Media Review May 29, 2019

The essence of the Southern Gas Corridor, the fight against the shadow economy, and the situation in the non-oil region are the leading topics of today's media.

The Azerbaijan newspaper writes about the essence and significance of the Southern Gas Corridor, calling it a bridge of cooperation stretching from the Caspian Sea to the shores of the Adriatic. For SGC, the official opening of which took place on May 29, 2018, gas is transported from the Shah Deniz field. The last segment of the project is TAP, the construction of which is coming to an end in 2020. Gas from Azerbaijan will start flowing to Europe via this pipeline. The length of SGC is 3,500 km. The cost of the project is 40 billion dollars. The foundation of SGC was laid on September 20, 2014, and its commissioning is planned for 2020. The author notes that SGC in its essence will become an important factor in the development of the economy of Azerbaijan. This project will bring profit to all countries and companies - participants of the project. It will not only develop cooperation, but also have a positive impact on security and stability in the region.

The newspaper Yeni Musavat discusses the topic of fighting the shadow economy with experts Parviz Heydarov and Rashad Hasanov. The article says that data on combating the shadow economy varies considerably. Thus, the State Statistics Committee states that the share of the shadow economy is 8-9%, local experts believe that it is 70%, and international organizations say that it is 50-60%. Informal employment in the country is 2 times higher than official employment. In order to combat this phenomenon and the shadow economy, in January of this year some changes were made in the system of taxes and social insurance. Experts believe that with a high share of oil revenues in the state budget, there are more chances to go for reforms that cut off the shadow economy. In addition, the presence of the shadow economy and hidden employment forms an atmosphere of unfair competition.

The website writes about the situation in the non-oil sector of the country. An expert, Nemat Aliyev, is participating in the discussion of the issue. He believes the non-oil sector receives blows from everywhere as a result of mismanagement. The share of the non-oil sector in total exports is 8%, although a year ago this figure was 9%. For the first 4 months, imports increased by 50.3%. According to the expert, the four-month trade turnover over the past 5 years has decreased by 2.7 times, having decreased from 5.7 billion dollars to 2.1 billion dollars.

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