World Bank (WB) forecasts the grow of 0.5% to 1% of the Azerbaijan’s economy in 2018, head of the bank’s Baku office Naveed Hassan Naqvi said.
This year, Azerbaijan’s economy will probably contract by 1-1.5%, he said.
“Unfortunately, Azerbaijan is overly dependent on oil,” he noted. “Nonetheless, oil prices decline and subsequent devaluation of the national currency created opportunities for other sectors of the economy to evolve.”
He added that the current exchange rate would create conditions for many potential agricultural exporters to become more competitive on different markets.
The fall in oil prices means that revenues of the Azerbaijani Government have declined, which forced consideration for new reforms that would encourage diversification of the country’s economy, he said.
Azerbaijan continues to work on various reforms, he noted.
“So we are happy to see the Road Map that government has unveiled this year,” he said.
Among other reforms, he also outlined the establishment of the Financial Stability Council.
Reforms take time and it’s too early to tell how effective they will be, he said.
He added that reforms by the Azerbaijani Government had the potential to positively impact the country’s economy.
World Bank’s expectations for Azerbaijan’s economic growth are approximately similar to those of other financial organizations.
International Monetary Fund expects Azerbaijan’s economy to decrease by 1% in 2017 and grow to 2% in 2018. Dutch ING Bank expects a 1% decrease this year and a 1.6% increase in 2018, Asian Development Bank – 1.1% decrease and 1.2% increase, respectively, and the Standard & Poor’s international rating agency – a 1% decrease and a 2% growth, also respectively.
Azerbaijan joined the WB group in 1992. (Trend/Business World Magazine)
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