STATE PROGRAMS FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENTS

Under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, a new economic policy strategy of Azerbaijan was implemented in 2003. The first decrees issued by the President during his presidency were on measures to accelerate socio-economic development and socio-economic development of the regions. It is no coincidence that during the first period of his presidency, ─░lham Aliyev signed a decree "On measures to accelerate socio-economic development in the Republic of Azerbaijan" on 24 November 2003.

State Program I successfully implemented for the development of the regions laid down new development foundations in various regions of Azerbaijan and moved the process of development to the following successful stage. Thus, President Ilham Aliyev with his Decree dated April 14, 2009, ratified the “State program on social-economic development of the regions of the Azerbaijan Republic for 2009-2013”. The key target causing the elaboration of a new program was to achieve diversification and effective integration of country economy to world economic system, improvement of the level of infrastructure and public services, as well as a continuous enhancement of the standard of living of the population. As a result of successful implementation of tasks set in both programs, tangible progress was achieved in the sustainable development of the non-oil sector, in the creation of new enterprises and job places, in further improvement of business climate, in an increase of employment of population and in a decrease of the poverty level. After "The State Program on Socio-Economic Development of Regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2009-2013 years" was implemented successfully in the country, it is shown that there is a necessity for a new third program. On 27 February 2014, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed a decree on State Program on socio-economic development of regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2014-2018 years". This program was the continuation of the works begun under the previous two completed programs.

During the period of implementation of state programs in 2004-2018, the GDP increased 3.3 times, including 2.8 times in the non-oil sector, 2.6 times in the industry, and 1.7 times in agriculture.

More than 2 million new jobs and more than 100,000 institutions were created in the country as a result of measures taken during this period. While 1.5 million jobs were permanent, unemployment fell by 5 percent and the poverty rate fell by 5.1 percent.

Currently, "The State Program on Socio-Economic Development of Regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2009-2013 years` continues successfully.

Starting from 2004, state programs towards the social-economic development of the regions, resulted successfully. Restoration and construction work expanded in the regions. New production and service institutions based on modern technologies, social infrastructure facilities have been opened, and the level of employment has increased. The agricultural sector has been developed as a result of state support measures and special attention paid to increasing the production of competitive products. Improving the business environment in the country became of the main directions and great importance was attached to the development of entrepreneurship. Measures have been taken to further develop small businesses and Investment projects have been financed through soft loans. During the last years, meetings have been held in the regions on cotton, cocoons, hazelnuts, tobacco, tea, rice, citrus, and several state programs have been adopted.

The huge social infrastructure construction work carried out in recent years has completely changed the landscape of the regions. During these years, 58,000 kilometers of new gas pipelines have been laid in the regions, 13,000 kilometers of drinking water lines have been laid in the regions to improve water supply, about 470 modular water treatment plants have been installed, and 706,000 people have been provided with drinking water. More than 16,000 kilometers of roads were repaired and 470 bridges and tunnels were put into operation.

In the last 17 years, state programs over social-economic development of the regions, more than 3300 schools, hundreds of kindergarten, and medical institutions have been build and repaired. Last year, the regions also played a significant role in the growth of GDP in the non-oil sector by 3.5 percent and in the non-oil industry by 14.3 percent respectively. In 2019, 7.2 billion manats were allocated under the Fourth State Program for Socio-Economic Development of the Regions. (2020)

The creation of industrial institutions in the country`s 10 regions paved the way for the industrial process. In general, about 6 billion manats have been invested by institutions in industrial zones so far and more than 9,000 new jobs have been created. The total production in these zones increased 2.6 times. It should be noted that 80 percent of the products are produced by Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park. Balakhani Industrial Park has expanded its activities and entered the second stage. In this regard, it is important to increase the efficiency of activities in other industrial zones. The implementation of projects under the investment promotion documents issued will lead to the investment of more than 4 billion manats in local production and the creation of about 28,000 new jobs. 87% of these projects belong to the regions. Thanks to the state support for the development of entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneurship Development Fund continues to provide soft loans. Compared to 2005, the share of total tax revenues in the non-oil sector of the regions doubled to 15 percent.

Currently, opportunities to expand the export geography of Azerbaijani products are investigating. By doing so, the main goal here is to expand the access of competitive and high-quality local products to foreign markets under the "Made in Azerbaijan" brand. As a result of the implementation of the successful state programs, compared with 2019, agricultural processing increased 14 percent. Agroparks and local farms play a crucial role in terms of the development of the country`s agricultural sector and these works continue.

Crucial work has been completed in Azerbaijan in the last years to apply information and communication technologies in the activities of government agencies, and the relevant legal framework has been formed. People are provided with electronic services in most government agencies. These services prevent bureaucratic hurdles and possible corruption. Crucial reform was signed in this area on July 13, 2012. The State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and its subordinate "ASAN service" centers were established.

Currently, a Strategic Action Plan has been prepared for Azerbaijan to restore the territories liberated as a result of the 44-day Patriotic War, which ended in great victory.