Gobustan, May 7, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and first lady Mehriban Aliyeva have attended the opening of the Gobustan branch of "Azerkhalcha" Open Joint Stock Company.
President Ilham Aliyev and first lady Mehriban Aliyeva viewed the unique Azerbaijani carpets of 19th and early 20th centuries.
The head of state then cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the branch.
Chairman of the Board of "Azerkhalcha" OJSC Vidadi Muradov informed President Ilham Aliyev and first lady Mehriban Aliyeva of the work done.
The Gobustan branch of the "Azerkhalcha" OJSC occupies an area nearly 1,300 square meters.
150 weavers and 14 administrative staff members will be employed in the branch. The building features a textile workshop, artist`s room, warehouse, canteen, medical point, sales room, and a conference hall.
After viewing the branch, President Ilham Aliyev and first lady Mehriban Aliyeva met with carpet-weavers.
Greeting the carpet weavers, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- First of all, I want to congratulate you on your professional holiday. I am very delighted that on the days of this professional holiday we celebrate the opening of a wonderful factory. Three years ago, by my executive order, the “Azerkhalcha” Open Joint-Stock Company was established. The objective was set to establish modern carpet factories in all the regions of the country, and a lot of has been done in this direction. Twenty factories are ready now. In general, there are plans to set up 31 carpet factories. I believe that the remaining factories will also be put into operation in the next few years, and thus Azerbaijan will take a very important step towards preserving and developing its ancient art.
A total of 150 jobs have been created at the Gobustan factory. The vast majority of workers are women. This is a major step taken by the state for the benefit of our women, because the process of providing them with jobs is of particular importance. The most modern equipment is available here. All the facilities are available. I am sure that the factory will function very successfully. The people working here will also be satisfied.
Azerbaijan will introduce its carpets on a global scale more broadly. As you may know, our carpets are on display in leading museums of the world. Carpet weaving is our ancient art. We have preserved it for centuries. It is gratifying that this art is passed down from one generation to another. Experienced carpet weavers and young people work here. I am sure that young people will also be interested to join this business, so that we could continue to keep this craft for centuries and Azerbaijan could present its carpet art to the world. This means jobs, the development of the non-oil sector and the production of exportable products. After all, the overall economic development of our country today is closely associated with the development of the non-oil sector. The production of exportable products is currently one of top priorities for us.
As you know, a remarkable Carpet Museum was set up in Baku several years ago. It is built in a beautiful architectural style – in the form of a carpet. The establishment of more than 30 carpet factories in all the regions has given a powerful impetus to this sector and brought about revival. I am sure that your business here will go well. The conditions created here meet the highest standards.
Today we celebrated the opening of the Gobustan central district hospital. This is also a very significant event. The hospital meeting modern standards will be providing local people with excellent services. Other social projects are being implemented in the region. This year, about 200 public jobs will be created in Gobustan District in order to attract those still unemployed to these jobs. Work is under way related to infrastructure projects. A new road project is being commissioned today. In general, three road projects have been implemented in the district in recent years. Gasification is close to 90 percent. These are also successful results of recent years. There is no problem with electricity. We resolved the problem of drinking water in the city in 2017. I remember when I was here a year and a half ago, we had a wonderful ceremony.
This is my fifth visit to Gobustan District. This in itself indicates that a lot of attention is being paid to the development of the district. Let me heartily congratulate you on this wonderful event once again and wish you success.
Carpet weaver Sevinj Hashimova: Our dear President, welcome to Gobustan District in this holy month of Ramadan. Thank you very much for creating such conditions for our beautiful women. We have great conditions. Our women are very pleased with you. We express our gratitude and appreciation to you on their behalf. Thank you very much for developing our Azerbaijan like this. We are very grateful to you and to Mrs. Aliyeva.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much. Thank you. What are your working conditions here like? Are you satisfied?
Carpet weavers: Thank you very much, we are all pleased, very pleased.
President Ilham Aliyev: What about the salary?
Carpet weavers: Our salary has gone up, it is very good. Weavers work with great enthusiasm.
President Ilham Aliyev: Very good. Did you work anywhere before the opening of this factory?
Carpet weaver Sevinj Hashimova: No, we were housewives.
President Ilham Aliyev: Great conditions have now been created for you. It will also be a great contribution to your family budget.
Carpet weaver Sevinj Hashimova: We used to weave carpets at home. When there was no electricity at times, we weaved by the light of a lamp. Praise be to Allah, we are now creating our carpets in a bright and beautiful workshop. We are grateful to you for this.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much. I am very glad that we are creating these factories. After all the factories start operating, about 4,500 women will be provided with jobs. I am confident that this program will further expand in the future. The state fulfills its commitment and these factories are being set up by the state. But I do hope that business people will also invest in this area in the future so that this work gets even wider and the art of carpet-making lives in all corners of Azerbaijan. After all, there are original schools of carpet weaving in all our regions. These schools are different from each other. Of course, this difference can be perfectly seen by experts. And this indicates that Azerbaijan is a country with a very rich culture, a very rich history and rich traditions. Today we continue to revive our ancient art.
Carpet weaver Asara Abdulrahimova: Thanks to you, Mr. President. May Allah bless you. You are welcome! My colleague spoke about our workshop. I want to say "Thank you very much!" for developing our district. You have resolved the drinking water problem, which was the main problem for the people of Gobustan. This is your fifth visit to Gobustan. On behalf of all the people of Gobustan, we express our gratitude to you. We always support you. The problems of sewage and roads have been resolved in our city. Thank you for that. All the people of Gobustan support you. We always stand by you and love you very much.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you. On the example of Gobustan District, we see the overall development dynamics of our country. The main problems that worried our people have been resolved. Drinking water was provided a year and a half ago. As I mentioned, gasification has reached 90 percent, there are no problems with electricity, roads are built, and new road projects will be implemented at the next stage. A modern hospital has been built. Several schools have been built and renovated, and this process will be continued. A lot is being done in the area of job creation. Job creation is a priority issue. Entrepreneurship and agriculture are developing. A beautiful new road has been built from Baku to Gobustan. Previously, it was two-lane and now it is four-lane. So all necessary work has been done. All this work will give an impetus to the further development of the district.
In January this year, the State Program on the Socioeconomic Development of the Regions was adopted. This is the fourth program. As a result of the first three programs, a lot has been done. The fourth program will provide for the work we have not done so far. In the next five years, all infrastructure issues in all the regions of Azerbaijan will be resolved, and this will be a great support for the further development of our country.
Carpet weaver Azada Fanara: Dear President, you are welcome! On behalf of the entire population of our district and on behalf of carpet weavers, let me say “You are welcome!” I wish you success for revitalizing the art of carpet weaving for us. We have inherited this art from our grandmothers. May Allah bless you!
With your permission, I want to present this little carpet to Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva. Mrs. Aliyeva, this is a symbol of Gobustan. It is attached to the door! Enjoy! On behalf of all the people of Gobustan - thank you!
First lady Mehriban Aliyeva: Thank you very much. Please pass my deepest respect on to the people of Gobustan.
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President Ilham Aliyev then cut the first carpet woven here.
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