The growth will be mainly supported by the coming on stream of Shah Deniz 2 gas field and investments stemming from the extension of the production sharing agreement for the exploitation of the country largest oil field, the report said.
Tourism and agriculture will foster non-oil sector growth. Fitch forecasts the current account surplus to increase to 8.4 percent of GDP in 2019.
Strong demand from Russia for agriculture exports, a robust tourism sector, and the completion of a new urea plant will stimulate exports of non-oil goods and services.
Fitch also noted the growth of Azerbaijan’s international reserves. In particular, the assets of the Sovereign Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) increased by 9 percent in January-October 2018 to $39.0 billion ($35.8 billion in 2017).
The agency analysts also noted the improvements in Azerbaijan’s banking sector.
“Credit growth recovered to 7 percent in 2018, supported by lower interest rates, and capitalization improved to 19.5 percent (excluding International Bank of Azerbaijan, IBA),” the report said.
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