The World Bank (WB) explores the potential of each sector of the Azerbaijani economy, which can act as an alternative to the oil sector, World Bank Country Manager for Azerbaijan Sarah Michael said, Report informs.
“Azerbaijan will continue to export oil in the future, but its share in the country’s export will decrease against the background of decreasing oil reserves. From this point of view, we are focusing on several areas, in particular, on those sectors that have a concrete base - agriculture, tourism, trade, and logistics,” said Michael.
In her opinion, Azerbaijani fruits and vegetables are recognized in the region because of their quality.
“The productivity of agricultural products in Azerbaijan is at a high level, but the processing has not yet reached the proper level. The potential of Azerbaijan’s export of agricultural products to post-Soviet and European countries has not yet been exploited,” she said.
The tourism sector in Azerbaijan has great potential. Today there is a large flow of tourists, especially from the Persian Gulf countries, but Azerbaijan has the potential to develop various types of tourism. “The country has attractive places to visit for both wealthy tourists and the middle class. In addition, the procedure for obtaining electronic visas through ASAN Visa was simplified. Moreover, before the pandemic, favorable connections for air travel were created, the quality of services is quite good. Also, conditions have been created for online orders. In particular, it is very easy to book a hotel room in any other country from Baku. The creation of conditions for pre-ordering a hotel in any region of Azerbaijan, including remote ones, also helps to increase the country’s tourism potential,” said the head of the WB Baku office.
In her opinion, the favorable geographic location of Azerbaijan is a good advantage for the development of trade and logistics, carrying out cargo transportation from China to Europe.
“The situation in the Suez Canal and its impact on the world economy only confirms the need for additional routes, and Azerbaijan’s presence in this middle corridor only speaks of the country’s great economic potential. This will require additional investments - in the modernization of the railway infrastructure, the construction of digital logistics,” continued Michael.
She noted that an economic memorandum for Azerbaijan would be ready in three months. In this research and analytical work, the potential of each economic activity in all sectors will be determined, and research will be carried out, she added.
Michael noted that this is one of the studies carried out by the bank every five years. For Azerbaijan, the last time such a document was prepared in 2013.