Economy of Azerbaijan

In 2002, GDP (in current prices) amounted to 29.6 trillion. manat, annual growth of 10.6%. Since 2000, the level of GDP has risen steadily. The share of the non-observed economy in GDP production, according to statistical services, is 20-22%.

According to cheeroutdoor, the number of registered unemployed is 51 thousand people (end of 2002). Unemployment is 1.3% (according to unofficial data – much higher). The total number of people employed in the economy is 3726.5 thousand people. The sectoral structure of employment is dominated by the service sector (52.6%), followed by agriculture, forestry, fisheries (32.1%) and industry (15.3%). Outside the public sector, 68% of the total number of employees are employed.

The volume of industrial production is 19,742 billion manats (in current prices, 2002). The metallurgical, chemical, and light industries are developing rapidly. Oil was produced, including the gas industrialized republics of the former USSR, however, after gaining independence, Azerbaijan could not maintain the previous level of industrial production. By 2001, as compared with 1991, industrial production had decreased by 2.7 times. By 1999, the output (in constant prices) of ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy decreased by 92-94%, the chemical, petrochemical and food industries – by 80-83%, light industry, mechanical engineering and metalworking – by 72-73%. As a result, the most dynamic sectors of the economy were transport, communications and telecommunications.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the economy of Azerbaijan is mainly oriented towards raw materials. This applies not only to industry, but also to agriculture, where the area under industrial crops (for example, tobacco, cotton) has significantly decreased. Cotton was one of the oldest crops cultivated in Azerbaijan and occupied up to 90% of the area of all industrial crops. Its cultivation is concentrated in the Kura-Araks lowland and in the western regions of the country. Tobacco is bred in the foothills and mountainous regions. By 2002, the importance of sericulture was practically reduced to zero.

Agricultural products of all categories AZN 6.4 billion (2002, current prices). The area of agricultural land is 4.6 million hectares, including 1.8 million hectares of arable land (2001). The number of farms is 2.6 thousand (end of 2001), the land area assigned to them is 23.4 thousand hectares (end of 2001). In con. 1990s areas under fodder and industrial crops decreased by 50%. In terms of sown area, grain crops occupy the first place, which occupy an average of 550 thousand hectares of land. In the structure of cereals in recent decades, about 70% accounted for durum wheat, part of the area was sown with corn and barley. In 2002, there was an increase in the production of grain, potatoes and vegetables, mainly due to an increase in yields.

Traditionally, viticulture and horticulture have been the most important sectors of Azerbaijan’s agriculture. Areas under grapes (mainly for wine production) exceeded 230 thousand hectares and were located mainly in the Samur-Divichinsky lowland and on the northeastern slopes of the Greater Caucasus. More than 150,000 hectares are occupied by orchards in Azerbaijan. The number of livestock is 2153 thousand heads (end of 2002). In 2002, compared with 2001, the production of meat increased by 6%, whole milk products by 4%, and vegetable oil by 1.6 times. Livestock and poultry for slaughter (in live weight) produced 224,000 tons (220,000 tons of households and private farms) (2002). The main producers of milk and eggs were also farms.

Railway network – 2125 km. main tracks (gauge – 1520 mm), of which 815 km are double-track and 1310 km are single-track (260 km are blocked as a result of the war with Armenia). There are 1390 km of station and access roads. The total length of motor roads is 25,000 km, of which 94% are paved roads. The total length of pipelines is 3,000 km, including 1,130 km of oil pipelines, 630 km of oil products pipelines, and 1,240 km of gas pipelines. In 2002, the main pipelines transported 5.3 million tons of gas (102% compared to 2001) and 10 million tons of oil (89% ).

Azerbaijan has a seaport in the city of Baku. There are 69 airfields in Azerbaijan (of which 29 have a paved runway). The volume of cargo transportation by transport enterprises is 82.6 million tons. The total volume of cargo transportation by rail (import, export, transit and domestic transportation) increased in 2002 by 13% compared to 2001. The volume of transportation by road increased by 6%. Transportation of goods by the transport and port fleet increased by 11%, the cargo turnover of the sea fleet – by 6%.

Azerbaijani airlines transported cargo and mail more by 1.3%. Passenger transportation 893.3 million people. In 2002, Azerbaijan’s sea transport transported passengers by 30% more than in 2001, and passenger transportation by rail decreased by 4%. In 2002, airlines carried passengers by 5% more than in 2001.
Retail turnover (through all distribution channels) in 2002 amounted to 13.4 trillion. manats (increased by 9.6% compared to 2001). The share of the informal market in the total retail turnover accounted for 75.5%. Distribution of the number of retail trade enterprises by form of ownership: state property 6.7%, non-state 93.3%, including private 84.8%.

61 insurance companies are represented on the insurance market of the republic, 9 of which are with foreign capital. 20 companies operate most stably, accounting for 90% of the volume of all insurance services and more than 80% of the volume of all paid losses. The share of insurance operations in the total GDP is insignificant, but tends to grow. The insurance service of the republic offers about 40 types of insurance services. The indicator of the activity of the population in insurance operations – in Azerbaijan, each person insures himself or his property for 1.8 US dollars per year.

In 2002, investments in fixed capital from all sources of financing amounted to 10.3 trillion. manats (which is 82% more than in 2001). The main share of investments (98%) came from non-budgetary funds, the predominant direction was the oil industry and the electric power industry. Up to 50% of foreign investment goes to the development of engineering, communications, the food industry, and the service sector.

By 2000, as a result of reforms in Azerbaijan, a two-tier banking system, adopted in international practice, was created and is functioning. The 1st level is represented by the National Bank of Azerbaijan (NBA), which performs the classical functions of the issuing central bank of the country, regulates and supervises banking activities, determines the monetary and foreign exchange policy of the state, stores free resources and required reserves of other banks, manages centralized credit resources, conducts cash execution of the budget and, if necessary, lends to the state.

The powers of the NBA include the guaranteed placement of state-issued authorized treasury bills. The NBA is a financial institution independent of the government, and the parliament is practically deprived of the opportunity to seriously influence the policy of the NBA. At the beginning In July 1999, the NBA’s gold and foreign exchange reserves amounted to 707 million US dollars, which exceeded the volume of the money supply in circulation by 3.2 times. However, the reserves consist of 50-55% stabilization loans from the IMF, which, by agreement with the IMF, are not subject to use in daily activities and can be used only in an emergency. The 2nd level of the banking system of Azerbaijan consists of 73 banks (1999), which directly provide credit, settlement and cash services to individuals and legal entities. In the early years of the transition period, the policy of free lending had a negative impact on the financial system. In 1996, the NBA regained control over money growth and introduced tighter banking rules. Several foreign and mixed banks operate in Azerbaijan, the total number of credit organizations in Azerbaijan (2002) is 93. The refinancing rate of the NBA is 7%.

State budget (January-September 2002, billion manats): revenues 3144.3; expenses 3141.4. Azerbaijan’s external debt is over $700 million. 86% of budget revenues are formed from tax revenues. The ratio of total state budget expenditures to GDP is 15.6%. Budget expenditures for the social sphere and the economy 27.3 and 14.2% (2002).

Monetary incomes of the population (trillion manats): 15.1, monetary expenditures 12.5 (January-September 2002). The minimum wage is 27.5 thousand manats, the average monthly nominal wage is 315.2 thousand manats, or 64.8 US dollars (2002). The minimum size of an old-age pension is 70,000 manats (2002), the average size of a pension is 73,700 manats (2001). The minimum amount of scholarships in universities is 16.5 thousand manats (2002). Household deposits in savings banks (including commercial ones) AZN 744.1 billion (2002).

Foreign trade (2002, million US dollars): export 1778, import 1496.5. Export to CIS countries 10.1% of total exports, 1/2 of exports to these countries are oil products, cotton fiber, machinery and equipment, vehicles. 93% of exports to other countries are crude oil and refined products. Imports from the CIS countries – 30.8% of total imports. Azerbaijan imports mainly natural gas, mineral and chemical fertilizers, food products, timber, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, cars from these countries. The main articles of A.’s imports from other countries of the world are machinery, equipment, and vehicles.

Economy of Azerbaijan