The year 2018 was remarkable for Azerbaijan for numerous landmark events, including the presidential election, the signing of the long-awaited convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, and other political, economic, social and sporting developments.
The following is a summary of key events in 2018.
Azerbaijan holds presidential election
Azerbaijan held the presidential election on April 11. By gaining 86.02 per cent of votes, Ilham Aliyev won a landslide victory to be re-elected as the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan for a seven-year term.
Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea signed
On August 12, the 5th Summit of the Heads of State of the Caspian littoral states was held in Aktau, Kazakhstan. As part of the summit, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow signed the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.
Azerbaijan puts 3rd satellite Azerspace-2 into orbit
On September 26, Azerbaijan`s Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 satellite was sent into orbit.The satellite was launched from the Guiana Space Centre near Kourou in French Guiana.
The satellite will offer enhanced capacity, coverage and service offerings to support growing demand in the region for Direct-to-Home (DTH), government and network services in Europe, Central and South Asia, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Built by California-based SSL, a Maxar Technologies Company, Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 offers 35 active transponders in Ku-band. Its designed lifetime is more than 15 years.
TANAP gas pipeline commissioned
On June 12, the inauguration ceremony of the TANAP gas pipeline project was held in the city of Eskisehir, Turkey.
TANAP project is designed to deliver gas from Azerbaijan`s Shah Deniz field to the western borders of Turkey.
The length of TANAP is 1,850 kilometers with an initial capacity of 16 billion cubic meters of gas. Around six billion cubic meters of this gas is meant to be delivered to Turkey, with the remaining volume to be supplied to Europe.
Southern Gas Corridor launched
The Southern Gas Corridor was inaugurated on May 29, in Sangachal terminal.
TANAP, along with the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) form the elements of the Southern Gas Corridor. These pipelines aim to bring natural gas produced from Azerbaijan`s Shah Deniz-2 gas field and other areas of the Caspian Sea, primarily to Turkey, and then further to Europe.
Baku International Sea Trade Port complex inaugurated
The Baku International Sea Trade Port complex was inaugurated in Alat settlement, Garadagh district on May 14.
The port occupies a total area of 117 hectares. The complex has 12 berths with an annual cargo handling capacity of 15 million tons, including 100,000 units of 20-foot containers.
Doing Business 2019 hails Azerbaijan as the country that implemented a record number of reforms globally
Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform, a World Bank Group flagship publication, has ranked Azerbaijan one of the 10 economies with the most notable improvement in the world.
According to Doing Business 2019, Azerbaijan implemented a record number of reforms among the 10 top improvers and globally, making it easier to do business in 2017/18.
Thanks to reforms implemented under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan climbed 32 spots in comparison with 2017 to rank 25th among 190 states this year, topping CIS counties.
Polypropylene plant inaugurated in Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park
On July 18, a polypropylene plant constructed in Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park under SOCAR Polymer project was inaugurated with the participation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella.
SOCAR Star Oil Refinery inaugurated in Izmir
An inauguration ceremony of the Star Oil Refinery was held on October 19, in the city of Izmir, Turkey.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the ceremony.
STAR Refinery, constructed with an investment value of 6,3 billion dollars, was announced as the Special Industrial Zone.
As many as 1.6 million tons of naphtha, 5 million tons of diesel, 1.6 million tons of jet fuel, 300,000 tons of LPG, 160,000 tons of sulfur and other products will be produced here.
New industrial estate opens in Masalli
An industrial estate was inaugurated in Masalli on September 18.
At the initial stage, entrepreneurs involved in the estate submitted 10 projects worth 5.230 million manats.
Baku hots 6th International Humanitarian Forum
Held on October 25-26, under the slogan “Shaping a New World and a New Humanity: Creativity and Human Development”, the 6th Baku International Humanitarian Forum brought together 581 delegates from 86 countries and 24 international organizations.
Around 11,000 hectares of land in Nakchchivan and Gunnut village in Sharur district liberated from occupation
Gunnut village in Sharur district and several strategic heights of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, over 11,000 hectares of lands occupied by the Armenian armed forces in 1992, were liberated from the occupation after a counter-offensive operation carried out by Nakhchivan Combined Army Unit. This gave the Azerbaijani army control over more favorable military positions, including the mountain of "Khunut" and "Agbulag" height, "Gizilgaya" mountain and "Mehridagh", Arpa village in Daralayaz district. The liberation of the "Gizilgaya" height allowed the Azerbaijani army to take control over Irevan-Yekhegndzor-Gorus-Lachin-Khankandi highway.
Baku hosts solemn military parades
On June 26, a solemn military parade was held in Baku to mark the centenary of the establishment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
More than 240 units of military hardware, over 70 aircrafts, including recently obtained state-of-the-art armored vehicles, missile and artillery systems, air defense systems, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles were on display at the military parade which brought together around 4,000 servicemen of the ministries of Defense, Internal Affairs and Emergency Situations, State Security, State Border and Special State Protection services, as well as a parade unit of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Turkey.
On September 15, another solemn parade was held to mark the 100th anniversary of the liberation of Baku.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the parade. This magnificent parade was remarkable for military servicemen of Azerbaijani and Turkish Armed Forces in the uniform of the cavalry and infantry of the Caucasus Islamic Army passing under the flags of the two countries accompanied by "Mehter march" played by the famous "Mehtaran" Turkish military bands.
Baku hosts 82nd congress of International Gymnastics Federation
On December 2-3, the 82nd congress of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) was held in Baku.One of the congress' most important decisions, involving about 300 delegates from 115 countries, was to incorporate parkour in gymnastics.
Baku hosts UCI BMX racing and Judo world championships
On June 5-9, UCI BMX World Championships was held in Baku. UCI BMX World Championships brought together more than 1500 cyclists from 43 countries.
On September 20-27, Baku hosted another prestigious sporting event - Judo World Championship. The Azerbaijani team won two medals at the championship which featured 800 judokas from 124 countries.
Yalli included in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, while Dede Gorgud heritage in Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Yalli (Kochari, Tenzere) traditional group dances of Nakhchivan were listed as UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage List, while Dede Gorgud heritage, example of multinational culture sample jointly submitted by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkey, was included in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Azerbaijan hosts first Nasimi – Festival of Poetry, Art and Spirituality
The first Nasimi Festival of Poetry, Arts and Spirituality was held in Azerbaijan. Celebrating one of the greatest poets and thinkers of the East, Imadeddin Nasimi (1369-1417), and aiming to promoting poetry and arts, the festival was organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Culture.
The festival, initiated by vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva, was held under the slogans “Beyond the limited self”, reflecting the philosophical views of the poet, and “I am a particle, I am the sun” which are the poet’s lines.
Azerbaijan opens official tourism representative offices in six countries
Azerbaijan opened official tourism representative offices in six countries - Germany, UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, India and Russia. The offices aim to promote Azerbaijan, attract tourists and in general, to support development of tourism in the country.
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