Minister names two factors that may potentially impact Azerbaijan's economy

  12 March 2020    Read: 695
  Minister names two factors that may potentially impact Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan's economy has strong financial immunity and “safety” cushion against any external shocks, said Azerbaijan's Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov at Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers' meeting, reports.

The situation in the global oil market and its impact on the economy were discussed at the meeting in the Cabinet of Ministers, chaired by Azerbaijan’s Prime Minister Ali Asadov.

"Today, in general, there are two factors that have the potential to impact the country's economy: the coronavirus epidemic and the failure of the OPEC + deal,” said the minister.

"Azerbaijani economy remains stable at the beginning of 2020. Over the past two months of this year, the gross domestic product growth rate was 2.8 percent. At the same time, the growth rate of GDP in the oil sector made up 6.7 percent. The growth of production in the non-oil sector has reached 21.7 percent, and the growth rate of investment deposits in the non-oil sector reached 21 percent. Naturally, the spread of the coronavirus epidemic adversely affected some fields of activity, such as tourism and air transport, while in other areas a certain high growth is observed. At the same time, the nominal growth rate of cash incomes of the population increased from 5.1 percent to 8.9 percent," Jabbarov said.

The minister also noted that the forecast for tax revenues for the two months of this year was fulfilled by 114.2 percent, including in the non-oil sector - by 115.9 percent. He said that some 180 million manat ($105.8 million) has been paid to budget in excess of the forecast. Tax revenues increased by 24.5 percent, including in the non-oil sector - by 24.8 percent compared to the two months of last year.

“Our economy has strong financial immunity and “safety” cushion against any external shocks. The volume of strategic foreign exchange reserves exceeds 100 percent of gross domestic product, and also exceeds the volume of external government debt by 6 times,” said Jabbarov, touching upon Azerbaijan’s financial stability.

The amount of reserves is sufficient for continuous three-year financing of goods and services, that is, strategic foreign exchange reserves are 5 times greater than the volume of all manat in circulation, 9 times greater than the volume of cash manat mass. This is a fundamental condition for ensuring the balance of the foreign exchange market and maintaining macroeconomic stability," he noted.

The minister said that in order to maintain the dynamics of economic growth, proposals on stimulating small and medium-sized enterprises will be prepared and submitted to the government. At the same time, the relevant structures of the ministry, together with the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, are taking flexible measures to maintain the balance and stability of the manat in the foreign exchange market.

“In accordance with the legislation, control over the sphere of cash flow will be strengthened, attempts to unjustifiably raise prices and create an artificial shortage in the consumer market will be severely suppressed. At the same time, measures to combat unfair competition and tax discipline will be intensified,” the minister added.

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