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The road we have gone through since 2003 entered Azerbaijan`s history as renaissance

Interview with  Chairman of the State Land and Cartography Committee, academician Garib Mammadov

Q: Mr Mammadov, how would you assess Azerbaijan`s achievements in the past decade?

A: The last 10 years can be divided into the first and second five years.

The first five years can be assessed as assurance of economic growth due to development of oil sector and oil revenues. The second five years can be characterized with support to nonoil sector for diversification of economy. Totally, the 10 years feature the diversification of economy. For the first time in the last decade the share of non-oil sector in export was two-digit, which shows the reduction of oil dependence in export.

Share of nonoil sector in GDP and formation of budget incomes has increased for the past years. So, the second five years can be valued as diversification of economy and protection of economic sustainability.

Of course, achievements of 1993-2003 formed firm bases for development of Azerbaijani economy, mobilized society’s intellectual and creative energy for development of the country, created a firm vision in the society on the power. The socioeconomic and socio-cultural modernization policy based on these successes was started after Ilham Aliyev was elected President. As result of this policy, today Azerbaijan is the most rapidly developing country in the world and enjoys a competitive economy. Azerbaijan is always in front row in international rating reports. For all these achievements, 2003-2013 are considered the next “golden decade” in history of Azerbaijan.

Q: As President Ilham Aliyev said the country`s prosperity is evidenced by socio-economic indicators. How do you think what do these indicators promise the country?

A: In terms of its economic performance, Azerbaijan has become one of the world leaders, which has made our country even stronger. As a result of the goal-oriented activities carried out on the basis of thought-out programs, our gross domestic product has increased 3.4 times, the non-oil sector of the economy 2.6 times.

Azerbaijan’s achievements are received well by leading international organizations and prestigious rating agencies. According to the “Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014” of the World Economic Forum, Azerbaijan is ranked 38th in the world for competitiveness.

Against the backdrop of growing trends of tension, unemployment and poverty in the world, Azerbaijan is registering processes of a completely opposite nature – rapid development, progress, growing well-being of the population, public and political stability, national solidarity, etc.

The advantage of the economic policy pursued in Azerbaijan is the fact that all the activities are carried out on the basis of the country’s real potential, best international practices and specific programs.

Such a rapid development has also led to the improved well-being of our citizens. Over the last 10 years the incomes of our population have increased 6.5 times and the average salary 5.5 times. The decline of poverty from 49 to 5.3 percent and the reduction of unemployment in half to 5 percent can be viewed as important achievements of the country. The last 10 years have seen extensive construction in the country, our cities, settlements and villages have significantly improved, modern standards and advanced technologies are being applied to all our cities.

Q: What about the achievements in the agrarian sector? And also please highlight the role of the State Land and Cartography Committee in this area.

A: President Ilham Aliyev is successfully continuing the strategy of national leader Heydar Aliyev On November 24, 2003 President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on additional measures for speeding up the country`s socio-economic development. A logical follow-up to this was the Head of State`s approving the State Program for socio-economic development of the regions for 2004-2008. This made a tremendous contribution to strengthening the regions` potential, including the improvement of infrastructure, construction of new enterprises and social facilities, and improvement of the population`s living standard.

The State Land and Cartography Committee has been successfully fulfilling its tasks arising from the state program for the regions` socio-economic development in 2009-2013 and the state program for ensuring the population`s food security in 2008-2015.

We have also fulfilled our tasks under the 2008-2012 state program for poverty reduction and sustainable development, the national strategy and action plan on preservation and use of biodiversity in the country, and the state program for effective use of summer and winter pastures and prevention of desertification.

Ensuring the population`s food security is among key priorities of the government`s economic policy. To this end, important reforms in the food production sector, in particular in the agrarian sphere were conducted.

The government is providing financial and technical assistance to farmers and businesses. The country is implementing projects in collaboration with international financial institutions.

As a result of land reforms in the country our citizens, both natural and legal entities, have become land owners.

Q: What can you say of the application of advanced technologies in the country?

A: The sector of information and communication technologies is developing very fast and has a great future. The adoption of the National ICT Strategy in 2003 and the subsequent adoption and implementation of the state program on electronic governance gave a major impetus to the development of this sector. In the years of independence more than $3 billion was invested in the ICT development in Azerbaijan. As a result, the sector of information and communication technologies has expanded 8.2 times in the last decade. The launch in 2013 of Azerbaijan’s first telecommunication satellite into orbit and the establishment of a space industry has been a historic event. Work is currently under way to launch two more satellites into space in the years ahead.

As far as the role of advanced technologies in the future development of Azerbaijan is concerned, I can note that in order to facilitate the further dynamic development of the economy and increase its competitiveness, specific measures are taken to expand the ICT spheres based on advanced science and technology achievements, attract both domestic and foreign investment to this sector, create a database of qualified professionals, etc.

Q: Could you please brief us about ”South Caucasus.1903” map and “The National Atlas of the Republic of Azerbaijan”?

A: “South Caucasus. 1903” map was prepared and published in order to prevent regular provocative actions carried out by Armenia in the field of geographic names, as well as to avoid unreasonably changing geographic names of Azerbaijan by them. The map was made under the decree of President Ilham Aliyev dated 18 April 2012.

“The National Atlas of the Republic of Azerbaijan” was made in accordance of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev’s order “On the publication of “National Atlas of the Republic of Azerbaijan” dated April 20, 2011.

The National Atlas, containing comprehensive scientific information, creates full impression about the country's natural environment, population, economy, ecology, history, culture, science and education.

The Atlas, which includes 19 sections, 444 pages, nearly 1000 map, diagrams, tables, explanatory texts, and etc., covers all the major economic and socio-cultural fields of Azerbaijan.