"The first years of our independence were very difficult for Azerbaijan," the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, İlham Aliyev said at the XVIII Summit of heads of members states and governments of the Non-Aligned Movement which is held in Baku.
The head of state said that during the years of power of the treacherous, traitorous, cowardly and incompetent Azerbaijan Popular Front, our country has suffered serious misfortunes. "A civil war has begun in Azerbaijan. Only when President Heydar Aliyev came to power at the request of the Azerbaijani people in 1993 saved our country from even greater tragedies. Azerbaijan has embarked on a democratic, sustainable development path. Azerbaijan is committed to values such as democracy, human rights, and freedoms, and it has deep historical roots. We are proud that a century ago, for the first time in the Muslim world in the East, a democratic republic was established in Azerbaijan and women were given the right to vote. We are ahead of most Western countries even in this area.”
President Ilham Aliyev said that democratic development is a conscious choice of Azerbaijan: "All fundamental human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and the freedom of the press are ensured in Azerbaijan. Over the past 15 years, Azerbaijan's economy has grown rapidly, and the gross domestic product has increased more than threefold. Over $ 270 billion has been invested in Azerbaijan, half of which is foreign investment. Azerbaijan's foreign debt is only 17% of GDP. According to this indicator, we are 9th in the world. Poverty in Azerbaijan is at 5%. Only this year, the minimum wage and social benefits have doubled and the minimum pension has increased by 70 percent. 68,000 families, covering more than 280,000 people, benefit from targeted social assistance. Each family receives about $ 140 in social assistance. Over 3,200 schools, more than 640 hospitals and medical facilities have been built or repaired in Azerbaijan over the past 15 years. The literacy rate in Azerbaijan is close to 100 percent. More than 300,000 IDPs are provided with free homes and apartments. IDP families receive an average monthly allowance of $ 180.”
The Head of State noted that Azerbaijan's achievements are also praised internationally: "Azerbaijan is ranked among the top 20 most reformist countries in the World Bank's Doing Business Report for 2020. According to a report by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Azerbaijan is ranked 10th in the world for its long-term strategy, and the 5th in terms of leadership inclination towards reform. Azerbaijan is a cosmic country. We currently have three telecommunications satellites and one with three satellites monitoring the Earth's surface. About 80% of our population is internet users. Azerbaijan ensures energy security. Again, referring to the report of the World Economic Forum in Davos, I would say that Azerbaijan is the second largest in the world in terms of access to electricity. Azerbaijan is also an energy supplier of several countries."
President Ilham Aliyev said Azerbaijan, which acts as a bridge between Asia and the European continent, is the initiator and executor of a number of regional transport projects as a landlocked country.
The Head of State noted that as an active contractor of the East-West and North-South Transport Corridor projects, we are currently working on other important projects - South-West and North-West."Thus, Azerbaijan as a reliable transit country contributes to multilateral international cooperation."