Round table discussions were held on the topic of “Economic reforms in Azerbaijan: role of civil society”

Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms (CAER) held a round table discussion on the topic of “Economic reforms in Azerbaijan: role of civil society” with the Council on State Support to Non-Governmental Organizations under the Auspices of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan today. Executive director of the Secretariat of the Council Farasat Gurbanov opened the meeting and stated that collection of documents on “Strategic roadmap on national economy and main sectors of economic” was broadly discussed with the participation of NGOs on July 27, 2016. A Group of Experts was established by the Council for the study of the collection of documents and submission of proposals. The Group worked productively, prepared suggestions on different fields of economics and submitted to CAER. F.Gurbanov noted that most of these proposals were considered in the preparation of “Strategic roadmap on national economy and main sectors of economic”.

Farasat Gurbanov said that realization of reforms that were considered in Road Map is successfully implemented today. Close participation of NGOs in the implementation of the above-mentioned issues is important. Participation of NGOs can be useful in the organization of public control and provision of expert services on different directions.

Executive director of the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms Vusal Gasimli delivered a speech on “Establishment of new economic model in the Republic of Azerbaijan”. He said that the greatest success of reforms in Azerbaijan is its irreversible character. Not only state institutions, but also all segments of society have been closely involved in all stages of the reform process, including preparation, execution, monitoring and communication. Although oil prices are more expensive than 50 % that was considered in the budget forecast, economic reforms are irreversible, sustainable and systematic. In spite of low oil prices, national economy increased the volume of exports up to ¼ on the non-oil sector as a result of reforms; rivals were left behind in global competitiveness and “Doing Business” Ratings. Vusal Gasimli added that the reforms target main challenges. “Reforms have turned into driver of reforms. Restoration of economic rise in 2018 is the beginning of new economic cycle. The main issue is to achieve a higher level of economic increase and to ensure sustainability. Therefore, it is necessary to improve competition environment, to continue institutional and structural reforms, to strengthen promotional mechanisms and to strengthen initial results that were achieved to overcome crisis in financial and bank sectors. The synergy of economic reforms with infrastructure projects in the country is the condition for sustainable development.”

President of the Center for Economic and Political Studies Sabit Baghirov, head of the Public Union for the Study of Economic Resources Ruslan Atakishiyev, head of the Public Union for the Center of Economic and Social Development Vugar Bayramov, head of the Public Union for the Aid to Economic Initiatives Azer Mehdiyev delivered a speech on “Role of civil societies in economic reforms”, “Economic reforms: macroeconomic stability and sustainable development”, “Economic reforms: fiscal sustainability” and “Economic reforms: improvement of business environment”, respectively, within the meeting.

It was noted in the event that the reforms process is continuous according to the policy conducted by Mr. President Ilham Aliyev. Development and dynamics are clearly reflected in non-oil sector. As a result of economic reforms in our country, there is an increase in the exports on non-oil sector during 10 months of 2017. There is a change in the structure of export in autumn due to seasonal factors.

It was highlighted in the discussions that opportunities are available for the close participation of civil society institutions in reforms process. Organizations of open public discussions of monitoring and assessment results of strategic roadmaps are in line with the provision of citizen participation during the reform process and open government principles. There are broad opportunities for the civil society institutions to hold enlightenment about reforms with the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms.

The questions of representatives of civil society institutions were answered at the end of the meeting.

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