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Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 7,124 6,090 5,600 102
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 810 710 650 146
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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Update No: 357 - (26/09/10)

Azerbaijan loses approximately 25% of GDP per year over occupation of territories by Armenia.

Baku, Fineko/abc.az. The Azerbaijani government has expanded estimations of damage from occupation of the country’s territories by Armenia.

A governmental expert, wished to be unknown, informed Fineko/abc.az, within 20 years Azerbaijan loses not less than 25 % of added value per year, which could be formed, because of occupation.

“15% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Azerbaijan was formed in Nagorno Karabakh before the occupation. Also, the occupied seven districts areas along the perimeter of Nagorno Karabakh formed 10 % of GDP of the republic.

In this connection, we expect that liberation of Nagorno Karabakh will give fantastic multiplicatory effect for development of the country which will outweigh effect from oil boom conditions. As a consequence, the national economy will be diversified, and Azerbaijan will pass to diversified non-oil development in regard of branch,” the expert said.

Having occupied Nagorno Karabakh, where there was an Armenian national minority, and seven districts along its perimeter, where this minority was not available, Armenia started the conflict to Azerbaijan over 20 years ago.

The Caucasian imbroglio
The Caucasus is a troubled place that has led to almost as many conflicts and outright wars as the Balkans since the collapse of communism.

One such is the uneasy stand-off between Armenia and Azerbaijan that focuses on Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian enclave in the latter republic. So long as more than one and a half Azeri refugees have to live outside their former homelands in the enclave, there will always be a casus belli for new hostilities.

They, alas, commenced again at the end of August. There were fatalities on either side; each side naturally blamed the other. The showdown still goes on.

‘Niet’ to Nagorno-Karabakh
This is the last thing Moscow wants. It wants a quiescent Caucasus. So too does everyone else, excepting a few fanatics.

Azerbaijan, for instance, benefits from the Russian military base in Gyumri, Armenia, Vladimir Zharikhin, Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS, told Echo of Moscow (Ekho Moskvy). According to him, the base prevents the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict from developing into new mayhem. Well, it has not.

In an interview with Echo of Moscow, President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, said that the long-term agreement is “a victory of strategic pragmatism of both countries.”

He stressed the new agreement seriously reduces the risk of Azerbaijan’s attempts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in a military way. A diplomatic way must be found for the agreement not to affect Russian-Azerbaijani relations.

On August 20, in Yerevan, The RF and RA Ministers of Defence, Anatoly Serdyukov and Seyran Ohanyan, signed a protocol prolonging the deployment of Russian military base #102 in Armenia for up to 49 years.

The economy forges ahead
Official circles in Azerbaijan are constantly highlighting the fact of the country’s regional leadership. Azeri economic analyst Parhad Omarov stated that in 2010 Azerbaijan's economic success was acknowledged the world over. GDP is clipping along in double figures.

The IMF also acknowledged the Azeri central bank's effective anti-crisis policy. As a result, in 2009 Azerbaijan achieved the largest economic growth in the world. The Azeri Central Bank believes that the country will continue to be a leader in economic growth in the South Caucasus region. Azerbaijani is the richest country in the South Caucasus in terms of currency reserves.

But analysts think that Azerbaijan's economic success is mainly reliant on oil and gas and if the country did not have these reserves their economy would be less developed than either Armenia’s or Georgia’s. They conclude that Azerbaijan's regional leadership in the South Caucasus economy is based purely on the export of its oil and gas.

New deal with Russia
Still, that is something not to be despised. On September 2 Azerbaijan agreed to more than double its natural gas exports to Russia and the agreement was signed during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to the country.

The new agreement, signed by Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR and Russian gas giant Gazprom, was a supplement to an earlier accord signed by the two firms covering the period of from 2010 up to 2015.

According to the new deal, Azerbaijan will increase its gas exports to Russia to 2 billion cubic meters per year from 2011 and to over 2 billion cubic meters per year from 2012.
The original accord, signed on Oct. 14 last year, agreed to exports no less than 500 million cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas to Russia annually.

Azerbaijan began gas supplies to Russia on Jan. 1 this year and SOCAR has exported 494.6 million cubic meters of gas to Russia between January and July.

Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliev said his country has the potential to extract 5 trillion cubic meters of natural gas a year. The country is currently extracting 2 trillion cubic meters of gas a year. Azerbaijani gas reaches Russia through the Baku-Novo-Filya pipeline. The agreement on increasing Azerbaijani gas exports to Russia highlighted Medvedev's two-day visit to Baku, the Azerbaijani capital.


 

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