Ismayilli, August 10, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today attended the opening of “ISMA BIKES” bicycle plant as part of his visit to Ismayilli district.
The head of state was informed that located in the village of Diyalli, 6km from the city center, the facility was built as part of cooperation with the Bulgarian Sofia bicycle plant.
The facility is provided with Bulgarian, Danish, Dutch, Chinese, and Turkish made equipment.
The plant has a yearly production capacity of 20,000-30,000 bicycles. It created 60 jobs.
The head of state was informed that the number of workers is expected to be increased as the facility will enhance its activity in the future.
There is a modern cycle track in the yard of the facility which occupies a total area of 3 hectares.
President Ilham Aliyev launched the plant, and tested a bicycle produced here.
President Ilham Aliyev then met with representatives of the general public of Ismayilli district and staff of the plant.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
- My warm greetings to all of you. I congratulate you on the opening of this plant. I am very glad that such a great enterprise is opening and being commissioned in Ismayilli. I have tested its product myself. I can see that is a very good bike. I am sure that the people of Azerbaijani will appreciate that.
Essentially this production shows the development of our country. It shows that there are local production sites in Azerbaijan that are at the highest level. Until yesterday, we imported bicycles from abroad. And today such a great enterprise is opening in Azerbaijan not even in the capital, but in Ismayilli. According to the information provided to me, the production capacity of the plant will amount to 30,000 bikes a year. There are already dozens of jobs here. Modern technologies are applied. Of course, these bikes will be sold both on the domestic market and can be exported abroad, because the quality is suitable for that.
The successful development of Azerbaijan depends precisely on such enterprises. Today, industrial and agricultural production is even more important. I have repeatedly stated this and I want to reiterate that the continued successful development of our country will depend on these two areas. I am glad that despite the ongoing global financial and economic recession, industrial production in Azerbaijan has increased by about one per cent in the first seven months of this year. This is not a very high figure, but given the current circumstances I think it is a fairly good result.
The non-oil industry has grown by more than 2 per cent. The establishment of such enterprises in various places of our country in the future will help us increase industrial production in Azerbaijan and eventually reduce dependence on oil and gas. A lot is being done in this regard. Serious reforms are carried out and are also bearing fruit. I can say that Azerbaijan, taking into account the global crisis, is coming out of this situation with minimal losses. Currently our country has ensured stabilization of the financial sector. This year, we have created tens of thousands of new jobs. This process is ongoing. There are major achievements in the agricultural sector. Therefore, the future development of Azerbaijan will be sustainable. We have the capacity to build our future in two important directions – agriculture and industrial production.
Of course, other spheres are also important. The field that can fetch a lot of currency in the future is transport. Given our geographical location and the work already done, there is reason to talk about that. With the participation and in many cases on the initiative of Azerbaijan, two transnational projects are being implemented. The transport corridors East-West and North-South are being created with the participation of Azerbaijan. Two days ago, this issue was very seriously discussed at the first Summit of the presidents of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan in Baku. Azerbaijan is putting forward its own initiative here. The creation and operation of this corridor will bring our country hundreds of millions of dollars.
Of course, other industries are also important - telecommunications, information technology, metallurgy, chemicals. In general, however, industry and agriculture will remain a priority.
I was also pleased with the development of Ismayilli District. As President, I have repeatedly visited Ismayilli District. In fact, this is my fifth trip as president. I am glad that Ismayilli is experiencing a period of rapid development. Today, the head of the executive authority informed me about the work. Presentations were made. We should rapidly develop the tourism sector, as well as agriculture and the processing industry. Given the fact that Ismayilli has beautiful nature and history, that there are two ancient villages here such as Lahij and Basgal, then, of course, maximum use of the tourism potential should be our common cause.
In recent years, the number of tourists coming to Azerbaijan has significantly increased. There is a particular increase in the number of tourists in this north-western zone. You can also see that. I have said this before and I want to reiterate that the entire region from Shamakhi to Balakan should be turned into an international travel destination, and work in this direction is under way. Of course, first of all it was necessary to implement infrastructure projects, and most of them have already been implemented. An international airport has been built in Gabala. International flights are operated now. This international airport is of great importance for all the population of this region. There is an airport in Zagatala. Motor roads are built. The Baku-Shamakhi highway is being expanded to four lanes. Today I opened the Ismayilli-Garamaryam road. This, too, is of great importance for the region, because the 30-km road connects 34 settlements. These settlements are home to a third of the population of Ismayilli District – about 30,000 people.
The construction of the road infrastructure and modern hotels, of course, is the main prerequisite of tourism. Other infrastructure projects have also been implemented in Ismayilli. A drinking water project was completed several years ago. People now have clean drinking water.
The creation of sewage treatment facilities is also drawing to a close. According to my information, gasification is 67 per cent. Given the mountainous terrain, I think that is a great indicator. Other infrastructure projects have also been implemented.
The commissioning of social facilities and new enterprises will, of course, lead to the creation of new jobs. We have inaugurated a poultry factory, a large cattle-breeding complex, several hotels and resorts today. There is a beautiful nature and climate in Ismayilli. Therefore, agriculture, crop production and animal husbandry should develop here with an accelerated pace. Not an inch of land should remain empty. We will consistently work to meet domestic needs and increase the export potential. All these instructions have been given.
This year we have taken very important steps related to agriculture. We have restored the spheres that are traditional for us but which have unfortunately suffered a bit of a decline. I am now told that in a number of districts, including Ismayilli, there are families that have earned thousands of manats from cocoon-breeding in one and a half months.
In the Aran zone, cotton-growing has gained momentum. Compared to last year, we will triple the production of cotton this year - from 30,000 to 100,000 tons. Next year, cotton production should reach 250,000-300,000 tons. A special development plan is being developed for each region. Of course, the state program of socioeconomic development of regions has identified the key directions, and this program serves as a basis, a road map for us. However, life goes on and certain changes take place. A new situation is shaping up in the region and the world. Now there is a struggle for markets. Growing a product is not yet a solution. It should be sold on the domestic or foreign market. Therefore, in order to help farmers, we are setting up agencies dealing with the procurement of the grown products. Those engaged in agriculture will know that agro-leasing helps provide equipment, large subsidies for fertilizer, fuel and products. In order to facilitate exports, we are launching an encouragement mechanism. Farmers are exempt from all taxes except for land tax. This is a very serious program. Let me repeat that the potential for each region should and will be realized as much as possible.
Such wonderful production sites are opening in Ismayilli. I think that this should be a good sign for entrepreneurs. After all, investments are protected. I support entrepreneurs and meet with them. Over the past 10 years, entrepreneurs have received loans amounting to more than 1 billion manats on favorable terms. This money has helped create tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of jobs. However, we must look to the future. Although much has been done, even more remains to do.
We have opened the second hydroelectric plant in Ismayilli today. The energy produced by these two stations meets 45-50 per cent of the needs of Ismayilli District. This is an excellent indicator. Half of the needs is met by alternative and cheap energy. I was told that a new hydropower plant could be built as well. Its capacity will be bigger – 10 megawatts. I said that a feasibility study should be prepared. If this issue is resolved, then Ismayilli District will transmit electricity to other districts – Gabala and Shamakhi. And this will contribute to our energy security.
We are working systematically: first infrastructure projects, roads and power plants, then social infrastructure, schools and drinking water, and then jobs, loans and agriculture. I look to the future with very high hopes and optimism. No crisis or other events taking place in the world can affect us. Azerbaijan is a place of stability and development. This is why millions of tourists come to Azerbaijan today. They come not only to admire our historical monuments, but also because of the level of service, high level of safety. Our people are hospitable and, of course, there are excellent facilities. These conditions are created by all of us together. As President, I am trying to further improve work in all areas in Azerbaijan.
Of course, we can be proud of the successes achieved, but we should always look ahead. If there are shortcomings and drawbacks, we need to eliminate them and ensure our development.
Let me greet all of you again. I am confident that the projects presented today will be realized, and as they are implemented, I will come back to Ismayilli to take part in the opening of such facilities together with you.