President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank Group Keiko Honda.
Keiko Honda hailed the World Bank's successful cooperation with Azerbaijan, saying the organization closely follows the economic reforms carried out in the country and highly appreciates the works done here. Keiko Honda congratulated President Ilham Aliyev on what the country has done to cope with the economic difficulties and to achieve stability and development in the country. She emphasized the importance of Azerbaijan's achievements in economic development and in diversification of economy.
President Ilham Aliyev thanked Keiko Honda for the warm words, and praised the World Bank's continued support for economic reforms carried out in Azerbaijan. The President noted the importance of the funds allocated to Azerbaijan by the organization.
The head of state hailed the fact that this year marks the 25th anniversary of Azerbaijan's bilateral cooperation with the World Bank Group, underlining the significance of Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency's support for a number of vital investment projects implemented by foreign investors in Azerbaijan over the past years, including the globally important gas pipeline project Southern Gas Corridor. President Ilham Aliyev noted that the Southern Gas Corridor project is of crucial importance not only to Azerbaijan but also to a region covering a vast geography, including Europe. Describing Azerbaijan as a financially capable reliable partner and as a country which has always fulfilled its commitments, the head of state noted that the works on the TANAP project are being successfully implemented on schedule, and will be completed on time.
President Ilham Aliyev said that this year the Azerbaijani economy entered a period of stabilization. "If we do not take into account the oil factor in our economy, we can see that non-oil sector grew by 2.5 percent, while non-oil industry increased by more than 3 per cent, and the agrarian sector by more than 4 per cent. Despite the fact that the drop in the oil prices negatively affected the gross domestic product (GDP), the non-oil sector accounted for 70 per cent of the GDP." The head of state noted that the launch of the Southern Gas Corridor in the years to come, extension of the term of the Contract of the Century, additional investments and successful implementation of global transport projects give grounds to look optimistic about the prospects of the Azerbaijani economy.
They exchanged views on prospects for Azerbaijan-MIGA bilateral cooperation.