The occupation of Azerbaijani lands by the Armenian armed forces is one of the main obstacles for the cooperation of the regional countries and their economic development, says the statement of the Azerbaijani delegation, made at the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London.
"Today 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories is occupied by Armenia, more than one million Azerbaijanis live in the status of refugees and internally displaced persons, which causes enormous damage to the Republic of Azerbaijan," the statement said. "Recently, Armenia intensified its military activity in the conflict area, which has been accompanied with numerous acts of violation of international humanitarian law by conducting systematic, deliberate and targeted attacks on civilian population."
According to the statement, these developments have demonstrated again that the fact of occupation and non-implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions, impose the biggest threat to the security and economic prosperity of the region and hinders the realization of various local and regional scale projects.
"The EBRD is one the important institutional investor in Azerbaijan both in private sector and in the public sector," the statement said. "Increase in EBRD's bank portfolio and Annual Bank Investment, increase in its net profit that is mentioned in EBRD's Financial Statement for 2015 provide us with a huge sense of accomplishment and these are indicators of efficient implementation of Bank's strategy in 2015."
"Azerbaijan regained its independence only 25 years ago and in such a short historical period achieved great economic results and completed the transition from a centrally planned system to a market economy through number of important economic reforms," the statement said. "As a result of targeted economic policy, in 2005-2015 GDP increased by 2.4 times, non-oil sector by 2.3 times, strategic reserves by 16.3 times."
"The economy of Azerbaijan comprises more than 70 percent of the economy of the Southern Caucasus," the statement said. "70 percent of GDP was generated in the non-oil sector in 2015 whereas it was only 40 percent in 2007."
According to the statement, taking into account an impact of recent challenges in global economy the government of Azerbaijan implements number of policies in order to maintain macroeconomic stability, ensures transparency in the financial sector, at the same time strengthens financial discipline.
These reforms cover licensing, investment, export, institutional entities, financial markets, inspections etc., the statement says.
"Besides its own economy, Azerbaijan, simultaneously took crucial steps to develop regional economy," the statement said. "The country thanks to its favorable geographic location and its huge infrastructure investments became a regional trade hub on the historical Silk Way."
"The biggest regional projects such as Baku-Tbilisi-Jeyhan oil Pipeline, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, South Gas Pipeline are very good examples for Azerbaijan's contribution to develop economy of the region," the statement said.
Azerbaijan has been an EBRD member since 1992. The bank has allocated 2.55 billion euros for the projects in the country since the beginning of cooperation. Some 55 percent of this amount was directed to develop the private sector. The EBRD's current portfolio on Azerbaijan amounts to almost 1.1 billion euros.