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Azerbaijan aiming to become 'high-income country'

Azerbaijan wants to develop from a middle-income into a high-income country, a Euronest Parliament Assembly committee heard lat week.

Azerbaijan's deputy economic development minister, Sevinj Hasanova, told the Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on Economic Integration, Legal Approximation and Convergence with EU Policies, that becoming a high-income country was on of Azerbaijan's targets.

She said that the EU was a main foreign trade partner of Azerbaijan, with 50% of trade falling to EU countries.

Today Azerbaijan leads the South Caucasus states in implementing “Twinning” projects which are carried out as part of the close relations with the EU, Hasanova continued.

“To date, eight twinning projects have been realized, another eight are under way and six projects have been put to tender,” she said

Hasanova said that Azerbaijan was a main partner country for Europe in terms of energy security.

“Since 1994 over $120bn have been invested in Azerbaijan, more than half of which are foreign investments. In the last eight years, GDP trebled while the state budget increased 13-fold. Poverty was reduced to 7.2%.

"Currency reserves have increased by 64%. Moreover, important steps are being taken to develop the private sector and business environment in the country. Taxes have been reduced and the 'one-stop shop' system has been introduced. In addition, the private sector accounts for 80% of GDP.

"I would like to note that we have an unresolved problem as well. As a result of the aggressive policy of our neighbours, 20% of our lands have been occupied and over one million people have been turned into refugees and internally displaced persons. This in turn has a a negative effect on stability in the region," Hasanova said.

Chairing the committee meeting, Göran Färm said he was very pleased to be in Azerbaijan.

Praising the organization of the event, Färm said: “We have been warmly welcomed here. We should exchange views and make a decision in today’s discussions and tomorrow submit it for ratification to the Parliamentary Assembly.”

The Euronest Parliamentary Assembly brings together MEPs and members of parliament from the countries that are members of the EU's Eastern Partnership.

Source: News.Az

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