The 20th anniversary of International Exhibition and Conference "Caspian Oil & Gas-2013" is a great event.
This was stated by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in his address to participants of the event.
"From year to year the exhibition has attracted more and more attention, and today it involves 400 companies. This in itself is an indication that, despite the fact that 20 years have passed, the value of the event has only increased," he said.
According to the president, despite the fact that the major oil and gas contracts have been signed, and the foreign companies have been operating successfully for many years in Azerbaijan, the importance of the exhibition is constantly increasing.
The Azerbaijani president drew attention to the traditional message of the U.S. president and the British prime minister to the participants of the exhibition, which is evidence of the significance of the event.
"Over the past 20 years, Azerbaijan has overcome a big way. Progress has been made in the energy sector," the president said, noting that it is difficult to overestimate the importance of the exhibition in the context of the development of oil and gas industry in Azerbaijan.
According to the president, in 1994, when the exhibition was first organized, the international community was poorly informed about Azerbaijan.
"Certainly, the companies involved in the oil industry are aware of the fact that Azerbaijan is an old oil state. However, information about the real potential of the republic and the prospects for the country`s development was very scarce," reminded the president.
Despite the fact that in the mid-90s under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev a new oil strategy of Azerbaijan was developed, at the time of the first exhibition in the country, there was not a complete picture of the future development of the country, the head of state noted.
"It is because of this strategy today Azerbaijan has successfully completed all major energy issues facing it. The country has strengthened its independence and ensured the independence of the economy," said President Aliyev, stressing that Azerbaijan is a great place for collaboration.
Azerbaijani President further noted that the signing of the Contract of the Century was a historic event and a turning point in the history of the country.
"It is not by chance that the contract signed in 1994 was called the Contract of the Century. And today, in the 21st century, we can say that this document has become the "Contract of two centuries", because the contract on fields Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli does not lose its relevance even today," said the head of state, stressing that the new corridors established under this contract are used successfully and provide the basis for the implementation of other projects.
"Much was spoken about the Contract of the Century. I just want to note that Azerbaijan for the first time in the history opened the Caspian Sea to collaborate with foreign companies. Also for the first time the transport infrastructure that unites the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean was created," reminded the president of Azerbaijan, noting that all of this has given impetus to the successful implementation of other projects.
"We have extensive experience in international cooperation. As a result of the implementation of the Contract of the Century, other sectors of the economy started to develop. A favourable investment climate was created. Today, Azerbaijan is a leader among the CIS countries in terms of attracting foreign direct investment," said the head of state.
According to him, Azerbaijan seeks to transform the oil into human capital, as well as redirect the oil revenue for the development of non-oil sector.
At the same time, the president stressed that the forecasts of some analysts presaging "Dutch disease" or the "oil curse" in Azerbaijan did not materialize.