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Adapting to economic evolution: Azerbaijan's budget adjustments

27 May 2024 [20:17] - TODAY.AZ

The Economic Policy, Industries and Enterprising Committee of the Azerbaijan Milli Majlis convened on May 27 to deliberate on amendments to the Law "On the State Budget of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2024," Azernews reports.

The discussions highlighted crucial adjustments required to navigate evolving economic landscapes and address emerging challenges.

Revenue and Expenditure Adjustments: The revised 2024 state budget anticipates a significant revenue surge, reaching 36 billion 353 million manats, a commendable 6.4 percent increase from the original projection. However, this expansion necessitates a proportional rise in expenses, slated to climb by 8 percent to 39 billion 707.3 million manats. Such adjustments invariably widen the budget deficit to 3 billion 354.3 million manats, emphasizing the imperative of prudent fiscal management and resource allocation strategies.

The substantial increase in both revenues and expenditures underscores the government's proactive stance towards addressing economic exigencies while ensuring sustainable financial stability.

State Oil Fund Budget Projections: The State Oil Fund's revised budget reflects a robust revenue forecast, with an expected surge of 16.9 percent to 14 billion 109.2 million manats. This uptick heralds positive economic prospects, albeit necessitating vigilant oversight to prevent misappropriation and ensure optimal utilization of resources.

The projected revenue boost underscores the critical role of the State Oil Fund in driving economic growth and resilience amidst volatile global oil markets.

Foreign Trade Performance: Azerbaijan's foreign trade exhibited resilience, with transactions totaling 9.9 billion US dollars and a favorable trade surplus of 2.5 billion dollars. Such performance underscores the nation's competitiveness and resilience in global markets, necessitating sustained efforts to diversify trading partners and bolster export-oriented industries.

The positive trade balance reflects Azerbaijan's capacity to leverage its strategic geographical location and robust export sectors to mitigate external economic shocks.

Oil Sector Revenues and Export Prices: The notable surge in the average export price of "Azeri Light" crude oil to 87.3 dollars per barrel in January-April 2024 presents lucrative revenue opportunities. However, it also underscores the inherent volatility of oil markets, necessitating prudent fiscal planning and diversification efforts to mitigate risks associated with overreliance on hydrocarbon revenues.

While the surge in oil prices presents short-term revenue windfalls, sustainable economic growth hinges on diversification efforts aimed at reducing dependency on oil revenues.

Shift Towards Non-Oil Revenues: The upward trajectory of non-oil revenues, accounting for 51.1 percent of the state budget, signifies the success of diversification initiatives. Such a shift underscores the resilience of non-oil sectors and underscores the imperative of fostering an enabling business environment to sustain momentum and spur long-term economic growth.

The ascendancy of non-oil revenues signals a paradigm shift in Azerbaijan's economic landscape, necessitating sustained efforts to bolster the competitiveness of non-oil sectors and attract diversified investment.

Conclusion and Strategic Imperatives: The amendments to the 2024 state budget epitomize proactive measures to adapt to evolving economic realities and promote sustainable development. To capitalize on emerging opportunities and mitigate risks, policymakers must prioritize fiscal prudence, enhance transparency and accountability mechanisms, and pursue structural reforms to diversify the economy.

Strategic imperatives include fostering innovation, investing in human capital development, and fostering robust institutional frameworks to sustain economic resilience and drive inclusive growth.


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