Azerbaijan's high currency reserve growth rate is the main factor for the formation of a strong macroeconomic buffer and the reduction of the national economy's sensitivity to external crises.
The Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA), which oversees financial market and financial system stability and operations in the country, has announced that the growth of the country's strategic currency reserves continued in 2013.
The ratio of the strategic currency reserves of Azerbaijan to its GDP remained unchanged at close to 70 percent in 2013.
The CBA report on monetary policy shows that the indicator reached this level in late 2012. In 2011, the ratio of strategic currency reserves to GDP was 64 percent, while the figure was 58 percent in 2010, and 47 percent in 2009.
"For this indicator, Azerbaijan is among the first 20 countries in the world," the report reads.
The country's currency reserve rose by 9 percent in 2013, up $4.1 billion, to over $50 billion. The volume of strategic currency reserves exceeds the external debt of Azerbaijan roughly by nine times, allowing the country to finance three-year imports of goods and services.
The CBA formulated a new strategy to expand currency reserves in 2013, with an eye to efficiently manage its currency reserves on the backdrop of gradual changes in economic power centers on a global scale, as well as lingering low profitability in developed financial markets.
The State Customs Committee reported that the foreign trade turnover of Azerbaijan amounted to $34.7 billion in 2013. The volume of exports hit $24 billion. The country's balance of trade amounted to $13.3 billion.
Also, high growth rates are noticed in exports of cotton fiber, vegetable oils, metal pipes, sugar, and other products. At the same time, imports of beef, cement, wheat, machinery, tea, and other products increased, the report reads.
About 48 percent of exports go to the EU nations, 6.3 percent to the CIS, and the rest goes to other countries.
The State Statistics Committee reported that the non-oil exports in January-November 2013 amounted to $1.6 billion, exceeding the figure for the same period in 2012 by 7.4 percent.
The decline in imports of a number of food products shows the expansion of domestic production. Food self-sufficiency has reached 100 percent for most agricultural products and some food.
The change in export prices in 2013 was influenced by changes in world prices for energy products. Prices for imported consumer and investment goods remained virtually stable, and showed a slight increase.
The volume of foreign investments in the country's economy amounted to $5.3 billion in 2013, an increase of more than 28 percent.
According to the World Economic Forum, Azerbaijan is one of the 7 countries with the lowest inflation, and among 40 competitive countries. The country is in the top 10 list in terms of macroeconomic sustainability indicators.