Moroccan Newspaper Publishes Article On Azerbaijan's Evolution Under President Ilham Aliyev's Leadership

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 1. La Vie Éco, an independent Moroccan newspaper, has featured an article highlighting Azerbaijan's accomplishments during the two-decade tenure of President Ilham Aliyev, Trend reports.

The article reads as follows:

President Ilham Aliyev has decided to hold early elections, the first to cover the whole of Azerbaijan. The elections are intended to bolster the legitimacy of the man who is seen as "a wise leader, guarantor of the country's independence and sustainable economic development".

On 7 February 2024, presidential elections will be held in Azerbaijan. For the first time, elections will be held across the entire territory of the country, after it fully restored its territorial integrity and sovereignty following the anti-terrorist operations of September 2023, putting an end to almost 30 years of Armenian occupation. 7 candidates will run for the presidency in these historic elections.

The year 2023 marked 20 years of Ilham Aliyev's presidency. Compared to 2003, the Republic of Azerbaijan has reached unprecedented heights of development, becoming the leader in the South Caucasus region and an important player not only in regional affairs but also in world politics.

Under the presidency of Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has not only been recognized as the world's most dynamic economy but has also acquired the image of a country that is evolving more rapidly and within the framework of modern global values.

In global practice, there are very few examples of countries that have achieved success on such a scale in just 30 years of independence.

Since 2003, the country has embarked on a transition to a new model of socio-economic development, under which rapid steps have been taken to diversify and digitize the economy, strengthen the role of the private sector, and create a favorable environment for attracting investment and resolving social problems.

Thanks to coherent measures taken over the last 20 years, the level of poverty in the country has fallen from almost 44.7% to 5.2%, and the volume of real GDP has increased by 3.6 times and nominal GDP by 17.2 times.

Large-scale projects

Today, Azerbaijan has become the leading economic power in the region. Several large-scale projects initiated by Azerbaijan and implemented jointly with its partners are making an important contribution to the development not only of the South Caucasus region but also of neighboring regions. These projects include the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, as well as the giant Southern Gas Corridor project, designed to play a key role in ensuring Europe's energy security, with the construction and commissioning of the Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic (TAP) gas pipelines. We should also mention two transport mega-projects: the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line and work on the North-South international transport corridor project. It should be added that Azerbaijan is currently promoting the Middle Corridor project, which will stretch from China to Europe via Central Asia, the Southern Caucasus, and Türkiye, and that this project will make a significant contribution to strengthening economic relations and connectivity in a huge geopolitical region.

In the Sustainable Development Report presented by the UN in 2022, Azerbaijan posted the best result in the region in terms of implementation of sustainable development goals, taking 50th place out of 163 countries.

Record production and exports

The oil strategy has reached its zenith over the last 20 years, marked not only by record growth in oil production and exports but also by some very important events of historic significance.

On 25 May 2005, the opening ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline took place, and in 2006 Azerbaijani oil began to be transported from the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

In 2016, Azerbaijan began cooperating with OPEC - the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries - and has been a member of OPEC + since 10 December of the same year.

In 2003, Azerbaijan imported gas worth 4 billion cubic meters, but today it is a major and reliable exporter of gas to Europe, signing one long-term contract after another to supply the 'blue fuel'.

Azerbaijan has become an initiator and strategic shareholder in the giant $33 billion, 3,500-kilometre Southern Gas Corridor project. Türkiye and Georgia were the first to join this initiative, followed by countries such as Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania. New and potential partners currently include Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Montenegro.

Commercial transport of natural gas began in 2020 via the TAP pipeline, and to date a total of more than 31 billion cubic meters of gas have been transported to European countries. Today, Azerbaijani gas is bought in Europe by Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Serbia and Northern Macedonia.

In 2022, a memorandum of understanding on a strategic partnership in the energy field was signed between Azerbaijan and the EU, under which exports of Azerbaijani natural gas will be doubled to more than 20 billion cubic meters by the end of 2027, increasing the coverage of gas supplies to new countries.

Green electricity generation

Azerbaijan is confidently continuing its successful practice of implementing major projects of international importance in the traditional energy sector in the "green" electricity generation sector, planning its subsequent export to Europe. The technical potential of the country's renewable energy sources is estimated at 135 GW on land and 157 GW of Azerbaijan's wind energy potential in the Caspian Sea. The economic potential of Azerbaijan's renewable energy sources is 27 GW, of which over 23 GW is the economic potential of solar energy, 3 GW is the potential of onshore wind energy, and around 1 GW is the potential for bioenergy and mountain river energy.

The development of green energy in Azerbaijan began in 2020 with pilot projects in wind energy with a capacity of 240 MW and solar energy with a capacity of 230 MW, implemented with ACWA Power (Saudi Arabia) and Masdar (United Arab Emirates).

On December 17, 2022, the Agreement on Strategic Partnership in the Development and Transmission of Green Energy between the Governments of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, and Hungary was signed. As part of this agreement, work is underway to implement a project to export green energy produced in Azerbaijan via Georgia and the Black Sea to Romania for onward transmission to Hungary and the rest of Europe.

Thanks to President Ilham Aliyev's successful foreign policy, and as a sign of the international community's great respect for Azerbaijan's active participation in the fight against climate change, it was unanimously decided to hold the 29th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29) in Baku in 2024.

In this way, Azerbaijan will make a significant contribution to supporting the goals of sustainable development and solving the most pressing problems of our time, as well as drawing the world community's attention to regional environmental problems.

To strengthen international solidarity in the global context of the fight against climate change, President Ilham Aliyev has declared 2024 the "Year of Solidarity for a Green World" in Azerbaijan.


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