Dear ladies and gentlemen,

Dear residents of Neftchala,

Today is a landmark day in the modern history of Azerbaijan. A modern sturgeon-breeding factory was built and put into operation in the Neftchala region. To this end, I congratulate all of you.

Today it is for the second time that I take part at the meeting directly bound with ecological problems. I have participated at the inauguration ceremony of the Shirvan National Park set up in the territory of Garadag district of Baku, as well as in the Salyan and Neftchala regions. Now I am with here. I can say both of them have been set up on the executive orders of President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev and on his initiative. This once again shows that head of the Azerbaijani state, along with other issues, attaches great attention to the ecology and protection of environment. This is a fact. We will be further attentive to this sphere. Because this is an issue bound with the future of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan develops dynamically in economy. Our Country holds one of the leading places in conduction of economic reforms. We are pleased of it. These works create nice potential and prospects for our Country. We, however, should keep in our focus that the beautiful nature of Azerbaijan should be protected. Opening of today’s object shows once again that the head of state does everything in this field.

This factory was well equipped, and built in compliance with the high requirements of world standards. It pleases us. I would note that majority of the latest constructed objects, as well as enterprises and sports complexes of Azerbaijan meet world standards.

It is very pleased. At the same time, it also pleases us that this factory was mainly built by the local constructionists. Ten years ago, in Azerbaijan every construction, every little building was built by the foreign specialists. Local companies had no experience. Nevertheless, during these years they gained experience and professionalism. Now we see that local builders can build in high level. This is very pleased and we should attach great importance to it, boost the local builders and contractors.

We must increase production in Azerbaijan, and try to reduce export and raise domestic production. Appropriate works are carried out in this direction. Some 20 days ago in the Khachmaz region was put into operation a huge production enterprise. Today we are inaugurating a new sturgeon-breeding factory in Neftchala. I am sure, that in future new infrastructures, enterprises, factories will be built in every region of Azerbaijan. This will promote opening of new working places. One of the urgent problems Azerbaijan Government face is opening of new working places.

Today was noted that some 100 people would work in the factory. It means that 100 working places have already opened here. The Government plans to open 600 thousand working places in the recent 5 years. Thus, unemployment was completely abolished in Azerbaijan. This is very pleased for which the Government is making further efforts.

At the same time, it was noted that this factory is a rare enterprise on the Caspian littoral states. Azerbaijan is leading in this sphere. It also rather pleases us. The Caspian has verity of riches. Bio-recourses and oil-gas prospects in the Caspian are also of such riches.

With a sense of pride, I can say that as the result of oil strategy of Heydar Aliyev Azerbaijan has gained leading role in development of its oil-gas prospects and delivery of the energy carriers to the world markets. Just in the result of Azerbaijan’s oil strategy, there were created consortiums in the Caspian and these foreign companies have invested several billion USD to the Azerbaijan economy.

This, in its turn, led to opening of ten thousand of working places in the oil sector. Our goal is to reach the same in all fields, in particular, in the non-oil sector. Opening of this factory proves that this policy will be continued in future.

Azerbaijan has stated its position for several times in the issue of Caspian status. This position is fair and we are pleased that last years the documents signed with our neighbors - Russia and Kazakhstan on division of the Caspian seabed reflect the position of Azerbaijan. We do not claim on other countries’ sectors. We will work in our sectors and continue our works, as we consider necessary. Nobody can impede us. Great advance was gained in division of the Caspian seabed.

Azerbaijan produces its oil reserves and delivers to the world markets through two oil pipelines. As known, currently the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan MEP is constructed and will be commissioned late 2005. After that, Azerbaijan will receive a great currency flow. This, in its turn, will promote implementing our plans, and reduce poverty, opening working places, new health, educational institutions, and new infrastructures. We have large opportunities. Azerbaijan Government is preparing a special program in this direction.

Of course, solution of these problems will depend on the opportunity our currency reserves create for realization of these programs. In the result of implementation of Heydar Aliyev’s oil strategy, we have certain currency reserves. For this purpose, was set up the Oil Fund of Azerbaijan means of which amounts 1 billion 400 million USD. These amount will be spent for future generations of Azerbaijan, at the same time, will play its role in solution of the social-economic problems the Republic faces.

The factory we gathered to inaugurate was set up with the assistance of World Bank’s credit. This pleases us very much. Azerbaijan closely cooperates with the international financial structures. It is also notable that the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, other leading world finance organizations highly appreciate and prove the economic policy pursued in Azerbaijan. Perhaps, it should be so. Because economy of our Country every year increases by 10 percent, level of inflation is lower than 2 percent. Other economic figures give reason to say that Azerbaijan confidently marches forward.

But let us remind 1993. In that period, inflation was thousand percent. In other words, national currency was completely devaluated. Azerbaijan was in condition of chaos and crisis. The treasury was empty and the remained means was stolen and taken abroad by the officials. Today, reserves of Azerbaijan, including currency reserves are reliably preserved. For this purpose, was created the Oil Fund and it is a very transparent structure. The people are regularly made aware of its activity and reserved amount. This transparent structure will play an important role in the future of Azerbaijan.

All these factors encourage saying that Azerbaijan in near future will gain great successes and become economically stronger. We already see this development. It seems especially in the agrarian sector. Azerbaijan in the CIS space is an only country that the land was given to farmers. We see results of his. At the same time, in the result of privatization functioning are tens of thousand entrepreneurs in the Country.

We must try to create a strong medium stratum. All regions of Azerbaijan should develop. For this purpose, we shall carry out our work so that in every region of Azerbaijan there opened new working places. New factories and plants were put into operation to employ the population.

We will do all these. Of course, at first we want Azerbaijan to hold a worthy place in the world. Now it is happening. My last meetings and talks I conducted abroad show that out Country has strengthened its position in the world. Now Azerbaijan is reckoned with and respected. Position of our country in the region became steady. No economic project can be realized without Azerbaijan.

But Armenia, as the result of its aggressive policy was deprived of all the regional projects. We sidelined them from these projects. I consider that the economic gulf between Azerbaijan and Armenia will deepen. Azerbaijan will become a strong and rich country. Armenia has no such pe4rspesctives. Of course, this factor will play an important role din the course of negotiations.

The Army of Azerbaijan strengthens. On the instructions of the head of our state, a lot was done in the army building. Now our Army is able to solve every problem. But we do not want war, we want peace way settlement of the problem. At the same time, our Army must be strong and certain works are being carried out in this direction.

I would dwell on economy again, because everything is created on economic base. The country with strong economy is able for everything. This was said by Mr. President several years ago. This is urgent today and will be urgent tomorrow. Therefore, economic development should be paid much attention and is being paid.

Of course, we shall have to raise the wage and incomes. I can say that in the result of Mr. President’s last executive orders, 2 million people have already sensed this - wages were increased by 50 percent, the pensions were raised as well. The process will continue. Because, despite all the positive results, we well know that there are many problems and certain layers of society are in difficulty. We cooperate with the international structures in poverty reduction field and try to remove this problem. Sure, it will be so.

Putting into operation of such a factory in Azerbaijan is a landmark event because it shows that our economy does not base only on the oil and gas sector. Our main goal is to develop the non-oil sector. In the oil sector, everything is all right. During 9 years, in the result of implementation of Heydar Aliyev’s oil strategy, Azerbaijan has gained great successes. Azerbaijan’s oil was delivered to the world markets and our country will receive great profits. We must treat non-oil sector as well. It is a great turning point and I am sure that it will happen in near future.

Azerbaijan thus, will develop all-round. Economy of our country, the regions will develop. We want it and I am sure, we will be successful.

Dear friends, I once again congratulate you on the inauguration of this remarkable enterprise. I wish you success, health, and happiness. Thank you.


Then, Prime Minister Ilham Aliyev cut the red ribbon inaugurating the sturgeon-breeding factory.

The Prime Minister toured separate workshops, familiarized with the modern equipments, special artificial pools for fish breeding. He was informed on the production process at the factory.

Prime Minister Ilham Aliyev also visited the administrative building of the factory, expressed his satisfaction with the condition created in the factory.

Deputy Prime Minister Abid Sharifov, internal minister Ramil Usubov, department chiefs of President Administration Yusif Humbatov, Ali Hasanov and other officials attended the ceremony.

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