President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has chaired a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers to discuss the results of the country`s socio-economic development in 2012 and outline priorities for 2013.
In his opening speech, the Head of State said the year 2012 was a success for Azerbaijan. The President said the country`s Gross Domestic Product grew 2.2 per cent last year, with the non-oil industry seeing an 8 per cent increase, agricultural production rising 6 per cent, the population`s income growing 13.8 per cent, and inflation staying at 1.1 per cent.
President Ilham Aliyev said last year saw successful implementation of social programs. He said the investment spending exceeded 22 billion US dollars in 2012, adding domestic investment dominated the country`s overall investment portfolio.
The Head of State said this year`s budget was a record $20 billion, with the country`s overall currency reserves making $46 billion.
The President highlighted what was done to build social infrastructure last year, noting hundreds of schools, hospitals, sports and other facilities were constructed across the country.
President Ilham Aliyev said most of the investment was made in improving the living conditions of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, adding the State Oil Fund allocated 300 million manats to this end in 2012.
The Head of State praised the implementation of the State Program for the development of the regions, adding a total of 1.2 million, including 117,000 last year, new jobs had been created so far under the program.
President Ilham Aliyev said unemployment level was reduced to 5.2 per cent, while the poverty level was decreased to 6 per cent last year.
The President also touched upon Azerbaijan`s foreign policy, saying last year marked a success for the country on this front.
“Our most remarkable achievement was our chairing the UN Security Council,” he added.
On the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, President Ilham Aliyev said the resolutions adopted at the meeting of the Non-Alignment Movement and NATO Summit clearly stipulated that the dispute had to be solved in accordance with the territorial integrity of countries.
The Head of State spoke of army building last year, noting the country`s military spending exceeded $3 billion in 2012. He added Azerbaijan`s military budget would be $3.7 billion this year.
The President highlighted the country`s energy achievements in 2012, describing the inauguration of the Azerbaijan-initiated TANAP project as a historical and remarkable event.
Economic development minister Shahin Mustafayev, Deputy Prime Minister, chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov, minister of communications and information technologies Ali Abbasov also spoke at the event.
President Ilham Aliyev made closing remarks to outline the country`s priorities for 2013.
He expressed confidence this year would see the country successfully implement all projects and programs.
He noted the priorities in the 2013 investment projects would include improving power, gas and drinking water supply system and sewerage system, laying highways and redeveloping village roads, and expanding irrigation work.
The President said Azerbaijan`s social budget was also increased this year, adding more than 70 medical facilities would be built and reconstructed, and schools redeveloped this year. The Head of State added wages and pensions would be increased in 2013 as well.
President Ilham Aliyev said maintaining macro-economic stability and preserving one-digit inflation would be one of the key priorities this year.
The President noted corruption would be combated at a more serious level in 2013, and instructed appropriate authorities to increase public control and ensure transparency on this front.
The Head of State said serious work would be carried out to increase industrial output, adding measures would be continued to create industrial centers and new technological parks in Ganja and Sumgayit cities, and Garadagh district in Baku.
President Ilham Aliyev also spoke of preparatory work for the first European Olympic Games to be hosted by Baku in 2015.
The Head of State said next month will see Azerbaijan put its first telecommunication satellite into orbit.
The President announced 2013 the year of information and communication technologies in Azerbaijan.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has chaired today a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on the results of social and economic development in 2012 and objectives for 2013.
The President made opening remarks at the meeting.
Economic development minister Shahin Mustafayev, Deputy Prime Minister, chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov, minister of communications and information technologies Ali Abbasov spoke at the event.
President Ilham Aliyev made closing remarks.