Today.Az http://www.today.az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside http://www.today.az/images/logo_small.gif Today.Az http://www.today.az Javad Zarif: US needs to end economic war if it wants to take part in JCPOA commission http://www.today.az/news/regions/186546.html World news Sat, 21 Sep 2019 17:01:00 +0400 Trend:Speaking to IRNA upon his arrival in New York, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it is crystal clear that Americans had left the negotiation table, Trend reports.Stressing the fact that conditions for returning to negotiation table are clear, he said the negotiation table belongs to those members of the JCPOA who honor their commitments.US cannot continue with "Economic Terrorism" or what President Trump says economic war against Iran and at the same time request for sitting at negotiations table, Zarif noted.Reacting to US recent choice to sanction Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and Sovereign Fund for Development of Iran, he said it indicates the US desperation.Americans imposed any sanctions that they could do against Iran, Zarif said adding that they sanctioned CBI which had earlier been blacklisted now under a new topic.Describing the US act as dangerous and unacceptable, Iranian top diplomat said their act is an indication of trying to block international purchases and the supply of food and medicine to Iranian people.It is not only the violation of the JCPOA commitments but also all international principles requiring immunity of the central banks of the sovereign states, Zarif reiterated.On other hand sanctioning an institution under various topics shows that the maximum pressure policy is nearing its end.Elsewhere in his remarks, Iranian foreign minister urged the US to confess to reality and put an end to this policy in a respectable manner.Elaborating on whether French President Emanuel Macron’s mediation will bring specific results, Zarif said, "Our view is clear. We are not seeking conflict. We want to save the nuclear deal."Iran gave 15 months moratorium to West for preserving the JCPOA, he said noting that the first step was implemented 12 months after US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.Referring to his talks with French President Emanuel Macron and also the negotiations between Iranian president and P4+1 with the French president, Zarif said that Macron wants to reach a solution.Zarif underlined the fact that reaching a solution will not be possible if you want to get permission from Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of Treasury. Belarusian president approves visa facilitation, readmission deals with EU http://www.today.az/news/regions/186544.html World news Sat, 21 Sep 2019 16:39:00 +0400 Trend:Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has decided to sign visa facilitation and readmission agreements with the European Union (EU), reports Trend referring to Reuters.Lukashenko decided to sign agreements on a simplified visa regime and readmission with the EU, Anatoly Glaz, spokesperson of Belarusian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.The spokesman said the president made his decision, realizing the high importance of mobility for Belarusian citizens and only after a thorough assessment of all possible risks and consequences.He added that Minsk has always advocated facilitation of interpersonal contacts and business.Belarus is currently waiting for the signal from European partners about the completion of necessary procedures on their behalf to specify the modes of signing the agreements, the official said.These agreements will be concluded in a package and will enter into force on the same day. However, the documents should be ratified by the Belarusian parliament and approved by the European Parliament before that. Day 6 of competitions in 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships kicks off in Baku [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/sports/186543.html Sports Sat, 21 Sep 2019 16:17:00 +0400 Trend:The sixth day of the competitions of the 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships has started in the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku, Trend reports Sept. 21.Team competitions in group exercises with 5 balls, 3 hoops and 2 pairs of clubs will be held today. Azerbaijan is represented by a team consisting of Ayshan Bayramova, Diana Ahmadbayli, Aliya Pashayeva, Zeynab Hummatova and Darya Sorokina.Following today’s competitions, finalist teams and winners in the all-around event will be determined.The 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships will last until Sept. 22.The Championships is the qualification competition for the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2020.As for the gymnasts within group exercises, Bulgaria, Russia and Italy have already qualified according to the results of the last World Championships. At this year’s Championships, the best five teams will qualify for the Tokyo-2020 Olympic Games according to the all-around scores.More than 300 gymnasts from 61 countries are competing for nine sets of medals. “Fairy Tales will come to life" is the motto of the championships. 2 Azerbaijani wrestlers reach semifinals at World Wrestling Championship in Kazakhstan http://www.today.az/news/sports/186542.html Sports Sat, 21 Sep 2019 15:58:00 +0400 Trend:The World Wrestling Championship, which is being held in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, is nearing completion, Trend reports.The competitions in the weight categories of 61, 79, 86 and 97 kilograms started on the eighth day of the competitions.Having participated in the match in the 1/8 finals, Azerbaijani athlete Ahmadnabi Gvarzatilov gained a victory over a world champion from Cuba (Yowlys Bonne Rodríguez) and reached the ¼ finals. At this stage, he met with an Iranian fighter and lost to his opponent.Azerbaijani athlete Jabrayil Hasanov also participated in the match in 1/8 finals. The captain of the Azerbaijani national team defeated Dmitri Tkachenko from Ukraine and reached the 1/4 finals. Having gained at this stage victory over a Kazakh athlete, Hasanov won a ticket to the semifinals.Meanwhile, Azerbaijani athlete Alexander Gostiyev lost the first match to Cavrail Shapiyev from Uzbekistan.Sharif Sharifov at the qualification stage was stronger than the Korean wrestler. The Azerbaijani Olympic champion, world and European champion, having defeated the representative of Ukraine, reached the quarter finals.The Azerbaijani wrestler, having gained victory at this stage over the Georgian athlete Elizbar Odikadze, reached the semifinals and thus became the first freestyle wrestler to secure an Olympic license at the competitions.The semifinal matches started at 14:45 (GMT+4). Azerbaijani wrestlers reach 1/4 finals of World Wrestling Championship in Kazakhstan [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/sports/186541.html Sports Sat, 21 Sep 2019 15:39:00 +0400 Trend:The World Wrestling Championship, which is being held in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, is under completion, Trend reports.The competitions in the weight categories of 61, 79, 86 and 97 kilograms started on the eighth day of the competitions.Having participated in the match in the 1/8 finals, Azerbaijani athlete Ahmadnabi Gvarzatilov defeated gained a victory over a world champion from Cuba (Yowlys Bonne Rodríguez) and reached the ¼ finals.Azerbaijani athlete Jabrayil Hasanov also participated in the match in 1/8 finals. The captain of the Azerbaijani national team defeated Dmitri Tkachenko from Ukraine and reached the 1/4 finals.Meanwhile, Azerbaijani athlete Alexander Gostiyev lost the first match to Cavrail Shapiyev from Uzbekistan. Azerbaijan’s defense minister visits military units under construction on frontline [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/186540.html Politics Sat, 21 Sep 2019 15:21:00 +0400 Trend:In line with the fulfillment of instructions of Azerbaijan’s Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the country’s defense minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov and the leadership of the ministry visited several military facilities being under construction in the frontline zone, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.After checking the progress of construction work, the minister of defense gave the relevant instructions in connection with the carrying out of high-quality construction work and its timely completion. Azerbaijan’s defense minister meets state secretary of Security Council of Belarus http://www.today.az/news/politics/186539.html Politics Sat, 21 Sep 2019 15:02:00 +0400 Trend:Azerbaijan’s defense minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov has met with a delegation headed by State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus Stanislav Zas who is on a visit to Azerbaijan, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.The parties emphasized that the high level of relationship between the two countries and the friendly relations of the heads of the state create a solid foundation for the development of bilateral cooperation.During the discussion of further actions that serve to develop military cooperation and strengthen relations between Azerbaijan and Belarus, the contribution of the two states to regional security was especially highlighted.The minister of defense speaking about the great potential for the realization of joint projects in various areas, in particular in the military, military-technical and military-educational fields, emphasized the importance of this meeting and expressed confidence in further strengthening of bilateral cooperation.Zas expressing satisfaction with the development of bilateral relations noted the prospects for expanding ties between Belarus and Azerbaijan, including the further development of cooperation in the military sphere.During the meeting, a number of other issues of mutual interest were discussed in detail. Iranian currency rates for Sept. 21 http://www.today.az/news/regions/186536.html World news Sat, 21 Sep 2019 14:39:00 +0400 Trend:The rates of 23 foreign currencies have increased in Iran, while the rates of 13 other currencies have decreased, according to the official state exchange rate of Iran, Trend reports referring to the website of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).According to CBI, $1 equals 42,000 Iranian rials and 1 euro equals to 46,254 rials.Foreign currenciesIranian rial1 US dollarUSD42,0001 British poundGBP52,4241 Swiss francCHF42,3891 Swedish kronaSEK4,3311 Norwegian kroneNOK4,6371 Danish kroneDKK6,1981 Indian rupeeINR5911 UAE dirhamAED11,4371 Kuwaiti dinarKWD138,200100 Pakistani rupeesPKR26,819100 Japanese yensJPY39,0541 Hong Kong dollarHKD5,3601 Omani rialOMR109,2341 Canadian dollarCAD31,6811 New Zealand dollarNZD26,2931 South African randZAR2,8151 Turkish liraTRY7,3151 Russian rubleRUB6571 Qatari riyalQAR11,539100 Iraq dinarsIQD3,5291 Syrian poundSYP821 Australian dollarAUD28,4361 Saudi riyalSAR11,2011 Bahraini dinarBHD111,7041 Singapore dollarSGD30,502100 Bangladeshi takasBDT49,72610 Sri Lankan rupeesLKR2,3181 Myanmar kyatMMK28100 Nepalese rupeesNPR36,7271 Libyan dinarLYD29,7781 Chinese yuanCNY5,9241 Malaysian ringgitTHB137,826100 Thai bahtsMYR10,0491,000 South Korean wonsKRW35,1811 Jordanian dinarJOD59,2401 euroEUR46,254100 Kazakh tengesKZT10,8581 Georgian lariGEL14,1421,000 Indonesian rupiahsIDR2,9801 Afghan afghaniAFN5371 Belarus rubleBYN20,5891 Azerbaijani manatAZN24,707100 Philippine pesosPHP80,6831 Tajik somoniTJS4,3351 Venezuelan bolivarVEF4,2061 Turkmen manatTMT11,967In Iran, the official exchange rate is used for the import of some essential products.SANA system is a system introduced by the Central Bank of Iran to the currency exchange offices, where the price of 1 euro is 126,232 rials, and the price of $1 is 111,526 rials.NIMA is a system intended for the sale of a certain percentage of the foreign currency gained from export. The price of 1 euro in this system is 121,937 rials, and the price of $1 is 109,901 rials.In the black market, $1 is worth about 113,000-116,000 rials, while 1 euro is worth about 126,000-129,000 rials. Azerbaijani oil prices for Sept. 16-20 http://www.today.az/news/business/186534.html Business Sat, 21 Sep 2019 14:20:00 +0400 Trend:Average price of AZERI LT CIF extracted at Azerbaijan's Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli block of fields was $68.5 per barrel on September 16-20, or $3.36 more than the previous week, Trend reports.During the reporting period, the highest price of AZERI LT was $71.10 per barrel, while the lowest price was $67.33 per barrel.Azerbaijan sells AZERI LT via the Turkish port of Ceyhan and Georgian ports of Batumi and Supsa. The oil is supplied to Ceyhan via the BTC pipeline and to Georgia via the Baku-Supsa pipeline and railway.Azerbaijan sells the oil supplied via the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline through Russia's Novorossiysk port.Average price of URALS (FOB-NOVO) was $63.69 per barrel, which is $3.79 more than in the previous week.The highest price for URALS was $66.43 per barrel and the lowest price was $62.47 per barrel on September 16-20.Average price of Brent Dated was $65.45 per barrel on September 16-20 or $2.77 per barrel more than the preceding week.The highest price for Brent was $68.20 per barrel and the lowest price was $64.25 during the reporting period. Uzbekistan's WTO accession to increase only imports, exports to lag http://www.today.az/news/regions/186537.html World news Sat, 21 Sep 2019 14:02:00 +0400 Trend:WTO accession will definitely increase interest in Uzbekistan and positively affect the country's image, analysts of the information and analytical Uzbek portal World of Finance told Trend in an interview."However, in turn, imports will increase, and exports will lag until the quality of exported goods complies with international standards," they added.Regarding the issue of Eurobonds by Uzbekistan, experts noted: "The placement of Eurobonds was a benchmark for the country, but this is only the beginning; there are still many reforms to be implemented to make business in Uzbekistan transparent and reduce the shadow turnover of goods and services."Analysts said that the world market is just beginning to recognize Uzbekistan, but the not very good reputation of the past has stopped foreign investors from actively investing in the country."We think this is a matter of time, and if Uzbekistan creates a more favorable environment for conducting business, then there will certainly be a shift," they said.Analysts noted that Uzbekistan has very ambitious plans for the future, but it all depends on the success of the reforms.They emphasized that much depends on government agencies, reducing bureaucratization, ensuring transparency of public procurement and costs, reducing corruption, ensuring compliance with laws, reducing benefits in all areas, successfully implementing the new tax code, fair personnel policy and much more."Without the implementation of the above reforms, a sharp breakthrough should not be expected. The leadership of Uzbekistan should move from words and promises to real actions to improve the economy. If local businessmen do not feel comfortable, then foreign investors will not be interested in the market at all. In the meantime, local businessmen in Uzbekistan are not feeling very well,"they said.Experts added that a lot depends on the new President of Uzbekistan. He is now trying to change the thinking and stereotypes of bureaucrat officials; if he succeeds, and everything said will be realized, then there will be real changes for the better. Armenia makes provocations in direction of Azerbaijan’s Gazakh border [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/186538.html Politics Sat, 21 Sep 2019 13:32:00 +0400 Trend:The Armenian side continue to make provocations regarding the combat positions of the Gazakh border division of the Azerbaijani State Border Service, located on the contact line on the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border, Trend reports referring to the State Border Service.An excavator laying the supply routes in combat positions was subjected to the Armenian side’s shelling at about 13:20 (GMT+4) on September 20.The return fire was suppressed.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Ambassador: Indian entrepreneurs exploring investment opportunities in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/business/186535.html Business Sat, 21 Sep 2019 13:14:00 +0400 Trend:The economic ties between Azerbaijan and India do not reflect the existing potential and opportunities, therefore, entrepreneurs of both countries must cooperate more closely, Mammad Musayev, president of the Azerbaijani National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) Organizations, said.Musayev made the remarks in Baku at the meeting with Indian Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Azerbaijan Bawitlung Vanlalvawna, Trend reports.He said that the Confederation is ready to support the work to be carried out in this sphere.“India is one of the major partners importing oil and oil products from Azerbaijan,” he said. “At the same time, cooperation is developing in the fields of pharmaceutics, IT, and healthcare.”Musayev informed the guest about the investment environment, state support for entrepreneurship, reforms in Azerbaijan, invited Indian entrepreneurs to invest in the country."Azerbaijan has a geostrategic location and industrial parks have been created in our country,” Musayev added. “India may invest in the textile and pharmaceutical industry of these agricultural parks and thus may get the simplified access to even bigger markets."Vanlalvawna stressed that Indian entrepreneurs are exploring investment opportunities in Azerbaijan and the appeals have been already made to the embassy in this regard.He urged the Confederation to help draw up a more complete response to these appeals and to determine the most attractive areas for making investments.“A delegation of the Indian Industrial Corporation will visit Azerbaijan on Nov. 6-8,” Vanlalvawna said."This visit is a very good opportunity to do certain work and we would like the delegation to meet with representatives of the Confederation," the ambassador added. Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market http://www.today.az/news/business/186533.html Business Sat, 21 Sep 2019 12:57:00 +0400 Trend:Official exchange rate of the Azerbaijani manat against the US dollar set by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) remained unchanged last week, Trend reports.Accordingly, last week, the average rate was 1.7 AZN/USD.Official AZN/USD exchange rateSept. 91.7Sept. 161.7Sept. 101.7Sept. 171.7Sept. 111.7Sept. 181.7Sept. 121.7Sept. 191.7Sept. 131.7Sept. 201.7Average weekly1.7Average weekly1.7Last week, the official exchange rate of manat against euro set by CBA increased by 0.0026 manats or 0.1 percent.Accordingly, the average AZN/EUR rate was 1.8785 manats.Official AZN/EUR exchange rateSept. 91.8680Sept. 161.8825Sept. 101.8774Sept. 171.8722Sept. 111.8788Sept. 181.8811Sept. 121.8724Sept. 191.8766Sept. 131.8818Sept. 201.8799Average weekly1.8629Average weekly1.8785The official exchange rate of manat to Russian ruble set by CBA increased by 0.0001 manats or 0.4 percent.Accordingly, the average AZN/RUB rate was 0.0265 manats.Official AZN/RUB exchange rateSept. 90.0259Sept. 160.0266Sept. 100.0259Sept. 170.0266Sept. 110.0260Sept. 180.0264Sept. 120.0260Sept. 190.0264Sept. 130.0263Sept. 200.0265Average weekly0.0260Average weekly0.0265The official exchange rate of manat to Turkish lira set by CBA decreased by 0.0009 manats or 0.3 percent.Accordingly, the average AZN/TRY rate was 0.2975 manats.Official AZN/TRY exchange rateSept. 90.2974Sept. 160.2964Sept. 100.2954Sept. 170.2967Sept. 110.2947Sept. 180.2982Sept. 120.2954Sept.190.2990Sept. 130.3006Sept. 200.2973Average weekly0.2967Average weekly0.2975 Azerbaijan improves railroad safety guarantees http://www.today.az/news/business/186529.html Business Sat, 21 Sep 2019 12:38:00 +0400 Trend:Overhaul on the Ganja-Boyuk Kasik railway route necessitated the reconstruction of other structures and mechanisms, as well as individual economic plots included in this line, Trend reports referring to Azerbaijan Railways CJSC.Major projects are being currently carried out in this direction, which cover economic areas directly connected to the railway traffic system.Renovation of 156 turnouts on the Ganja-Boyuk Kasik line began on August 5. Unlike the older ones, the new turnouts installed on reinforced concrete beams and sleepers are more reliable in terms of uninterrupted operation and safety of railway traffic.In a short period of time, 39 gunners were renovated and 9 new ones are continuing to be installed in Poylu and another 10 at Dallar station.Work is carried out by specialized railway enterprises ? 5 and ? 11 of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC via the company’s own funds. Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market http://www.today.az/news/business/186528.html Business Sat, 21 Sep 2019 12:20:00 +0400 Trend:Last week, the price of one ounce of gold increased by 0.4675 manats or 0.02 percent in Azerbaijan, Trend reports.Accordingly, the average price of one ounce of gold stood at 2,551.7102 manats.Change in price of one ounce of goldSept. 92,566.5155Sept. 162,557.3185Sept. 102,532.6770Sept. 172,546.7190Sept. 112,534.8020Sept. 182,554.1735Sept. 122,543.2850Sept. 192,542.5540Sept. 132,546.3450Sept. 202,557.7860Average weekly2,544.7249Average weekly2,551.7102Last week, the price of one ounce of silver increased by 0.0184 manats or 0.06 percent in Azerbaijan.Accordingly, the average price of one ounce of silver stood at 30.3462 manats.Change in price of one ounce of silverSept. 931.2270Sept. 1630.4011Sept. 1030.3433Sept. 1730.3331Sept. 1130.8195Sept. 1830.4854Sept. 1230.7867Sept. 1930.0919Sept. 1330.7047Sept. 2030.4195Average weekly32.7762Average weekly30.3462Last week, the price of one ounce of platinum decreased by 4.403 manats or 0.3 percent in Azerbaijan.Accordingly, the average price of one ounce of platinum stood at 1,600.2117 manats.Change in price of one ounce of platinumSept. 91,618.3830Sept. 161,620.7800Sept. 101,585.1820Sept. 171,595.5095Sept. 111,593.3250Sept. 181,601.0260Sept. 121,610.4780Sept. 191,581.2295Sept. 131,613.9800Sept. 201,602.5135Average weekly1,604.2696Average weekly1,600.2117Last week, the price of one ounce of palladium increased by 40.3155 manats or 1.5 percent in Azerbaijan.Accordingly, the average price of one ounce of palladium stood at 2,735.7607 manats.Change in price of one ounce of palladiumSept. 92,614.6000Sept. 162,743.4175Sept. 102,622.2500Sept. 172,734.5520Sept. 112,660.5000Sept. 182,709.5960Sept. 122,691.9500Sept. 192,707.5050Sept. 132,738.8360Sept. 202,783.7330Average weekly2,665.6272Average weekly2,735.7607 BTC, TANAP contributed significantly to welfare of participating countries http://www.today.az/news/business/186527.html Business Sat, 21 Sep 2019 12:01:00 +0400 Trend:The Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline have contributed significantly to welfare of participating countries, Trend reports citing Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez.He made the remarks during the First Dialogue of Energy Ministers of Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.The minister pointed out that Turkey's relationship with neighboring countries has further improved with cross-border natural gas connections."One of the most important examples of our regional interconnection initiatives is the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which has supplied approximately 3.2 billion barrels of oil to date and has been operating for more than 10 years," said Donmez.He went on to add that TANAP has become a new route for the Turkish and EU gas markets since it opened in last June."Both BTC and TANAP have contributed significantly to the welfare of the participating countries, as well as to partnerships, peace and stability in the region," Dönmez said.TANAP project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field to the western borders of Turkey.The length of TANAP is 1,850 kilometers and its initial annual capacity is 16 billion cubic meters of gas. Around six billion cubic meters of this gas is meant to be delivered to Turkey, with the remaining volume to be supplied to Europe.The commercial gas supplies to Turkey have been launched via the first phase of the TANAP gas pipeline since June last year. The gas is transferred to the local gas pipeline system in the Eskisehir province.TANAP became ready for transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe from July 1, 2019.The share distribution of TANAP shareholders is as follows: Southern Gas Corridor CJSC - 51 percent, SOCAR Turkey Enerji - 7 percent, Botas - 30 percent, BP - 12 percent.The BTC pipeline currently carries mainly ACG crude oil and Shah Deniz condensate from Azerbaijan. In addition, other volumes of crude oil and condensate continue to be transported via BTC, including volumes from Turkmenistan, Russia and Kazakhstan.The BTC Co. shareholders are: BP (30.1 percent); AzBTC (25.00 percent); Chevron (8.90 percent); Equinor (8.71 percent); TPAO (6.53 percent); Eni (5.00 per cent); Total (5.00 percent), ITOCHU (3.40 percent); INPEX (2.50 percent), ExxonMobil (2.50 percent) and ONGC (BTC) Limited (2.36 percent). Azerbaijan: Transformation task ahead http://www.today.az/news/business/186526.html Business Sat, 21 Sep 2019 11:40:00 +0400 Trend:Azerbaijan, having emerged from an economic crisis that began just a few years earlier, now faces another formidable challenge: how to transform its economy into one where growth and job creation is driven by a dynamic private sector, reads the article byInternational Monetary Fund Mission Chief Natalia Tamirisa and the IMF Senior Economist Kevin Ross for Azerbaijan, Trend reports.On Sept. 6, the IMF Executive Board announced the completion of Article IV consultations with Azerbaijan.As discussed in a recent report, in 2014-15, a slide in oil prices, along with a banking crisis and a regional downturn, shrank Azerbaijan’s budget revenues and triggered a prolonged economic slowdown. Meanwhile, the country’s non-oil sector, which had been expanding at a fast clip in 2011-14, came to a standstill.To halt the slide, the authorities tightened the public purse, adjusted the exchange rate, closed many unviable banks, and took steps to improve the business environment. Thanks to this robust response and firming oil prices, the country has started to turn the corner.So, what lies ahead for Azerbaijan’s economy?First, the good news: fiscal and external surpluses have risen, inflation has declined, and the banking sector, while still fragile, has stabilized. With the hydrocarbon sector revitalized by new gas exports, the economy expanded at a 2.5 percent clip through the first half of 2019. A recently announced bad loan resolution program and increases in wages and pensions have boosted consumer demand.However, with oil production now in a long-term decline, the country needs to ween itself off its dependence on hydrocarbons. This requires diversifying sources of economic growth and government revenues, creating a viable and competitive private sector, and improving resilience to shocks. Without such a transformation, the economy will not be able to achieve sustainable growth and create the jobs needed for Azerbaijan’s young population.Economic policies should play an important role in creating incentives for this transformation.A key building block is fiscal policy. Weening the budget off oil requires saving exhaustible hydrocarbon wealth for future Azerbaijani generations. But fiscal consolidation needs to be growth-friendly. To this end, the efficiency of public spending needs to be improved, transfers and subsidies should be better targeted to those who need them most, and state-owned enterprises need to be restructured to become self-sustainable. Improving the efficiency of tax policy and administration should also remain a priority. A well-designed fiscal rule, along with stronger public financial management and greater fiscal transparency, can help guide fiscal policy and promote discipline.A second crucial plank is the central bank’s planned transition to inflation targeting. Greater exchange rate flexibility under such a regime would help the economy to absorb external shocks without losing competitiveness. It would also encourage better management of exchange rate risks and help prevent a build-up of future vulnerabilities. Together with greater exchange rate flexibility, increased issuance of government securities in domestic markets would foster financial market development by providing a benchmark for corporate bonds and an investment asset for the private sector.The third building block is a well-functioning financial system, which can direct savings to their most efficient uses. Further upgrading of financial sector supervision and phasing out of regulatory forbearance, along with an independent asset quality review, are essential to improve confidence and prevent a build-up of future vulnerabilities.Finally, for a private sector-led growth model to take hold, the government needs to step back and focus on creating an enabling environment for the private sector to flourish.Azerbaijan has already started to put the pieces of this new policy framework together. Recent announcements of reforms are positive steps. Effective implementation of these measures is now essential to ensure that the underlying goal of improving Azerbaijan’s economic prospects and inclusiveness is realized. Azerbaijan's group team to compete at Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Baku http://www.today.az/news/sports/186525.html Sports Sat, 21 Sep 2019 11:24:00 +0400 Trend:The sixth day of the 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships kicked off in the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku on Sept. 21, Trend reports.The competitions of teams in group exercises with five balls, three hoops and two pairs of clubs will be held. According to the results, teams-finalists and winners in the all-around competitions will be named. Five teams will also get licenses for taking part in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.The competitions will begin at 14:30 (GMT+4). Azerbaijan will be represented by a team in group exercises, consisting of Ayshan Bayramova, Diana Ahmadbayli, Aliya Pashayeva, Zeynab Hummatova and Daria Sorokina.The 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships will last until Sept. 22.The Championships is the qualification competition for the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2020. As such, the first 16 individual gymnasts (max. two gymnasts per country) in the all-around ranking will qualify for the Games.As for the gymnasts within group exercises, Bulgaria, Russia and Italy have already qualified according to the results of the last World Championships. At this year’s Championships, the best five teams will qualify for the Tokyo-2020 Olympic Games according to the all-around scores.More than 300 gymnasts from 61 countries are competing for nine sets of medals. “Fairy Tales will come to life" is the motto of the championships. Central Bank of Azerbaijan diversifies sterilization tools http://www.today.az/news/business/186524.html Business Sat, 21 Sep 2019 11:07:00 +0400 Trend:The Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) intends a phased placement of 84-day, 168-day and 252-day notes in order to support the development of the securities market as a whole, as well as intensify the interbank money market in terms of the short-term yield curve cycle with periodic diversification of sterilization instruments, Trend reports referring to the CBA’s press service.New urgent notes will be placed without the implementation of the “interest rate corridor” principle.In other words, orders that will be presented at the auction in connection with new urgent notes will not be limited by the CBA’s discount rate range with a low threshold for the interest corridor, and will reflect the expectations of auction participants regarding market interest.Among the innovations in bidding for notes are changes in the settlement mode. As such, for more convenient settlements on transactions concluded with notes, settlements on concluded transactions are carried out in T+1 mode starting from the 28-day note auction on September 18, 2019. Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 23 times http://www.today.az/news/politics/186521.html Politics Sat, 21 Sep 2019 10:51:00 +0400 Trend:Over the past 24 hours, Armenian armed forces have violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops 23 times, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on Sept. 21, Trend reports.The Armenian armed forces were using sniper rifles.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Awarding ceremony of winners of 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships held in Baku [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/sports/186523.html Sports Sat, 21 Sep 2019 10:38:00 +0400 Trend:The ceremony of awarding the winners of the finals of the individual all-around competitions of the 37th World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships was held at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku, Trend reports.US athlete Laura Zeng was awarded with the Longines Prize for Elegance. The award was presented by President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Morinari Watanabe, International Sponsorship and Events Manager of LONGINES Benjamin Aeby, official ambassador of the 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships Yana Batyrshina.The winner and prize-winners of the finals of the individual all-around competitions were awarded. Russian gymnast Dina Averina ranked first, another Russian gymnast Arina Averina ranked second, Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram ranked third.The awards were presented by FIG Secretary General Nicolas Buompane, member of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics Technical Committee Mariya Gigova, official ambassador of the 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championship Yana Batyrshina.The 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships will last until Sept. 22.The Championships is the qualification competition for the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2020.As for the gymnasts within group exercises, Bulgaria, Russia and Italy have already qualified according to the results of the last World Championships. At this year’s Championships, the best five teams will qualify for the Tokyo-2020 Olympic Games according to the all-around scores.More than 300 gymnasts from 61 countries are competing for nine sets of medals. “Fairy Tales will come to life" is the motto of the championships. Dina Averina grabs gold at World Championships in Baku http://www.today.az/news/sports/186522.html Sports Sat, 21 Sep 2019 10:25:00 +0400 Trend:Russian gymnast Dina Averina grabbed gold scoring 91.400 points in individual all-round competitions at the 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Baku, Trend reports.Another Russian gymnast Arina Averina grabbed silver scoring 91.100 points, while Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram settled for bronze scoring 89.700 points.TOP-16 gymnasts performing in the individual all-around competitions received a license (maximum two gymnasts from the country) to participate in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.Azerbaijani gymnast Zohra Agamirova gained a license for the 2020 Olympic Games. She ranked 16th scoring 78.725 points.The 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships will last until Sept. 22.The Championships is the qualification competition for the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2020. As such, the first 16 individual gymnasts (max. two gymnasts per country) in the all-around ranking will qualify for the Games.As for the gymnasts within group exercises, Bulgaria, Russia and Italy have already qualified according to the results of the last World Championships. At this year’s Championships, the best five teams will qualify for the Tokyo-2020 Olympic Games according to the all-around scores.More than 300 gymnasts from 61 countries are competing for nine sets of medals. “Fairy Tales will come to life" is the motto of the championships.Nine gymnasts are representing Azerbaijan at the World Championship, which is being held at the National Gymnastics Arena. Zohra Agamirova, Veronika Hudis, Yelyzaveta Luzan and Maryam Safarova perform in individual competitions. Ayshan Bayramova, Diana Ahmadbayli, Aliya Pashayeva, Zeynab Hummatova and Darya Sorokina participate in group exercises as part of the Azerbaijani team. SMEs Development Agency encourages production of pharmaceutical products http://www.today.az/news/business/186520.html Business Sat, 21 Sep 2019 10:09:00 +0400 By Azernews By Rasana GasimovaAs part of its work to stimulate micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses, the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Azerbaijan has offered entrepreneurs to organize the production of pharmaceutical products in Pirallahi industrial park, Orkhan Mammadov, the chairman of the board of the Agency, Trend reported.Mammadov noted that there is strong demand for creating active public associations in order to develop the pharmaceutical production sector and the health business, adding that the Agency is ready to support such initiatives.He noted that the recently launched mechanism for studying the domestic market can be used to conduct market research in health and pharmaceutical sectors: “In case of such appeals, the Agency can provide support to business entities,” Mammadov said.Mammadov made the remarks during the business forum titled "Medical Business Forum: current sitaution and future prospects" held on 20 September.The Pirallahi industrial park was created by the order of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev dated September 14, 2016. The park covers the area of 30 hectares. Five companies have the status of residents. Currently, the production of syringes in the park is carried out by “Diamed CO”. The remaining four enterprises are under construction.The main task of the SMEs Development Agency is ensuring the succession of reforms, improvement of the business regulation system, and application of effective coordination, enhancing the role and competitiveness of SMEs in the country's economy, as well as the compliance of the management system in this area with modern requirements.The SMEs accounted for 76 percent of employment in the country in 2018, and in recent years, comprehensive work has been carried out for the development of SMEs. In particular, inspections of business entities have been suspended and the process of obtaining licenses has been simplified.The share of SMEs in Azerbaijan's foreign trade is planned to increase to 40 percent after 2025.Agency’s stand 'Best social project award’ won at the 2nd Azerbaijan International Exhibition of Gifts and Promo Items (Gift & Promo 2019) held in Baku on September 12-14. Heydar Aliyev Foundation VP attends opening of photo exhibition on multicultural values of ... http://www.today.az/news/society/186532.html Society Fri, 20 Sep 2019 20:49:00 +0400 Trend:A photo exhibition highlighting Azerbaijan’s multicultural values has today opened at Baku Seaside Boulevard.Titled “Under one Sun”, the exhibition was co-organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Baku Media Center.Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva attended the opening of the exhibition.The exhibition presents pictures of representatives of different ethnicities living in Azerbaijan taken by professional photographers of Baku Media Center.As it is known, in 2016 Baku Media Center produced a film “Under One Sun” with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation as part of the “Year of Multiculturalism” project in Azerbaijan. The film shows everyday life, culture and art of representatives of 17 ethnicities living in the country.During the project, photographs were taken in all the regions where the film was shot, reflecting moments from lives of different ethnic groups.The main purpose of the exhibition is to show that Azerbaijan is a country of tolerance, where everyone has equal rights and freedoms regardless of religion, language and nationality.As part of the project, Baku Media Center crew filmed 54 villages and settlements in different regions of Azerbaijan, photographed 3850 landscapes reflecting the beauty of Azerbaijan’s nature, as well as 2625 persons of various age and different ethnic background.The exhibition showcases 80 photos selected among these photos.All presented photos were taken by photographers Vugar Ibadov and Zaur Mirzayev. Copyright of the photos belongs to Baku Media Center. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo congratulates President Ilham Aliyev http://www.today.az/news/politics/186530.html Politics Fri, 20 Sep 2019 20:45:00 +0400 Trend:US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo has sent a congratulatory letter to Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan."On behalf of the United States of America, I would like to extend greetings and congratulations to you and to the people of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the 25th anniversary of the signing of the 'Contract of the Century'" Michael Pompeo said."This year’s 25th anniversary commemoration comes at a time when Azerbaijan continues its commitment to bringing its abundant energy resources to world markets. Over the past quarter century, the United States has been a stalwart partner in Azerbaijan’s efforts to develop its domestic energy resources, contribute to European and global energy security, and chart its course as an independent nation. By signing this contract with Western firms in 1994 and constructing the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, Azerbaijan became a major supplier of oil to world markets and pioneered the first direct energy link between the Caspian and the Mediterranean seas," he said."Azerbaijan is once again playing a pioneering role, this time in the form of natural gas exported through the Southern Gas Corridor, which makes a strategic contribution to Europe’s energy security. As President Trump noted in his letter to you on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition, we fully support your efforts and believe Azerbaijan’s economic success is important for the stability and prosperity of the region," reads the letter."Our successful energy cooperation has contributed positively to our strategic relationship, which also encompasses economic cooperation, a security partnership, and our continuing engagement on human rights, fundamental freedoms, and democratic governance," the secretary of state said."The United States looks forward to continuing and deepening our work together in all of these areas. Please accept my congratulations on the anniversary of this important milestone," he added. President Ilham Aliyev congratulates Maltese counterpart http://www.today.az/news/politics/186531.html Politics Fri, 20 Sep 2019 20:30:00 +0400 Trend:Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has sent a congratulatory letter to his Maltese counterpart George Vella."On my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Azerbaijan, I extend my sincerest congratulations to you and the people of your country on the occasion of the national day of the Republic of Malta, Independence Day," Ilham Aliyev said in his letter."I believe that the development of friendship and cooperation between our countries will continue to serve the best interests of our peoples. On this remarkable day, I wish you the best of health, success in your endeavors, and the friendly people of Malta everlasting peace and prosperity." Azerbaijan’s Zohra Aghamirova grabs license for Olympics 2020 http://www.today.az/news/sports/186519.html Sports Fri, 20 Sep 2019 18:10:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijani gymnast Zohra Aghamirova has won a license for the Olympic Games 2020, Trend reports.The all-around finals in the individual program are taking place today, on September 20, in two compositions - first the gymnasts of group B (who took 13-24th places in the qualifications) performed, and then the gymnasts of group A (1-12th places in the qualifications) will be competing.Zohra Aghamirova performed as part of the group B and took the fourth place in her group. Therefore, regardless of how the gymnasts of group A perform, Zohra Aghamirova is already in the TOP 16 gymnasts.As a result of her performance in the all-around finals, Zohra Aghamirova scored 78.725 points in total for four exercises.For the exercise with a hoop, Aghamirova received 20.900 points, with a ball - 19.525 points, with clubs - 21.200 points and with a ribbon - 17.100 points.The top 16 gymnasts (maximum two athletes from one country) performing in the individual all-around program will receive a license for participation in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.The 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships will last until September 22.More than 300 gymnasts from 61 countries are competing for nine sets of medals. “Fairy Tales will come to life" is the motto of the championships. Temperature to drop on Saturday http://www.today.az/news/society/186516.html Society Fri, 20 Sep 2019 18:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaChangeable cloudy weather is expected in Baku on September 21.Rain is expected in some places in the evening. Fog will be observed in the morning. Strong northwest wind will blow throughout the day.The temperature will be 18-20  °C  at night in Baku and on the Absheron peninsula, 21-25  °C in the first half of the day and 17  °C  in the evening,  the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry reported.Atmospheric pressure will rise from 755 mm mercury column to 760 mm mercury column, relative humidity will be 60-70 percent.Rainy weather is  expected in country's northern and eastern regions. Torrential rain, hail, sleet and snow in the mountainous regions are predicted in some places. Fog will be observed in some places in the morning. West wind will blow and intensify in some places.The temperature will be 16-21 °C at night, 26-31  °C in the daytime,in mountains 9-14  °C  at night, 15-20  °C  in the daytime.As for the medical-meteorological forecast, the weather is expected to change dramatically on the Absheron peninsula on September 21-22. Low temperature, strong north wind are unfavorable for meteo-sensitive people. Azerbaijan’s Azericard to provide contactless payment services to customers http://www.today.az/news/business/186514.html Business Fri, 20 Sep 2019 17:44:00 +0400 By TrendIn the coming months, Azerbaijan’s Azericard payment system will provide contactless payment services to the customers, Farid Guliyev, director general of Azericard LLC, said at the second session of the 9th International Caspian Energy Forum, Trend reports September 20.Presently, this service is available to customers of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA). In the coming months, it will be included in the services of the partner banks of the company as well.The members of the Azericard payment system include 19 Azerbaijani banks, as well as one Russian and one Uzbek bank. Hungarian PM to visit Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/186507.html Politics Fri, 20 Sep 2019 17:38:00 +0400 By TrendHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will visit Azerbaijan in mid-October, Hungary’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Viktor Szederkenyi told Trend.“Prime Minister Viktor Orban is planning to attend the Summit of the Turkic Council that will be in Baku on October 15. (Hungary became observer to the Turkic Council last year),” he said.The Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council) was established in 2009 as an intergovernmental organization, with the overarching aim of promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic Speaking States. Its four founding member states are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.The Turkic Council is committed to the purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and other universally recognized principles and norms of international law, including sovereign equality, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of states, as well as the maintenance of international peace, security and development of good-neighbourly and friendly relations.Turkic Council is an organization dedicated to strengthening peace and stability, promoting wide-ranging cooperation and disclosing the potential for common development among its member states. Although it brings together a particular group of countries, the organization does not take an exclusive approach. On the contrary, by promoting deeper relations and solidarity amongst Turkic speaking countries, it aims to serve as a new regional instrument for advancing international cooperation in Eurasian continent, particularly in Central Asia and Caucasus. Russian Foreign Ministry awards Azerbaijani deputy FM http://www.today.az/news/politics/186513.html Politics Fri, 20 Sep 2019 17:26:00 +0400 By TrendDeputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Khalaf Khalafov, on the occasion of his 60th birthday, was awarded the badge of the Russian Foreign Ministry "For contribution to international cooperation", Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.The ambassador of the Russian Federation to Azerbaijan Mikhail Bocharnikov arrived in Azerbaijan to give the award.He read the letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and noted that Deputy Minister Khalaf Khalafov made a significant contribution to strengthening multilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia. All-around finals of 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships underway in Baku http://www.today.az/news/sports/186518.html Sports Fri, 20 Sep 2019 17:05:00 +0400 By TrendThe all-around finals in the individual program as part of the 37th World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships continue in the hall of the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku September 20, Trend reports.Azerbaijan is represented by Zohra Aghamirova in the all-around finals.Twenty-four gymnasts participate in the competitions. The winner and prize-winners will be determined according to the results of the competition. The top 16 gymnasts (maximum two athletes from one country) performing in the individual all-around program will receive a license for participation in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.The competitions are taking place in two parts; in the first, the gymnasts of group B (who took 13-24th places in the qualifications) are performing, and then gymnasts of group A (1-12th places in the qualifications) are competing.The 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships will last until September 22.More than 300 gymnasts from 61 countries are competing for nine sets of medals. “Fairy Tales will come to life" is the motto of the championships. Chinese CAMCE to invest in creation of agricultural park http://www.today.az/news/business/186511.html Business Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:50:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaAzerbaijan and China are successfully expanding the scope of cooperation in economy and trade.Azerbaijan Investment Company (AIC) and Chinese China CAMC Engineering Co, a member of the Chinese National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH), have signed a memorandum of understanding on creation of an agro-industrial park in Azerbaijan.The signing took place during a meeting between Shahin Mustafayev, Economy Minister of Azerbaijan, and a delegation led by Luo Yan, Marketing Director of SINOMACH and Chairman of CAMCE, in Baku on September 20. “For the implementation of the project, a working group will be created that will determine the place of the agro-industrial park,” said Shahin Mustafayev, Minister of Economy.“We expect that specific steps will be taken to implement this project at the China International Import Expo 2019 to be held in November in Shanghai this year,” he added.Mustafayev said that the project provides for the construction of a tractor plant, a plant for the production of irrigation equipment, plants for processing agricultural products. Investments in the project are estimated at $700 million. The project will create several thousand jobs.On the sidelines of the meeting, Luo Yan noted that along with the oil sector in Azerbaijan, there are vast opportunities for development in the non-oil sector, especially in agriculture.“Azerbaijan is one of the most important countries on the Silk Road. We can now make the appropriate decisions during the import exhibition to be held in China in November. We must mobilize our mutual efforts in the development of relations between the two countries, including the development of the Azerbaijani economy,” Yan said.On the same day, China CAMC Engineering Co also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Fund (AZPROMO), and a contract on engineering, construction and supply with AS Group Investment LLC.“The construction of a tire plant in Azerbaijan on the territory of the Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park, which will be built under the agreement with the Chinese CNEEC (China National Electric Engineering Co Ltd), may begin in early 2020,” Mustafayev told journalists.In his words, the feasibility study for the construction of a tire plant will be ready by late 2019.Currently, the share in the project is supposed to be as follows: CNEEC – 90 percent, Azerbaijan Investment Company (AIC) – 10 percent. The production capacity of the plant will be 3.3 million tires per year.These new projects together with the Chinese companies are being implemented in view of the recently signed contracts worth $821 million covering many fields. The documents were signed the sidelines of the second Belt and Road International Forum in April this year.Mustafayev also noted that Azerbaijan and China mull setting up joint ventures in the near future.He said that it is about creating a plant for the production of tractors, various types of agricultural machinery, as well as plants for processing agricultural products. “Investments in the amount of $ 100 million will be invested in the implementation of these large-scale projects, which will contribute to the opening of several thousand jobs.”Mustafayev underlined that Azerbaijan plans to increase investment in the implementation of projects in industry, the agricultural sector, as well as in the implementation of infrastructure projects.He further stressed that Azerbaijan plans to open three trading houses and one wine house in China by late 2019.He noted that trade relations with China are growing. “Following the results of the first half of 2019, trade between the two countries increased by 2.3 times and reached $1.4 billion,” Mustafayev stressed.“Most of Azerbaijan’s exports fell to oil, however, in recent years we have seen the diversification of trade and Azerbaijani agricultural products. Azerbaijani wine has found a niche in the Chinese market,” he said.Azerbaijan's trade and wine houses have been operating in Shanghai, Urumqi and Liuzhou cities to ensure export of Made in Azerbaijan products to China.  Anglo Asian Mining to start gold production in new fields http://www.today.az/news/business/186517.html Business Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:42:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rasana Gasimova Mining industry is one of the leading sectors in Azerbaijan’s economy. It holds the largest share in the industrial production of the country. Gold producer in Azerbaijan - Anglo Asian Mining Company is planning to start gold production in new fields, Trend reported, referring to the company.Electromagnetic prospecting showed that there’s a new field in the vicinity of Gadabay.“It also shows that Ordubad has a great potential. Our geological team is working on it,” a source within the company said.Anglo Asian Mining has produced 34,394 ounces of gold in the first half of 2019, which is 3.3 percent more compared to the same period in 2018.963 tons of copper (a 39 percent increase), about 84,580 ounces of gold (a 0.3 percent decrease) were produced over the first six month of 2019.Under the production sharing agreement signed with Azerbaijani government in August 2017, Anglo Asian Mining PLC company has the right to develop six fields in the south-west of Azerbaijan. These are Gadabay, Ordubad, Gosha Bulag, Gizil Bulag, Vejnali and Soyutlu. Under the agreement, 400 tons of gold, 2,500 tons of silver and 1,500 tons of copper are expected to be extracted from these deposits.Anglo Asian Mining and Swiss Industrial Minerals SA company signed a three-year agreement to sell copper concentrate mined at the Gadabay field. The companies signed the second agreement for sale of copper concentrate produced in the company's flotation plant in March 2016, which was valid until late 2018.Gold mined in the fields is sent to Switzerland for refining. Ingots are shipped to Azerbaijan and stored in government’s account.Azerbaijan, a country rich in mineral resources, started industrial production of gold in July 2009. About 900 fields were registered in Azerbaijan's state and territorial balance of reserves of mineral resources.A total of 4,238 kilograms of gold and 2,671 kilograms of silver was produced in the country in 2018.The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources estimates that the country is able to produce about 10-15 tons of gold per year. European Heritage Days marked in Gobustan http://www.today.az/news/society/186498.html Society Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:37:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaEuropean Heritage Days have been solemnly marked in the Gobustan National Historical and Art Reserve.The cultural festival provides access to thousands of rarely opened sites and unique events to over 20 million people every year.Open Doors Days were held at the Gobustan State Reserve on September 19-20 as part of the celebration, Trend reported.Addressing the event, the Gobustan National Historical and Art Reserve director Vugar Isayev said that the European Heritage Days, a joint project of the Council of Europe and the European Union, is held annually in late September."The official opening of events, educational campaigns, open doors days, folklore and ethnographic programs are considered the biggest cultural event in which Europeans participate. The main goal of the project is to provide free access of local and foreign visitors to nature reserves, cultural heritage sites, to attract attention of the general public to the protection of historical and cultural monuments, as well as the promotion of national and cultural heritage," Isayev said.Noting that interest in Gobustan is increasing every year, Isayev emphasized that the number of tourists visiting the reserve is growing from year to year."Last year, 123,000 tourists visited the Gobustan Reserve. This year there were more tourists. Although four months remain before the year ends, over 110,000 tourists have already visited the reserve," he saidIn order to increase the number of visitors to the reserve, various events are organized regularly."The promotion of the reserve is constantly being conducted. One of the events will be held on October 9, and an exhibition of the Gobustan Reserve will be organized in one of the reserves in Portugal," Isayev added.Next, national artist Arif Huseynov held drawing classes for children. Young artists were awarded with certificates.An exhibition and sale of handicrafts of creatively gifted children and young boys with physical disabilities, in need of special care, was organized.The guests were invited to watch the performance of Buta ensemble, to attend mini-tours "Gobustan behind the scenes" to the places of filming of such movies as "The Last Pass", "The Seven Sons of Mine", "The Light of Extinguished Bonfires, "Dede Gorgud", under the guidance of the People's artist Arif Huseynov. ACG great example of int’l co-op, world-class technology: S&P Global Platts http://www.today.az/news/business/186505.html Business Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:24:00 +0400 By TrendAzeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) was a landmark contract for Azerbaijan and for the whole Caspian region, Elena Anankina, credit analyst focusing on energy and the primary analyst on SOCAR at S&P Global Platts told Trend.She made the remarks on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of signing of the Contract of the Century.“Now 25 years later it remains the key pillar of the country’s oil industry and a great example of international cooperation and world-class technology,” Anankina said.Its continuing solid exports underpin SOFAZ revenues, while local gas supplies are beneficial for the country, she added.Azerti-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019.25 years ago, on September 20, 1994, the Government of Azerbaijan and a group of international oil companies representing eight countries signed the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli Production Sharing Agreement, which later became known as the “Contract of the Century”. The Contract was extended in September 2017 until mid-century.From the start of production in November 1997 till the end of 2Q 2019, ACG produced about 488 million tonnes (more than 3.6 billion barrels) of oil.ACG participating interests are: BP (30.37 percent), SOCAR (25 percent), Chevron (9.57 percent), INPEX (9.31 percent), Equinor (7.27 percent), ExxonMobil (6.79 percent), TPAO (5.73 percent), ITOCHU (3.65 percent), ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) (2.31 percent). Monochrome paintings of national artist captivate Italians http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/186494.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:15:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijani artist Elay Mammadov has successfully presented his art works in Naples, Italy.In his work, the artist prefers the monochrome art style. The exhibition of national artist left no one indifferent. His paintings were met with interest of the viewers.The exhibition at the Palazzo Fondi art salon is organized with the support of the Baku-Naples Association and the State Committee on Work with Diaspora, Azertag reported.The opening ceremony was attended by the president of the Baku-Naples Association Giuseppe Canilio, employee of the State Committee for Diaspora Elvin Asgarov, vice-president of the Baku-Naples Association Elnur Jamalkhanov, representatives of the Azerbaijani community in Italy, local media, etc.The exhibition will last until September 22. State Musical Theater marks great Azerbaijani composer's birthday http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/186495.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:04:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaA festive evening has been held at the Fountains Square in Baku to celebrate the birthday of the great composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli.Azerbaijan State Academic Musical Theater delighted Baku residents with theater’s repertoire and several works of the legendary composer.The theater was accompanied by a symphony orchestra under the direction of the main conductor, honored art worker Fakhraddin Atayev and conductor Samad Suleymanli.The concert brought together People's Artist Parviz Mammadrzayev, Honored Artists Nargiz Karimova, Saida Sharifaliyeva, Alakbar Aliyev, Shovgi Huseynov, Emin Aliyev, actors Mehriban Zaliyeva, Aidan Hasanova, Rauf Babayev, AlimamadNoruzov, Samad Jafarov and others.The choreographers were Honored Artists Zakir and Elena Aghayeva, choirmaster - Honored Artist Vagif Mastanov, scriptwriter and director - Elmaddin Dadashov.The evening was organized with the assistance of Sabail District Executive Power.National Music Day - September 18 is annually widely celebrated in Azerbaijan. The music festival went down in history, as well as the birthday of the outstanding composer, musicologist and founder of Azerbaijani classical music Uzeyir Hajibeyli (1885-1948).In accordance with the decree signed by national leader Heydar Aliyev in 1995 - on the eve of the 110th anniversary of the genius of the composer, September 18 is annually celebrated in Azerbaijan as National Music Day.This day also marks the birthday of another prominent representative of Azerbaijani music, prominent composer and singer Muslim Magomayev (1885-1937).This year's 11th Uzeyir Hajibeyli International Music Festival is organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Ministry of Culture. The festival will last until September 30. Azerbaijan’s Customs Committee eyes information exchange via blockchain http://www.today.az/news/business/186504.html Business Fri, 20 Sep 2019 15:58:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan’s State Customs Committee plans to exchange information with customs authorities of other countries through blockchain technology, Deputy Chairman of the committee Ismayil Huseynov said at the second session of the International Caspian Energy Forum, Trend reports Sept. 19.The exchange of information by a new method has already started between the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan and the Georgian Customs Department, according to the report.“Azerbaijan with the active help of India and Moldova is already working on the use of such an information exchange with the customs authorities of Ukraine,” he added. “In the long term, such projects will affect other cooperating countries as well.” Armenia starts early winter conscription due to risk of shortage of soldiers http://www.today.az/news/regions/186497.html World news Fri, 20 Sep 2019 15:47:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovThe winter conscription in Armenia will begin much earlier. Instead of January 1-January 31, this time Armenian government decided to start this unpopular event with the Armenian youth earlier, namely on December 16. It will last, as usual until January 31, 2020.That is, within a month and a half, representatives of the military enlistment offices will harass Armenian parents with sons. Some 18-year-old Armenians will celebrate New Year and Christmas not surrounded by relatives, as they planned, but in the cold barracks, following the orders of the commanders.Such New Year's haste is unpleasant for both future conscripts and military conscription office staff. Instead of preparing for the holidays with the family, the employees of the military registration will be forced to travel all over Armenia to handle conscriptions.The reason for this haste is the risk of a shortage in the army. Recently, soldiers, having heard about the call, began leaving Armenia.In this case, how Armenian Armed Forces should fill the gaps? Of course, it is possible to invite contractors, but it's too complicated for a country with a tight budget.First of all, army has to pay money for contract workers. Secondly, these contractors, according to the Armenian Defense Ministry, are prone to suicide.Artsrun Hovhannisyan, press secretary of the Armenian Defense Ministry, even stated the need for “in-depth research” of suicides, since the ministry cannot find the reasons for this addiction.The question arises, what is the reason for such an irresistible desire of potential conscripts to escape from the Armenian army? The answer is simple; understanding that they can be put in a situation where they will be in danger. If a soldier finds himself in the territory of occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, which is the territory of Azerbaijan, then he is likely to be killed or injured.That is why the Armenian government decided to present an unpleasant “surprise” to the draftees. If someone already planned to flee abroad in the late December before the holidays, Armenian military officials will hand over the summons right at the bus station.The decision on the draft, in theory, should have been unexpected. However, it somehow leaked to the media. This is proven by the fact that getting military secrets in Armenia is not so difficult.Another version of such an increase in the draft period is due to the fact that the country's leadership decided to get an army of increased strength for at least a month. In fact, while the old-timers have not been demobilized, and the new conscripts will already arrive in military units.Oddly enough, young people will be used for peaceful purposes. The fact is that while Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is lying to his people about his “great” achievements in the economy, the country's infrastructure is in decline.For several weeks now, due to the conflict between the Yerevan Municipality and the Sanitek garbage collection company, the city's garbage cans are full. Such an environment becomes favorable for wildlife.Meanwhile, the environmental situation in the capital of Armenia is becoming unbearable. Naira Zohrabyan, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Protection Human Rights and Public Affairs, has complained that homeless dogs gather in groups in different places of the city and even at schools, which is unsafe for children.Judging by the fact that the Yerevan Municipality did not buy enough garbage trucks to clean up Yerevan streets from waste by its own resources, Armenian capital has every chance to celebrate the New Year with heaps of rotting garbage. Therefore, to clean the capital, soldiers will be taken away as labor force. In this case, Yerevan’s guests should not be surprised when they see a lot of young people in military uniform cleaning up the garbage.As for the Armenian soldiers’ use in the possible provocation in occupied territories of Azerbaijan, it is an unlikely scenario. This is due to heavy losses Armenia suffered during the four-day April war in 2016 that started with the provocation of Armenian forces but ended with the victory of Azerbaijani army that liberated more than 2,000 hectares of lands. Russian films week returns to Baku http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/186496.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 20 Sep 2019 15:33:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaThe Week of Russian films will be held in Azerbaijan on September 23-29.The opening ceremony will take place at Nizami Cinema Center on September 23, Trend Life reported.Director Anar Abbasov will present the film "Battle" to the audience and the guests of the ceremony.The Russian delegation will include well-known filmmakers who will present their movies in the following days. The delegation includes the director of the film "Tanks" Kim Drujinin, the screenwriter and actor of the film "Domovoi" Dmitry Bedarev, the director of the film "Van Gogh" Sergey Livnev, and the producer of the film "Dear Dad" George Malkov.Free film screenings will be organized at the Nizami Cinema Center and YARAT Contemporary Art Space.Russian films "Tanks" (September 24),  "Domovoy" (September 25), "Dear Dad" (September 26), "Mistresses" (September 27), "Saving Leningrad" (September 28), "Let's divorce" (September 29) will be screened at Nizami Cinema Center.Films "Van Gogh" (September 24), "Anna's War" (September 27), "The Eternal Life of Alexander Khristoforov" (September 28) will be presented to the viewers at YARAT Contemporary Art Space.The Week of Russian films was successfully held in Baku last year. The cinema week featured films of various genres that have become the prizewinners of many Russian and international film festivals.The films like "Salyut 7", "Throws", "Blood", "Summer", "Draft" and others aroused great interest among the viewers. All-around final of 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships starts in Baku http://www.today.az/news/sports/186506.html Sports Fri, 20 Sep 2019 15:24:00 +0400 By TrendThe 5th day of the competitions of the 37th World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships kicked off in the hall of the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku on September 20, Trend reports.The program includes the all-around final in the individual program, in which 24 gymnasts participate. The winner and prize-winners will be determined according to the results of the competition. The top 16 gymnasts (maximum two athletes from one country) performing in the individual all-around program will receive a license for participation in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.Azerbaijan is represented by Zohra Aghamirova in the all-around final.The 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships will last until September 22.More than 300 gymnasts from 61 countries are competing for nine sets of medals. “Fairy Tales will come to life" is the motto of the championships. Azerbaijani Finance Ministry to put medium-term bonds up for sale http://www.today.az/news/business/186503.html Business Fri, 20 Sep 2019 15:15:00 +0400 By TrendThe Baku Stock Exchange (BSE) will hold an auction on the placement of medium-term bonds of the Azerbaijani Finance Ministry worth 15 million manats on Sept. 24 from 11:00 (GMT +4) until 12:30, Trend reports referring to BSE.Securities, with par value of 100 manats each, interest rate of 8.5 percent per annum and a maturity of 1,092 days, will be placed at the auction.The maturity of the bonds is Sept. 20, 2022.Azerbaijan’s PASHA Capital investment company will be the issue underwriter.(1 USD = 1.7 AZN on September 19) ACG still has billions more barrels to recover: Wood Mackenzie http://www.today.az/news/business/186502.html Business Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:44:00 +0400 By TrendThere are still billions more barrels to recover and billions of dollars to invest in Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG), Ashley Sherman, Principal Research Analyst – Caspian & Europe at Wood Mackenzie research and consulting company told Trend.He made the remarks on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of signing of the Contract of the Century.“The 25th anniversary of the ACG ‘Contract of the Century’ is a moment to celebrate the past and look to the future. There are very few individual oil fields that have had such a key role in shaping their country’s recent economic path. 25 years is a long time in the oil business, but it is not even half time for the ACG agreement – all thanks to the landmark contract extension signed in 2017,” said Sherman.He noted that ACG production is currently below 550,000 b/d.“But, with 30 more years to contract expiry in 2049, there are still billions more barrels to recover and billions of dollars to invest. On top of the 3.5 billion barrels already produced and $36 billion already invested,” said Sherman.He went on to add that approval of the $6 billion Azeri Central East (ACE) development phase was a fitting way to mark the 25th anniversary.“This latest investment showcases the continued impact of the ACG megaproject – competitive commercial returns for BP and partners; construction activity and employment in Azerbaijan; and additional revenues for Azerbaijan’s Oil Fund and economy,” said Sherman.Azerti-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019.25 years ago, on September 20, 1994, the Government of Azerbaijan and a group of international oil companies representing eight countries signed the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli Production Sharing Agreement, which later became known as the “Contract of the Century”. The Contract was extended in September 2017 until mid-century.From the start of production in November 1997 till the end of 2Q 2019, ACG produced about 488 million tonnes (more than 3.6 billion barrels) of oil.ACG participating interests are: BP (30.37 percent), SOCAR (25 percent), Chevron (9.57 percent), INPEX (9.31 percent), Equinor (7.27 percent), ExxonMobil (6.79 percent), TPAO (5.73 percent), ITOCHU (3.65 percent), ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) (2.31 percent). Date of meeting between Azerbaijani, Armenian FMs disclosed http://www.today.az/news/politics/186501.html Politics Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:39:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov will conduct a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in New York on September 22, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on September 20.A meeting between the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs is expected to be held the next day, on September 23. Russian airline receives admission to flights from Rostov-on-Don to Baku http://www.today.az/news/business/186500.html Business Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:23:00 +0400 By TrendThe Russian airline Azimut has received permission from Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) to fly from Russia’s Rostov-on-Don to Baku, Trend reports referring to Russian media.The Rostov-Baku flight is scheduled to be served twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays), starting from December 2, 2019.According to the preliminary schedule, flights will depart from Rostov-on-Don at 17:10 (GMT+3) and arrive in Baku at 20:10 (GMT+4). Return departure will take place at 21:20 (GMT+4), and flights will arrive in Rostov-on-Don at 22:20 (GMT+3).Azimut Airlines is a new carrier in southern Russia, based at the new Platov Airport. As of today, the company has a fleet of aircraft, consisting of modern SSJ-100 models.Flights in the Rostov-on-Don - Baku direction were previously operated by Russia’s Pobeda airline. Azerbaijan to increase export potential of cargo transportation to global markets http://www.today.az/news/business/186499.html Business Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:11:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan intends to significantly increase the cargo transportation potential along the Trans-Caspian corridor, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line, Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev told reporters, Trend reports.The minister noted that Azerbaijan has fulfilled all the tasks of infrastructural significance in the process of implementing the most important projects in which large investments have been made. He noted that the process of investing in the implementation of upcoming projects will continue in the future."We intend to expand opportunities in the field of cargo transportation so that Azerbaijani products enter new foreign markets. Azerbaijan will continue to work within the framework of the One Belt, One Way initiative to increase export opportunities in order to promote Azerbaijani goods in foreign markets," the minister said. Novruz Mammadov: Contract of Century became important guarantee of state independence http://www.today.az/news/politics/186512.html Politics Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:00:00 +0400 By TrendThe global "Contract of the Century" project once again demonstrated to the whole world the desire of Azerbaijan as a sovereign state to become the master of its natural resources, protect its national, economic and strategic interests and has become an important guarantee of state independence, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Novruz Mammadov tweeted on the 25th anniversary of the Contract of the Century, Trend reports."The contract, signed 25 years ago between independent Azerbaijan and the world's leading oil companies, was named the Contract of the Century precisely because of its historical, political and international significance," Mammadov noted."The Contract of the Century was a great contribution and guarantee of the newly-independent young Azerbaijani state in eternity, stability of statehood, continued development, international cooperation, global and regional security of the republic under the leadership of the national leader Heydar Aliyev. The political and diplomatic professionalism of the great leader Heydar Aliyev, his powerful will as a person and a strong leader, played a decisive role in the fulfillment of this historical event," he added."The great leader was able to convince the world that independent Azerbaijan was ready for strategic cooperation. Thanks to the great leader, using the opportunities of this strategic cooperation, the young state received great chance to ensure the further development of the economy. This contract laid the foundation of the oil strategy of the independent state," the prime minister wrote.He emphasized that independent Azerbaijan, which initiated the contract, has contributed to international cooperation and regional security.According to Novruz Mammadov, the 25-year-old successful cooperation once again showed that the Azerbaijani people, who created the first democratic republic 100 years ago in the East, first granted women the right to vote, created unique cultural samples, are a reliable partner and the continuation of joint implementation of this project of global importance with partners is necessary.He noted that due to the political foresight of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the term of this contract, which brought exceptional success to the country, was extended until the middle of the 21st century."In the 25 years that have passed since the signing of the Contract of the Century, Azerbaijan and its oil and gas industry have passed a development path equal to a century. I am sure that independent Azerbaijan will worthily continue this path!" he added. President Ilham Aliyev attends ceremony marking 25th anniversary of Contract of Century, Oil ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/186486.html Politics Fri, 20 Sep 2019 13:55:00 +0400 President of  Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended a ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Contract of the Century and Oil Workers Day at the Heydar Aliyev Center.The head of state made a speech at the event, Azertag reported.The U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Earle Litzenberger then read out Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s letter, while the UK Ambassador James Sharp read out the Secretary of State for International Trade of the Department for International Trade Elizabeth Truss’ letter.Other speakers at the event included BP Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Gary Jones and first vice-president of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) Khoshbaxt Yusifzade. Energy Ministry prepares "National Action Plan on Azerbaijan’s Energy Efficiency" http://www.today.az/news/business/186487.html Business Fri, 20 Sep 2019 13:42:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan’s Energy Ministry has prepared the “National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency of Azerbaijan” within the EU4 Energy program, head of Office of the Energy Ministry Zaur Mammadov said, Trend reports citing the Ministry of Energy.He said that this is the next step after the preparation, together with the Energy Charter, of the draft “Law on the Efficient Use of Energy Resources and Energy Efficiency”, which has been submitted to Azerbaijan.He also added that a working group of the Plan has already been created and an initial action plan has been prepared.The EU4Energy program is aimed at improving the quality of data and statistics in the field of energy, creating regional discussions in the field of political decision-making, strengthening the legislative and regulatory framework and improving access to information in partner countries.