capital GDP rose by 5 times to amount to 4440 manats. Moreover, the non-oil sector grew by 1.8 times and share of private sector in GDP was 84.5% according to results of 2008. Over the last 5 years capital investment in the non-oil sector increased by 6.2 times and its share in the structure of overall investment rose from 26.8% in 2003 to 69% in 2008. National industrial and agricultural production increased by 2.5 times and 25.2% respectively.
In addition to speedy development of economy, high growth rate has been observed in indicators reflecting welfare of population. In 2008 income of population increased by 4 timed compared to 2003. During that period of time, monthly wages of employees rose by 3.5 times to exceeded inflation level by 1.7 times and reached 268 manats. Beginning from September 2008, minimum level of wages and pensions amounted to 75 manats. Only 13.2% of population lived in poverty as of end of 2008, while that figure was about 45% in 2003.
Flexible economic policy pursued in Azerbaijan contributed to the State budget, dynamics of its revenues and expenses, as well as, structure. Successful reforms and consequent economic policy led to annual changes in ratio of revenues and expenses of the State budget to GDP. Budgetary-tax policy was mainly directed at strengthening macroeconomic stability, speeding up economic development, further improving socials welfare of population and minimizing budgetary deficit. Flexible budgetary-tax policy paved the way for continuation of measures aimed at further strengthening economic power of the state, developing regions, non-oil sector and entrepreneurship, restructuring production and infrastructure facilities in line with modern standards, improving welfare of population and the State budget became social, investment, development and upgrading oriented budget while being the financial source of economic reforms and state programs.
The amount of capital investment in national economy from all sources was 33.5 bln. manats over the last 5 years, of which 53.2% was local and 46.8% foreign investment. The volume of investment used in 2008 was 3 times as much as it was in 2003 and per capita investment was 605.8 manats higher than in 2003. The share of local investment in overall investment in 2008 was 78.6%, while that figure amounted to 24.8% in 2003.
Over the past 5 years more than 766,000 new, including, 547,500 permanent work places were created as a result of purposeful measures. More than 27500 new enterprises have been established in the country of which about 40% are situated in regions. Enterprises with special property type account for majority of newly established entities.
Maximum level of taxes deducted from revenues of individuals were decreased down to 35%, income taxes and social insurance contributions fell to 22%, total number of taxes brought down to 9 and agricultural producers were exempted from all taxes, except for land tax in order to further improve investment climate in the Republic of Azerbaijan, develop entrepreneurship, as well as, speed up growth of non-oil sector and creation of new job places. Existing licensing system in the country was totally changed, number of businesses subject to licensing were significantly decreased and period of licenses prolonged. Application of new licensing system contributed to promotion of free competition and increase of quality of produced goods and provided services. Besides, export duties were lifted and 15% of maximum level was set for import duties.
Provision of entrepreneurs with soft credits was one of the main directions of state support for entrepreneurship during implementation period of the State Program. 323.4 mln. manats worth loans were allocated to 6991 business entities through funds of the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support within the Ministry of Economic Development over 2004-2008 in order to boost entrepreneurship activities and increase state care in this sphere.
With a view to facilitating access of entrepreneurs to financial resources 567 branches and 99 bank departments were operational in different regions of the country over past years. Regions account for 47% of bank branches and 57% of bank departments. Regular business forums contributed to arrangement of awareness raising events among entrepreneurs and expansion of their ability to get information, as well as, support towards efficient use of existing natural and labour resources of regions and attraction of foreign investment, while bringing together businessmen from different countries and authorities. The Decree of #2458 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on "Measures to ensure organization of activities of business entities based on "single window" principle" was approved on October 25, 2007 in order to further accelerate development of business activities. The Decree envisaged application of the "single window" principle in order to take necessary steps aimed at further improving business climate in the country.
International organizations also highly evaluated reforms aimed at development of entrepreneurship and improvement of business climate. Azerbaijan was declared as the Leading Reformist Country in the sphere of improvement of business climate according to the "Doing Business" report of 2008 prepared by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation that covers evaluation of favorableness of business climate.
Deep reforms carried out in agrarian sector aimed at providing population of the the Republic of Azerbaijan with necessary food stuff paved the way for speeder development of this sector. Large-scale technical and financial assistance provided by the state to agricultural producers played an important role in development of this sector. According to the Decree #23 of the President of The Republic of Azerbaijan on " State support to agricultural producers", about 50% of cost of fuel, motor oil and mineral fertilizers used in agricultural production is reimbursed by the State. This Decree significantly boosted agricultural production. In 2008, wheat production increased by 21.4%, potato production by 40.1%, vegetable production 17.4%, water-melon production by 14.3%, fruit and berry production by 24.6%, grape production by 78.1% compared to 2003.
As a part of the agrarian policy pursued in the country, "Agro-leasing" JSC was established in order to develop leasing relations and 20 different agro-technical services were proved to agricultural producers at their requests. Since 2005, the "Agro-leasing" JSC has brought into the country 7299 agricultural machinery, 27 sets of technological equipment, 236900 tons of mineral fertilizers and 7 types of pesticides with total weight of 294300 tons.
In the framework of the State Program, important measures have been taken aimed at rehabilitating and developing infrastructure in regions, improving access of population to public utilities, including, power, gas and water supply, constructing education and health care facilities, further improving welfare of population, and large-scale investment was directed in this sphere. Large capital investment in the national economy will ensure sustainability of high economic growth rate in the non-oil sector in the long-run.
Oil and energy sector plays an exceptional role in socio-economic development of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, as a leading country of the region, tries to get involved in the integration not only the country but the whole region into Europe and its energy security system. The Republic of Azerbaijan which used to import gas from Russia and Iran now became a gas exporting country over the last 5 years. Over that period of time, completion of a number of great projects such as the construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main oil and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipelines that played an important role in development of the country, creation of the North-South and East-West transport corridors, as well as, beginning of construction of the Baku-Tbilis-Gars railway improved access of people living in regions to infrastructure and markets, paved the solid basis for expansion of business activities, while increasing regional importance of the country.
Construction of new power generating plants in regions of the country ensured meeting demand of the population for electricity and plays an important role in sustainability of energy system. Öt?n Thus, 7 of 9 power generating plants built over the last 5 years are situated in regions. Construction of modular power generating plants in Astara, Sheki, Khachmaz districts, 3 power generating stations in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and new Thermal Power Station in Sumgait city was completed and put into operation. Moreover, new power generatin plants are under construction in Shirvan city, Devechi, Guba and Fuzuli districts. 110 MW capacity modular power generating plant in Baku city and 300 MW capacity "Senegachal" modular power generating station in Garadagh district were constructed and commissioned in order to totally meet demand of the population in capital city for electricity. Independent functionof the "Bak?electrishebeke" and "Sumgaitelectricshebeke" joint stock companies has been reinstated.
As a result of works aimed at improving natural gas provision, access of population in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic to natural gas supply is renewed after 13 years of break, Lerik, Yardimli districts and Horadiz town of Fuzuli district had access to natural gas for the first time, as well as, gas provision to Aghjabedi, Beylagan districts, Guzanli settlement of Aghdam district and other areas was ensured. Currently, works are underway for ensuring gas supply to regions, especially, villages.
75 new boiling houses were constructed and 72 ones thoroughly repaired over 2004-2008 years in order to rehabilitate heating supply in regions. Dozens of boiling houses were built in Baku city in order to improve heating supply to facilities to be provided with centralized heating system, as well as, new gas pipelines were constructed, existing ones thoroughly repaired and reconstructed with a view to improving natural gas supply to population in Sabunchu, Binegedi, Surakahni, Sebail, Garadagh, Nizami, Khetai, Ezizbeyov districts.
With a view to improving water supply and sanitation systems in the country, a number of projects, including, construction of the Oguz-Gabala-Baku water pipeline and relevant works on reconstruction of water supply and sanitation systems in Ganja, Sheki, Agdash, Goychay towns and other small urban areas of the country have been continued over the past period of time through public investment funds and involvement of international financial organizations.
Construction of the Oguz-Gabal-Baku water pipeline carries significant importance in terms of improving access of population to water supply. 5 cubic meters of water per second will be transmitted to Baku city and population will be provided with high quality water through underground water sources in Oguz and Gabala districts after the pipeline is commissioned. Construction of the Takhtakorpu water reservoir will improve by two times drinking, irrigating and technical water supply to Baku and Sumgait cities, as well as, Absheron peninsula in overall. Moreover, commissioning of these facilities will save 15 mln. manats worth electricity a year.
Dynamic socio-economic growth of the country required development of necessary infrastructure, including reliable transport system. The main objective for development of transport system is to pursue favorable transport policy in the service of upgrading living condition of population and ensuring sustainable economic growth, while meeting growing demand of people for transport services. To this end, more than 1000 km length of highways were constructed or thoroughly repaired in regions, 600 km length of roads of national importance and 2700 km length of roads of local importance reconstructed, 69 new bridges built and 34 ones overhauled over the past 5 years.
Over the last 5 years, new airports in line with modern standards were built and put into operation in Nakhchivan, Ganja, Lenkoran and Zagatala cities.
Large and medium capacity buses were brought into the country and put into operation in order to improve transport system and improve passenger carrying service in Baku city. At the same time, with a view to improving regulation and management of transport circulation in Baku city, it's planned to establish intellectual management system of transport operations. Application of this system will allow eradication of problems in passenger carriage and movement of vehicles, and streamlining passenger buses in Baku city.
A number of road junctions and pedestrian passages were built in Baku city and 43.9 km length Khirdalan circle-Binegedi-Balakhani motor road repaired over the past period of time. Construction of the "Baku circle road" of 21.5km length linking 3 highways of the country, the part of road (14 km) between the "Ezizbeyov" subway station to the Airport named after Heydar Aliyev, as well as, 6-strip Zigh-Bina and Bilgah-Pirshaghi motor roads plays an important role in improving transport system of the capital city. Some activities have been taken in subway transport which plays an exceptional role in comfortable and safe transportation of population of Baku city. Thus, the "Nasimi" station was built, "Icherisheher" (Old City) and "28 May" stations were reconstructed. Construction works in the "Azadlig avenue" station are coming to an end.
Projects on expansion of the Hovsan aeration station and reconstruction of the Zigh pumping station #2 are underway in order to improve ecological status of Baku city and prevent discharge of waste water to the Sea. About 100 ha oil polluted areas were undergone recultivation works in Bibiheybet and Sabunchu districts, and 1200 part of open canals for discharge of layer waters were changed with closed concrete-reinforced canals. Biological purifying complexes with 10,000 cubic meters/day capacity were put into operation in Buzovna settlement.
Significant works have been done in recent years in order to improve public utility services provided to population and German, Russian and Japan made specialized machinery have been brought in Baku city from. Application of new equipment and machinery will ensure regular collection and processing of household wastes. The Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on "Improvement of management related to household wastes in Baku city" dated August 6, 2008 plays an important role in terms of implementation of thorough reforms in this sphere. With a view to achieving goals set in the Decree, it was planned to establish the "Tidy City" JSC, construction of burning plant for solid wastes in Balakhani and implementation of the World Bank project on "Comprehensive management of solid household wastes".
In recent days, communication services are of high importance in formation of favorable business climate and improvement of living condition of population in the country. Modern automated telephone stations have been construed and reconstructed, as well as, new post offices were put into operation over the past period of time in order to improve quality of communication services in regions.
Necessary measures have been undertaken in social sphere within the State Program in order to improve housing condition of invalids and martyr families, as well as, to create rehabilitation centers for the disabled. Over that period of time, 33 buildings for the disabled and martyr families, and 7 rehabilitation centers for invalids were constructed in regions.
Special attention is attributed to construction of education facilities, their provision with modern material and technical basis. Over the past 5 years from the adoption of the State Program, 1600 new education facilities and additional buildings for different education facilities were constructed and put into operation. 636 new school buildings were constructed, 192 schools thoroughly repaired and 243 new classrooms at different schools built in regions. Only within the project "New schools for renewing Azerbaijan" of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, 238 school buildings were constructed, 39 education facilities, including, 28 boarding schools thoroughly repaired, 8 kindergartens reconstructed and provided with modern equipment over the past period of time.
Protection of health care of population and further improvement of medical services are in the limelight of the state, while being one of the main direction of socio-economic policy pursued in the Republic of Azerbaijan. High economic growth rate observed in recent years also contributed to health care sector and a number of significant measures have been undertaken, as well as, material and technical framework of medical facilities significantly improved. Over the past period of time, dozens of hospitals, polyclinics and diagnostic centers have been constructed and put into operation, as well as, health care facilities provided with modern medical equipment and devices. New modern treatment-diagnostic centers are operational in Lenkeran, Gazakh, Zagatala, Berde, Gebele districts, Ganja, Nakhchivan and Shirvan cities, as well as, "Real-Med' diagnostic-health care center in Sumgait, "N-KAY M Clinic" in Khachmaz, "Mughan" clinic in Sabirabad, the Central Hospital in Julfa district of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, "Duzdagh" Physio-therapy center in Babek district and other facilities have been built and put into operation.
Policlinics in Khojasen, Ehmedli and Bulbule settlements of Baku city and 125-bed building for TB treatment clinic in Buzavna settlement were constructed. The abolishment of all paid medical services at health care facilities of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan beginning from 2008 year was very important and significant step in terms of protection of health care of population.
Strengthening of sport potential is also of high importance for comprehensive development of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Thus, protection of health care of the youth and their physical development was defined as one of the priority youth policy directions. 18 modern Olympic complexes have been built and put into operation over the past period of time. Construction of 15 such complexes are underway.
Favarable economic climate that is in place created the basis for successful implementation of the State Program. Socio-economic policy to be pursued from now on and establsihed economic potential will contirbute to accelartion and upgarding of economic development, incrase of share of medium strata of population, improvement of welfare of people and fell of poverty level, while playing an important role in ensuring sustainable socio-economic development.
2. Goals, tasks of the State Program and priority directions of regional development
The main goal of the "The State Program on Socio-Economic Development of Regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2009-2013 years" is to achieve acceleration of development of the non-oil sector, diversification of the economy, balanced regional and sustainable socio-economic development, as well as, further improvement of welfare of the population in the country.
The State Program envisages implementation of following tasks in order to achieve set goals:
- To ensure fast development of the non-oil sector, while efficiently using natural and labour resources of the country;
- To carry on measures aimed at improving infrastructure provision;
- To implement purposeful measures on improvement of business climate and further acceleration of development of entrepreneurship;
- To continue attracting investment for development of the economy;
- To stimulate production of export oriented goods;
- To establish modern infrastructure facilities and align existing facilities to international standards;
- To improve provision of population with public services;
- To carry on measures aimed at improving employment of population;
- To decrease poverty level.
Achieving goals set in the State Program and ensuring macro-economic stability for realization of these goals are of high importance. Successful oil strategy contributed to integration of Azerbaijan into international economic system, protection of macro-economic stability through efficient use of oil and gas revenues and paved the way for implementation of regular measures in this sphere.
In view of macro-economic stability, the policy on keeping annual average inflation rate and exchange rate of national currency, which is one of the preconditions for the development of overall economy, including growth of different areas in regions, at favorable level, setting taxes rates at optimal level, prolonging grace period provided to agricultural producers, stimulating creation of new work places, streamlining customs duties and efficiently managing foreign debts will be continued. Prevention of negative influences on macro-economic situation and development of the non-oil sector through increasing currency revenues, decreasing inflations risks, strengthening coordination of fiscal and budgetary-tax policies, controlling growth of the State Budget and other measures are considered as the main directions of economic policy for years to come.
With a view to speeding up integration of the national economy into the world economic system, the process of alignment of legislative framework and standards to international requirements, including, provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be accelerated in order to expand relations of Azerbaijan with respected international organizations and economic unities. Foreign economic policy will be directed at creation of favorable condition for produced goods and protection of local market from unfair competition.
One of the main goals in budgetary-tax policy is to achieve sustainable development of the non-oil sector, keep macro-economic situation of the country stable, efficiently regulate the economy and stimulate its dynamic growth. To this end, it's necessary to expand production, create competitive economy, infrastructure and favorable investment climate, as well as, increase the share of local resources in investment portfolio to be attracted into the economy. At the same time, increasing state support and direct subsidies to the agrarians sector, attracting investment in creation of processing entities, ensuring development of non-oil, non-raw material and tourism sectors of the economy are considered as priority directions for 2009-2013 years.
It's planned to carry out following measures in years to come in order to improve tax system:
- To optimize tax rates;
- To implement tax-customs policy aimed at promotion of entrepreneurship;
- To prolong grace period provided to agricultural producers;
- To establish computer terminals and private tax consultation services with a view to improving and scaling up tax services provided to entrepreneurs.
Special attention will be attributed to implementation of exchange rate policy and streamlining of monetary supply canals that ensure favorable competitive level of manat in fiscal-credit policy in years to come. Fiscal-credit policy will be directed at strengthening macroeconomic stability, as well as, stimulating employment and production in the non-oil sector and regions, its fast and intensive development, increasing investment activeness in real sector, diversifying economy, decreasing poverty level and upgrading living condition of population.
Main objectives in terms of fiscal-credit policy and single state policy for improving financial services in regions will be as following:
- to increase currency reserves of the country;
- to improve and streamline monetary policy and monetary regulation tools and mechanisms;
- to ensure stability and full local convertibility of manat;
- to preserve financial stability in banking system and expand regional bank branch network;
- to undertake stimulating measures on installation of non-cash payment means (POS-terminals, ATM, info-stands);
- to expand scope of insurance and leasing services;
- to apply new economic methods in order to stimulate and develop insurance system in agriculture based on international experience.
Investment policy carries significant importance in terms of ensuring long-term economic and social development of the country. The main task in this field is to create free competitive climate for all investors and improve relevant legislative framework in order to expand investment opportunities in all spheres of the economy and ensure more favorable investment climate.
Transparent and efficient privatization process of enterprises open for privatization will be continued. Purposeful measures will be undertaken for supporting investment activities of enterprises in the non-oil sector and import of modern production equipment promoted.
Public investment policy will be aimed at implementing of such priorities as creation of new work places in regions, ensuring of reliable exploitation of infrastructure facilities, development of human capital and strengthening of social protection of population.
One of the priority directions of the employment policy is to eradicate factors hampering creation of new work places and establish a situation stimulating growth of employment level. In this regard, measures aimed at development of entrepreneurship, especially small and medium size enterprises are of high importance. The main objective of the employment policy in years to come will be to ensure employment of population, while more efficiently using labor resources. Following activities are planned to be implemented in order to achieve that objective:
- to create more favorable condition for development of entrepreneurship, especially small and medium size enterprises;
- to support investment activeness that ensures efficient development of employment;
- to strengthen social protection of jobseekers and jobless people, and carry out measures on legalization of informal labor relations;
- to improve infrastructure aimed at strengthening of dynamic correlation between demand and supply at labor market;
- to adjust HR preparation system, including, operation of vocational training and upgrading networks to requirement of dynamically developing labor market.
The number of foreigners participating in local labor market is incerasing, as national economy devlops. Favarable geopolitical situation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, economic reforsm carried out in the country, development of entrepreneurship, implementation of international communication projects etc. contrubiuted to rise of inflow of labor migration. The main directions of the migration policy will be as following in years to come:
- to efficently use migration process for development of the country;
- to take into consideration of interests of state and society while implementing migration programs;
- to create a condition accelerating adaptation of migrants to current socio-economic situation;
- to protect rights of migrants;
- to prevent illegal migration.
Development of entrepreneurship will constitute one of the priority directions of state policy aimed at diversification of national economy. This policy will be directed at improving legal and regulatory, organizational and financial provisons conducive to business activities in all spheres of the economy, especially, those of development importance. It's planned to carry out following measures in entreprenuership sphere with a view to ensuring economic development:
- to accelerate integration of small and medium entrepreneurship (SME) into the world economy, as well as, strengthening the role of SMEs in increasing export potential and solving social problems of society;
- to optimize structure of entrepreneurship activity in terms of area, regional and technological aspects;
- to expand mutual effective relations, including, production-cooperation ties among small, medium and large enterprises;
- to establish modern organizational models for support to entrepreneurship, including, continue creation of consultation services, information provision, marketing an other structures for entrepreneurs;
- to establish trade fairs;
- to create centers for advancing vocational training for jobless people;
- to prevent interventions in entrepreneurship activities.
Comprehensive implementation of measures aimed at development of the non-oil sector in Azerbaijan will be possible through application of relevant economic mechanisms accelerating production of export-oriented goods. Development of export potential of the country, taking of Azerbaijani goods and services to foreign markets, creation of favorable condition for that purpose and implementation of activities for ensuring efficient integration of national economy into the world economy will be priority directions in years to come.
It's planned to carry out following measures in order to efficiently realize export potential of the country, to establish healthy competition climate at the local market, ensure protection of rights of consumers and adjust standardization and metrology sphere to international requirements:
- to stimulate export in private sector and increase diversity of export-oriented goods;
- to carry out relevant measures on strengthening positions of national producers at foreign markets and improving protection of their rights;
- to implement activities on further improving services in trade, catering and household services, as well as, protection of local market within the WTO principles;
- to strengthen fight against unfair competition and involve entrepreneurs and consumers in implementation of measures on development of competition;
to strengthen control over quality and safety of consumer products.
One of the main objectives in industrial sphere will be to renew operation of and reconstruct exiting industrial enterprises in regions and establish new entities. Special attention will be attributed to rehabilitation of entities for processing agricultural products and increase of their export potential. It's envisaged to carry out following actions in order to achieve the main objective in industry sector:
- to define development directions of the non-oil sector of industry;
- to support production of competitive industrial products and promote creation of entities producing export-oriented industrial goods;
- to streamline and privatize industrial entities that are under state control or control packet of shares of which belong to the state;
- to support operation of entities after privatization process;
- to rehabilitate production in terms of technological aspects;
- to prepare skilled personal.
Successful completion of institutional land and agrarian reforms - creation of new opportunities for agricultural producers over the past period of time will be characterized with the formation of the comprehensive economic system - independent national economy that is based on free market relations and possesses self-development ability in years to come. Development of agricultural production based on different farming forms, including collective farming form will lead to expansion of joint labor cooperation and creation of more productive public power in regions. Development of traditional agricultural areas of Azerbaijan such as wheat, grape, fruit, cotton, tobacco, tea growing, silkworm breading and other spheres will remain as priority task. Reforms in agrarian sector will be continued and special attention given to the development of mountainous regions. Development areas of agriculture sector are followings:
- to improve legal and regulatory framework, scientific and methodic basis and HR preparation system in agrarian sector;
- to connectedly develop raw material production and processing areas and stimulate increase of competitive goods production in agriculture sector;
- to increase financial support to agrarian sector;
- to strengthen material and technical basis of agrarian sector;
- to support new structures that will serve agrarian sector and operate on market principles;
- to improve irrigation and amelioration works in agriculture;
- to ensure efficient use of land and water resources.
Development of tourism sector in the Republic of Azerbaijan and expansion of international relations in this field will be one of the priority directions in years to come. Turning tourism sector into high profitable area of economy, creating efficient and competitive tourism facilities in line with social and ecological requirements and ensuring creation of new jobs in this sphere are among priority issues in terms of development of the non-oil sector. Development directions of the tourism sector are followings:
- to create competitive tourism infrastructure and tourism industry;
- to adjust existing tourism facilities to international standards;
- to prepare and apply advanced methods and standards on tourism service;
- to define legal status of tourism -recreation zones and specify tourism zones and routes in the country;
- to expand international cooperation with countries in HR preparation sphere that have rich experience in tourism sector.
Efficient use of carbohydrates is of exceptional importance in ensuring economic security of the the Republic of Azerbaijan. Ensuring long-term investment of international oil companies in the energy sector through conclusion of the "Contract of Century" contributed to the leading role of Azerbaijan in the energy sphere of the world. The main task of the fuel-energy complex of the country is to ensure more comprehensive satisfaction of the economy and population for energy resources. Main policy direction of the state in this field over 2009-2013 years will be followings:
- to reconstruct and modernize oil-gas extraction, transportation and processing infrastructure;
- to accelerate geological exploration works in new deposits and ambitious structures, and prepare them for exploitation;
- to ensure gas supply to areas lack of natural gas provision;
- to improve energy security provision in the country through creation of new power stations, as well as, expansion of use of alternative and renewable energy sources in view of development of regions and increasing rate of demand for electricity;
- to support entrepreneurship activities in energy sector;
- to continue projects on construction, reconstruction and development of modern power plants;
- to renew power transmission lines and sub-stations or totally replace them with new ones;
The number of newly constructed living accommodations, as well as, service and industrial facilities increased significantly in recent years as a result of favorable condition created for investment in the national economy. This requires reconstruction of relevant public utility infrastructure and its alignment to needs of market economy according to urban planning legislation. It's planned to attune the level of services provided to consumers in housing-utility services area to international standards based on purposeful reforms to be implemented in this field:
- to carry out reconstruction-reinforcement works in buildings and accommodations that are in emergency situation;
- to accelerate restructuring works in public utility services area;
- to rehabilitate, modernize and reconstruct existing heating systems;
- to create new enterprises in collection, transportation, making harmless and processing of household wastes, as well as, involve business sector in this sphere;
- to continue restructuring works in water supply sector and ensure reliable water supple in line with international standards;
- to involve private sector and municipalities in rehabilitation of water supply and sanitation systems, as well as, construction of new lines and devices in cities, district centers and especially in rural areas of the country.
Integration of the Republic of Azerbaijan into the world economic system and expansion of foreign trade requires reconstruction of transport infrastructure, efficient use of existing opportunities as a transit country, inrease of competetiveness of local cargo carriers and development of export of transport services. It's envisaged to ensure effective development of transport system, construct new, modern roads, road facilities, bridges, underground and surface passages and parking areas, improve legal and regulatory framework governing operation of public transport and elaborate other necessary measures in this field. Following measures are planned to be implemented over 2009-2013 years in order to achieve comprehensive development of this field and further improve transport services:
- to comprehensively develop different transport means included in the road-communication complex of the country;
- to ensure balanced development of international transit corridors and roads, as well as, road-transport infrastructure connecting regions and those within cities and districts;
- speedy integration of the national transport-road system into the world communication system based on modernization of transport-communication traffic passing through the country and main transport means;
- to continue implementation of projects on construction, reconstruction and development of roads, communication lines and other infrastructure facilities;
- to ensure balanced development of cargo carriage that realizes cargo exchange among industries and passenger transport that meets one of the social needs of population.
Communication and information technologies are developing at high speed in recent years. In XXI century, transformation to the information society, formation of the e-Government and development of intellectual capacity are included among priority issues in terms of further improving socio-economic growth. At the same time, achieving comprehensive advancement of the country through development of communication and information technologies, especially, implementing the National Strategy on development of information and communication technologies (ICT), as well as planning and carrying out projects in line with defined goals and actions are considered as priority development directions. Different measures are envisaged to ensure transition of the country into information society through developing HR potential, while efficiently using existing capacity, modernizing communication and information technologies sector in terms of organizational, legislative, technical and HR aspects, forming ICT industry, attracting new investment in this field and expanding entrepreneurship.
Relevant measures will be implemented in following directions to achieve set goals in this sphere:
- to cerate developed information and communication infrastructure, as well as to form single national information space;
- to establish e-Government in order to realize efficient, transparent and controllable public administration and self-management systems;
- to ensure efficient use of world information resources in education sector and speed up large utilization of interactive education opportunities;
- to ensure provision of universal communication (telecommunication, ICT and post services) in regions;
- to expand access to internet in all regions.
With a view to preventing negative impacts on environment and improving ecological status in the country, a number of emergent actions should be taken, including, waste waters should be treated in order to restore natural quality of water, air and land in coastal areas of the Caspian Sea, Absheron peninsular and other regions, polluted lands should be recultivated, forests and greens should be planted in large areas, upgrading works should be carried out and other necessary measures should be implemented. In the wake of fast development of the national economy, following actions are required in years to come in order to solve the problem concerning protection of environment and efficient use of natural resources:
- to improve hydrological monitoring system in Kur, Araz and other rivers;
- to expand greening works and upgrade streets and avenues of cities and settlements;
- to continue forest rehabilitation and forest planting works in regions;
- to define forests of recreation importance and ensure service infrastructure for development of eco-tourism;
- to carry on measures related to prevention of water sources from pollution by waste waters, including, trans-border waters;
- to implement actions on prevention of pollution of air with wastes discharged from industrial entities and vehicles;
- to carry out measures aimed at preventing erosion and solinization of lands;
- to strengthen ecological awareness raising activities and further increase environmental training in education facilities.
As it was in previous years, the main objective of social policy in the country in years to come will be to further improve living condition of population, including those residing in regions. One of the priority directions in social welfare of population will be to increase social benefits for underprivileged layer of people, improve social status and living condition of population in need for social protection, as well as decrease overall poverty level. It's planned to continue measures on improving pension provision and incerasing its effeciency in order to ensure social protetcion and decent living condition for citizens.
One of the priority directions of state policy on social security will be to ensure targeting of social benefits and pay special attention to the disabled, war veterans, young families and underprivileged strata of population. Following actions are planned to be implemented in terms of strengthening social protection of population:
- to continue relevant measures on providing social assistance to underprivileged families;
- to improve mortgage loans in order to better meet needs of population, especially, young families for houses;
- to improve housing condition of Garabagh war veterans and martyr families;
- to strengthen social protection and safety of mothers and children;
- to establish child and family centers, including, dedicated leisure facilities and specialized services centers for children;
- to improve health care of population (upgrading quality of food stuff, preventing infectious and sexually transmitted diseases etc.);
- to improve reproductive health care of population and develop family planning services.
Works to be implemented in education sphere will serve to modernization of its structure and content. Creation of material-technical and education-methodic basis that will ensure provision of modern education services to all layers of population and achievement of high socio-economic effciency in eduction system in this regard constitue major part of social policy of the country. At the same time, meeting demand for HR in line with modern requirements, creating necessary condition for the youth to get decent education based on universal values, expanding and improving efficiency of education opportunities at leading education facilities of the world will be among priority issues. Following measures will be implemented in order to achieve those goals:
- to modernize content of education and improve its quality;
- to construct new schools and improve their material and technical basis;
- to strengthen material and technical basis of education facilities in terms of information communication and improve their provision with other necessary digital equipment;
- to supply pupils with free manuals and improve functions of school libraries;
- to ensure equal access to education for all layers of population;
- to improve education of children in need for special care (with limited health ability);
- to speed up reforms in preschool education system, optimize such education facilities, strengthen their material and technical basis and establish new, modern pre-schools in towns, villages and settlements where it's required;
- to accelerate reforms in vocational and tertiary education system, as well as, adjust HR preparation process to requirements of labor market.
One of the main tasks in science sphere is to increase practical importance of conducted researches, as well as, to ensure closer cooperation between scientific-research and design institutions on one side and legal entities and individuals on other side. It's planned to carry out following actions concerning the science in years to come:
- to protect and develop scientific-technical capacity;
- to increase sciences pools in the country and improve their social protection;
- to increase information resources of the state and speed up innovation processes;
- to further accelerate works on coordinating and guiding scientific-research actions conducted at scientific facilities and higher education facilities;
- to efficiently use scientific potential in protection of health of population and ensuring economic security;
- to prepare high skilled persons through education and getting experience at foreign countries.
Measures to be implemented in health care sector over 2009-2013 years should ensure protection of health status of population, further improvement of medical services and creation of new health care system in Azerbaiyan conforming to modern standards. The main objective of the state policy in health care sector is to improve health status of population, prolong average life expectancy and provide people with quality health care services. Priority directions of state policy in health care sector in terms of achieving set goals are as following:
- to expand and improve quality of free health care services within financial capacity of the state;
- to elaborate and implement a set of actions aimed at provision of medical services to underprivileged layer of population;
- to improve nutrition and provision with micro-nutrients among mothers and children;
- to increase scope and quality of medical preventive measures;
- to plan preparation of medical staff in line with requirements of health care sector and ensure training of family doctors;
- to provide state support for creation and operation of medical-industrial entities in order to improve medicine provision at health care facilities;
- to construct new health care facilities in districts;
- to create a single national geographical information system on health care.
Measures will be continued to ensure engagement of each person in physical training and sport in order to ensure healthy life style among population of the Republic of Azerbaijan. With a view to ensuring comprehensive development of population, especially growing young generation, the state policy on physical training and sport sphere will consist of improving health status of population, instilling high moral values in population and implementing measures on preparation for protecting motherland. To this end, following actions will be in the limelight in years to come:
- to continue developing, strengthening and adjusting of material-technical basis of physical training and sport facilities in cities and districts to international standards;
- to develop physical training and sport on scientific base;
- to ensure provision of medical control and services to those engaged in physical training and sport.
Strategic objectives of the state policy in cultural sphere are to preserve and develop cultural potential, heritages and traditions of the country, as well as, improve creation and education system. To this end, following actions are planned to be implemented:
- to strengthen inter-regions cultural ties and integrate national culture into the world cultural process;
- to ensure preservation of cultural heritage of the Republic of Azerbaijan, including, increase number of mobile cultural heritage and museum facilities;
- to protect historical-cultural heritage and cultural potential of the country and carry out comprehensive reforms in museums for this purpose;
- to create modern sorting mechanisms in library facilities, establish and develop information provision and library-information computer network at national level;
- to create collaboration and cooperation among cultural facilities and other line organizations.
Active participation of municipalities has been observed in implementation of a number of important measures aimed at realization of infrastructure projects and improvement of social welfare of population in recent years and their participation in efficient use of local natural and labor resources become necessary. Local self-management bodies will take an active part in solution of social problems of population and implementation of important actions related to development of regions, including, formation of new economic relations, development of entrepreneurship, creation of quality and mutual ties among economic entities.
Implementation of actions envisaged in the State Program will be a significant stage in socio-economic development of Azerbaijan, while playing an important role in economic development of the country and achieving goals set in the "State Program on poverty reduction and sustainable development in the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2008-2015 years".
3. Financing sources of actions envisaged in the State Program
Actions envisaged in "The State Program on Scio-Economic Development of Regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2009-2013 years" are planned to be financed through following sources:
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