Socio-economic development of the regions
Since the restoration of the state independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the end of the 20th century, radical changes have taken place in the socio-political and socio-economic life of the country. The purposeful policy pursued by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev since 1993 made it possible to overcome the political and economic crisis in the country in the first years of independence and paved the way for Azerbaijan to move towards building a democratic state and a market economy.
As a result of large-scale reforms in the field of building a democratic state, which began in the mid-1990s, economic and political stability was ensured in the country, the prestige of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the international arena significantly increased, also the foundation was laid for dynamic economic development. The main goal of the reforms was to build an independent state with a democratic and strong economy. The measures taken in the economic sphere were aimed at expanding entrepreneurial activity based on the mechanisms of a market economy, attracting local and foreign investment, modern technologies and using advanced management methods to create competitive enterprises, create new jobs and increase the country's economic power.
The launch of the "Contract of the Century", signed in 1994 and laying the foundation for a new stage in the history of the Republic of Azerbaijan, gave a powerful impetus to attracting foreign investment into the country. Achieving balanced economic development by channeling growing oil and gas revenues from a successful oil strategy to the non-oil sector has been one of the most important challenges facing the Azerbaijani state in recent years. In this regard, the acceleration of the development of the country's regions was identified as one of the main goals of the state's economic policy.
The long-term economic development strategy had the goal of creating a favorable environment for sustainable and balanced development of the country's regions, including a competitive economy based on the principles of sustainable development, social security that meets high standards, efficient use of natural resources and reliable environmental protection.
The adopted state programs for the socio-economic development of the regions (2004-2008, 2009-2013, 2014-2018, 2019-2023) are important for the implementation of this strategy, as well as in raising the socio-economic development of the regions to a new qualitative level. These programs, which have been successfully implemented since 2004, have radically changed the face of cities, towns and villages in the regions, opening up opportunities for building regional capacity, infrastructure, quality of utilities, business and investment climate and the welfare of the population.
In the state programs adopted during the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by the armed forces of Armenia, Azerbaijan was divided into 10 economic regions.
The state program covered the following regions of the country:
• Baku city and the nearest settlements;
• Absheron economic region (Absheron and Khizi regions, Sumgait city);
• Aran economic region (Yevlakh, Agjabadi, Agdash, Beylagan, Barda, Bilasuvar, Goychay, Hajigabul, Imishli, Kurdamir, Neftchala, Saatli, Sabirabad, Salyan, Ujar, Zardab region, cities of Shirvan and Mingachevir);
• Upper-Shirvan economic region (Agsu, Ismayilli, Gobustan and Shamakhi regions);
• Ganja-Gazakh economic region (Agstafa, Dashkasan, Gadabay, Goranboy, Goygol, Gazakh, Samukh, Shamkir, Tovuz regions, Ganja and Naftalan cities);
• Guba-Khachmaz economic region (Shabran, Khachmaz, Guba, Gusar and Siyazan regions);
• Lankaran economic region (Astara, Jalilabad, Lerik, Lankaran, Masalli and Yardimli regions);
• Nakhchivan economic region (Nakhchivan city, Babak, Julfa, Ordubad, Sadarak, Shahbuz, Kangarli and Sharur regions);
• Sheki-Zagatala economic region (Balakan, Gakh, Gabala, Oguz, Shaki and Zagatala regions);
• Upper Karabakh economic region (Agdam, Tartar, Khojavend, Khojali, Shusha, Jabrail, Fizuli regions and the city of Khankandi);
• Kalbajar-Lachin economic region (Kalbajar, Lachin, Zangilan and Gubadli regions).
The action plan of the State Program consists of the following sections:
Actions of national importance;
Actions in the city of Baku and its settlements;
Actions in administrative regions of the country;
Actions in the Nakhchivan economic region.
The work carried out within the framework of State programs has provided serious support to the general policy of socio-economic development carried out in the country, and as a result, in 2004-2018 years. gross domestic product (GDP) increased 3.3 times in real terms, including 2.8 times in the non-oil sector. During this period, industry grew 2.6 times in real terms, including the non-oil industry 2.4 times and agriculture 1.7 times. As of January 1, 2019, the country's strategic foreign exchange reserves increased 24.3 times compared to 2004 and exceeded $ 45 billion. In the course of the implementation of state programs, the geography of foreign trade has expanded, and its commodity structure has improved. During this period, Azerbaijan conducted foreign trade operations with about 190 countries, and non-oil exports increased 4.2 times.
Azerbaijan's achievements have been positively assessed in the reports of international organizations and financial institutions. It is no coincidence, according to the World Bank's Doing Business 2019 report, Azerbaijan has risen 32 positions from 57 to 25 compared to the previous year. According to the document, Azerbaijan, which improved its position in 8 out of 10 indicators, was declared the most reformist country in the world. During 2004-2018 years, the average monthly wage increased by 7 times, the average monthly pension by 9.4 times, the poverty level decreased from 44.7 percent in 2004 to 5.1 percent in 2018.
Encouraging and stimulating investments in the economy of Azerbaijan became the main direction of the implemented strategy of economic policy and in 2004-2018 years $ 244.9 billion was invested in the country's economy.
The government's policy on building a socially oriented economy and providing people with decent jobs has brought a positive result. As a result of targeted measures taken in the field of socio-economic development of the country, more than 2 million new jobs were created in 2004, of which 1.5 million were permanent, 75% of these jobs were in the regions.
Dynamic growth is observed in such industries as machine building, metallurgy, chemistry, also furniture, textiles, food producing and others, and even during the crisis of the world economy, success has been achieved in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan's industry. In order to ensure the sustainable development of the non-oil sector within the framework of state regional development programs, create favorable conditions in the country for the development of competitive industrial production based on innovative and high technologies, organize industrial enterprises based on modern technologies, to increase employment, a lot of work has been done to create industrial parks, industrial areas in the regions of the country. Thus, with the relevant decrees and orders of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park and Mingachevir Industrial Park, as well as Neftchala, Masalli, Hajigabul and Sabirabad industrial districts were organized, which allows supporting the activities of entrepreneurs, including small ones. and medium-sized entrepreneurs who are employed in the industry. Such support is essential for creating a favorable business and investment environment, creating new jobs.
Measures taken to develop the agricultural sector within the framework of state programs are also one of the main priorities. Exemption of the agricultural sector from taxes, the use of subsidies, concessional loans and other mechanisms of state support, improvement of infrastructure in this area, the construction of the Takhtakorpu, Shamkirchay, Tovuzchay and Goytapa reservoirs, the construction of the Main Mil-Mugan collector and other major projects ongoing reclamation activities, the establishment of JSC " Agroleasing" to improve the quality of agricultural services gave impetus to the development of this direction.
As a result of these measures, the crop and livestock sectors were developed to ensure food security of the country, and the level of food self-sufficiency increased even more. Over the past period, large farms, agricultural parks, intensive horticultural farms, modern greenhouses, logistics centers have been created, the material and technical base of the infrastructure serving the development of agricultural production has been strengthened.
The implementation of the necessary measures to solve social issues in the development of regions continued, the human factor has always been in the spotlight, important work has been done to improve the social infrastructure serving this territory. The scale of the projects initiated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which plays an important role in the implementation of projects in education, healthcare, culture and other social spheres, has opened up new opportunities for improving the social conditions of thousands of people.
Over the past 15 years, construction, overhaul and reconstruction work has been carried out in the regions in 2,980 schools, 360 preschool institutions and 477 medical institutions, 34 Olympic sports complexes and 34 youth houses have been built.
Thanks to state programs for the socio-economic development of regions, implemented since 2004, the social infrastructure of the regions, where 77% of the country's population lives, has been radically improved, and the well-being of the population has increased.
As a result of the successful implementation of state programs for the socio-economic development of the regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan, adopted to ensure sustainable and balanced development of cities and regions of our country, the appearance of our cities, towns and villages has radically changed, the economic potential of the regions has increased, the infrastructure, the quality of public services and investment climate, the well-being of the population has increased.
Successive reforms and large-scale measures further strengthened the economic and military-defensive power of our country, laid a solid foundation for a brilliant victory in the 44-day Patriotic War.
Currently, large-scale measures are being taken to restore the liberated territories, ensure their further development, create the necessary infrastructure and return the population to their native lands.
The expediency of carrying out all work under a single program to ensure their equitable development through the effective use of the rich economic potential, natural resources and extensive tourism opportunities of these territories led to a revision of the division of the liberated territories into economic regions.
According to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated July 7, 2121 "On a new division of economic regions in the Republic of Azerbaijan", the following division of economic regions was approved. The new division covers 14 economic regions.
1. Baku economic region (Baku city);
2. Nakhchivan economic region (Nakhchivan city, Babak, Julfa, Kangarli, Ordubad, Sadarak, Shahbuz and Sharur regions);
3. Absheron-Khizi economic region (Sumgait city, Absheron and Khizi regions);
4. Upper-Shirvan economic region (Agsu, Ismayilli, Gobustan and Shamakhi regions);
5. Ganja-Dashkasan economic region (the cities of Ganja and Naftalan, Dashkasan, Goranboy, Goygol and Samukh regions);
6. Karabakh economic region (the city of Khankandi, Agjabadi, Agdam, Barda, Fizuli, Khojali, Khojavand, Shusha and Tartar regions);
7. Gazakh-Tovuz economic region (Agstafa, Gadabay, Gazakh, Shamkir and Tovuz regions);
8. Guba-Khachmaz economic region (Khachmaz, Guba, Gusar, Siyazan and Shabran districts);
9. Lankaran-Astara economic region (Astara, Jalilabad, Lerik, Lankaran, Masalli and Yardimli regions);
10. Central Aran economic region (Mingachevir city, Agdash, Goychay, Kurdamir, Ujar, Yevlakh and Zardab regions);
11. Mil-Mugan economic region (Beylagan, Imishli, Saatli and Sabirabad regions);
12. Shaki-Zagatala economic region (Balakan, Gakh, Gabala, Oguz, Shaki and Zagatala regions);
13. East Zangazur economic region (Jabrail, Kalbajar, Gubadli, Lachin and Zangilan regions);
14. Shirvan-Salyan economic region (Shirvan city, Bilasuvar, Hajigabul, Neftchala and Salyan regions).
Within the framework of state programs, important measures have been taken to restore and develop infrastructure in the regions, provide the population with utilities, including electricity, gas and water, build healthcare and education facilities, and further improve the social situation of the population,