Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the meeting with representatives of the general public in Salyan
24 september 2017, 14:30
My warm greetings to all of you. I am very glad to be visiting Salyan district again. This is my eighth trip to Salyan district. During today's trip, we opened a new rural road together. This is a very important road. This 30-km road links several villages. Thus, this is yet another contribution to the road infrastructure of Salyan district. This is the second rural road project. Over the past period, we implemented one project and now work is under way on the third. A new order on the completion of this road will be signed tomorrow. So I am sure that all rural roads in Salyan district will be improved in the near future.
I was informed today that there is another road project. This issue has been raised by local residents – it is about the construction of the Salyan-Shirvan road. This issue will also be considered, and I am sure that this road will also be included in the State Investment Program. Thus, connection with the city of Shirvan will be improved. There are many villages and settlements along the road, and this will be a great gift for them.
Road infrastructure is one of the priority issues in our country. The people of Salyan know very well that the Baku-Salyan road has been built very thoroughly and the construction of the Baku-Salyan-Astara road is now well under way. In other words, the road link between Salyan district and other regions, the city of Baku in particular, has been significantly improved. In general, this area enjoys great attention in our country. This year, the "40 roads" project is being implemented – we have given this project a conditional name. In fact, it connects hundreds of villages. Proposals are already being developed in respect of new roads for next year. I believe that this work will be carried out in an even larger volume next year, because roads means comfort and development. Where there is a road, there is development. Roads are socially-oriented project and economic projects. Where there are no roads, it is also difficult to engage in agriculture. Farmers find it difficult to supply their products to markets. Therefore, road projects will continue to be successfully implemented in the future. We can say that we have already implemented all our projects on main roads. Most of the interurban road projects have been implemented. Now the construction of country roads is one of the important issues on the agenda.
Comprehensive measures related to the development of Salyan district are being taken and the social infrastructure is improving. Today I took part in the opening of a new building of school No 2. This is also a very large educational institution. It is the biggest school of the city, and this school has great traditions. We have rebuilt it.
Important steps are being taken in connection with agriculture. Work on the restoration of cotton-growing is well under way in Salyan. According to the information provided to me, cotton has been planted on 7,000 hectares, which means jobs. Thousands of people are now earning money in this area. Gasification in Salyan district exceeds 80 per cent. This is also a good indicator. In subsequent years, of course, it will increase even more. We opened a power substation today. Electricity supply will also improve. Last year, we put into operation the first stage of the drinking water project with my participation. In the future, we plan to fully complete this project.
In short, both social and economic development of Salyan district is in the spotlight. If we consider that most infrastructure projects have already been implemented, the remaining ones will be implemented in the coming years.
We must pay more attention to the development of agriculture and industrial production. Steps are being taken in this direction as well. As I noted, after a long break cotton-growing has been restored in Salyan – cotton has been planted on 7,000 hectares. This is a great achievement, and steps should be taken to increase industrial production. Today I also took part in the opening of the Industrial Estate in the city of Neftchala. It is necessary to create similar industrial zones in many of our cities, including the city of Salyan. An appropriate instruction has been issued, local authorities should allocate a place and the state will implement all the infrastructure projects there. Good conditions will be created for entrepreneurs. The development of industry and agriculture will ensure the long-term overall development of our country in the subsequent period.
The establishment of agricultural estates in Azerbaijan has recently gained momentum. One of them is being created in Salyan District. According to the information provided to me, it is being created on an area of 3,000 hectares. We will increase employment, further reduce unemployment, increase local production, produce exportable products, and thus the economy of the country will be less dependent on oil and gas. Now this dependence is decreasing, and as a result of the implementation of state programs on socioeconomic development of the regions, the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan is successfully developing today. In order to support various branches of agriculture, we have recently held meetings on my initiative – cotton-growing, tobacco-growing, silkworm breeding, hazelnut farming, tea-growing, rice-growing, citrus-growing. We are paying special attention to the development of all these branches. Each district has its own agricultural areas, and very serious steps are being taken in the way of specialization.
Therefore, I am very optimistic of the future development of Salyan district. I am sure that the issues that have not been resolved to this day will be resolved and a rapid development of the district will be ensured. The opening of this road also shows the overall development of Azerbaijan. Our country is developing, social and economic projects are being implemented. Although our revenues have declined due to a sharp fall in the oil price, there are no delays in the execution of social infrastructure projects. Economic indicators will be even better next year. Compared to this year, next year’s State Investment Program will be implemented in a larger volume. The budget for the next year should be even greater and public spending will be even higher. In other words, we have no problems in the fields of economy and finance. Azerbaijan is a country with a strong economic potential. Our economic power will only grow in the years to come and work will go even better in all our districts. I congratulate you on this event again!