Theinteractive meeting on the topic

Theinteractive meeting on the topic

On the same day, during the interactive meeting on the topic "Strategic Outlook - Eurasia", President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made four messages towards the international community.

The first message concerned the diversification of the economy, i.e. economic reforms. Aliyev, like at the Davos sessions of recent years, argued that the course taken to develop the non-oil economy after a significant fall in oil prices remains the main task.

The second message touched upon the theme of the regional policy of Azerbaijan, from which it followed that the establishment of pragmatic and sincere relations with neighbors, proceeding from mutual national interests (with the exception of Armenia, which occupied part of the territories of Azerbaijan) is the best way to guarantee the security of borders.

The third message concerned democracy, human rights and freedom of speech. The President did not change his long-standing position on the interpretation of this issue, claiming full provision of fundamental rights and freedoms, calling numerous criticisms on this score the machinations of certain circles of the West.

The fourth message contained an assessment of the internal situation and politics. Aliyev said that the country does not have internal risks and threats, and Azerbaijan is a state pursuing an independent policy based on national interests.

Summarize all four messages of the president, we can come to the conclusion that in 2018 Aliyev in his policy will make the main accent in the dialogue with society and the international community on the issue of development of the non-oil economy. The latter will include, mainly, the restructuring of the management system, which was launched in 2017. He will also build up tools to ensure internal stability and security with a subsequent tendency to restrict rights and freedoms. Further attempts by "certain Western circles" on the transaction of democracy to Azerbaijan will be neutralized by the justification for the need to take into account regional security and national interests.

In fact, we can expect that it will succeed, because economic, institutional reforms and international projects of importance to the West remain a priority. It is no coincidence that at the government meeting on January 10 Aliyev relied on the results of the Global Competitiveness Index (2017-2018). According to the World Economic Forum, where Azerbaijan ranked 35th in the ranking. This argument, as a recognition of a successful policy, was widely replicated by the media.

In fact, the Index defines the national competitiveness as the ability of the country and its institutions to ensure stable economic growth rates that would be sustainable in the medium term, as well as a guide to eliminating obstacles to economic development and competitiveness.

The global index is made up of 113 variables, which detail the competitiveness of the countries of the world at different levels of economic development. All variables are combined into 12 benchmarks that determine national competitiveness:

For Azerbaijan they look like this:

1.Quality of institutes33
3.Macroeconomic stability65
4.Health and primary education74
5.High education and professional training68
6.Effectiveness of goods and services31
7.Effectiveness of labor market17
8.Development of financial market79
9.Level of technical training56
10.Scope of domestic market63
11.Competitiveness of companies40
12.Innovation potential33

In the report, the main problems are access to finance, foreign exchange regulation, tax regulation, inflation, high state bureaucracy, insufficient level of education, corruption, high tax rates, poor work ethics, high infant mortality, life expectancy, poor secondary education, low level of primary education coverage, low intensity of local competition, high trade tariffs, weak banking system, weak legal rights and low speed Internet access and others.

In principle, these drawbacks take place. This is evidenced by the ratings of various influential international institutions.

Social development

Human development201678
Life expectancy2016112
Social progress201776
National expenditure2014120
National health expenditure2013120
Efficiency of the health system20163 place from the end
Ecological efficiency201631
Gender equality201462
Globalization of KOF201790

Political development

The quality of government1996 - 201311 - 39 points out of 100
Weakness of state201781
Global Peace Index2017132
Superiority of Law2016-
Press Freedom2017189
Political and Civil Freedoms2017188
Perception of corruption2016123

Economic development

On the size of GDP201782
GDP per capita2017123
Economic freedom201691
Protection of property rights2011100
Involvement in international trade201677
Attraction of direct investments201457
Energy consumption201377
Food safety201658

Scientific technical development

Patent activity201276
Scientific-research activity201480
Expenditure on researches201266

Information communication development

Development of innovation communication technologies201765
Net readiness201557
Internet development201479
Development of E-government201468

Research indicators show that, with the exception of the country's capabilities, resources and declared government intentions, which are reflected in the Global Competitiveness Index, the real situation in various areas is not so good and requires immediate reform efforts.

It should also be taken into account that economic reforms, apart from political reforms, including a high degree of protection of human rights, private property, freedom of speech and the rule of law, cannot lead the country to the forefront in the ratings, because they are interdependent. Comparative analysis of ratings on indicators of Freedom and Revenues per capita of GDP is a striking example of this. Azerbaijan ranks the 188th in terms of freedoms, and 123rd ($ 4,760) per capita GDP. Algeria, respectively, 15st and 128th ($ 4270), Denmark, respectively, 11th and 13th ($ 56,700), Sweden, respectively, 3rd and 16th ($ 54630). This list of negative and positive dynamics could be continued. It should also be taken into account that Azerbaijan and Algeria belong to the energy resource countries, the Scandinavian to the countries without resources. Without considering the resources, the picture would be much sadder. In principle, this experience was demonstrated by Azerbaijan, which first began to slide into the back positions in the ratings of Freedom, and then the income of the population, which collapsed not only because of the fall in oil prices, but also the devaluation of the values ​​of rights and freedoms.

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