Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the opening of Masalli Industrial Park18 september 2018, 12:30
It is a significant day in the life of Masalli district today. We are celebrating the opening of the Masalli industrial estate. I want to sincerely congratulate you on this remarkable occasion. I want to wish entrepreneurs and those working here every success. It is a wonderful event. This initiative will serve to strengthen the industrial potential of Masalli district. There are 200 jobs here now, and this figure will be created in the future.
At present, we are launching the first phase of the Industrial Estate. The territory is quite extensive. Additional buildings will be constructed here in the future. I am sure that thousands of people will be provided with jobs here. In addition, we will reduce our dependence on imports.
In general, the initiative to create industrial estates in the regions was very correct. Life is already proving this right. Such estates, industrial parks have been established in several districts, including in Masalli. Earlier, we marked the opening of such centers in Sumgayit, Mingachevir, Neftchala, and today in Masalli. The process of creating industrial zones in Hajigabul and Sabirabad districts is also under way. This, first of all, is evidence of state policy because the state is a party investing its fixed assets here. The selection of a place, the creation of the entire infrastructure and communications, the construction of industrial and office buildings are resolved at the expense of the state. This is tremendous support of the state for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs, for their part, invest their funds, bring in equipment, organize the work properly and start work. If we hadn’t implemented this initiative, then such enterprises would probably not have been created. At present, work in this direction is going well in Masalli.
In general, the industrialization policy continues successfully in our country. Suffice it to say that Azerbaijan’s non-oil industry has increased by almost 11 per cent in eight months of this year. This is a fairly high indicator, indicating how much work has already been done and will still be done in this area.
Baku and Sumgayit are the main industrial cities of the South Caucasus. Large industrial enterprises are being established in Sumgayit this year. One of them, a polypropylene plant, was opened a few months ago, while a polyethylene plant is scheduled for opening at the end of the year. The volume of investment in these two plants exceeds $800 million. In general, the volume of past and future investments in the Sumgayit Chemical Industry Park exceeds $2 billion. If we hadn’t cleared this vast territory from the buildings that had become unusable, if we hadn’t created these conditions for entrepreneurs and if public funds had not been invested, then investments in the amount of $2 billion would not have been made either.
Therefore, this remarkable project being implemented in Masalli today shows that Azerbaijan is on the right track in the field of industrial development. Correct steps are being taken, jobs are being created, local production is being created and import dependence is being reduced. The enterprises I have seen today pursue this very goal. The dependence on imports is reducing, local production is emerging, taxes will be paid and people will be provided with jobs. The population of Azerbaijan is growing. Masalli is one of our biggest districts in terms of population, so the process of creating jobs must be permanent.
Masalli district has always received a lot of attention. This is my 10th trip to Masalli district as President. During all trips, we have celebrated the opening of very important facilities and projects, including today. Infrastructure projects are well under way in Masalli. Gasification is approaching 100 per cent, I am sure that all settlements and people will be fully supplied with gas next year. This will be a historic achievement, because gas supply to Masalli was at an extremely low level in previous years. Gas was not even provided to a large part of the city, not to mention the villages – there was no gas there at all. Today we are approaching 100 per cent. Issues related to electricity are being addressed as well. New substations are being built so that the people of Masalli are provided with uninterrupted energy. During my visit here in 2016, we marked the opening of a project to provide the city with drinking water. I believe this is also a historic event. The city of Masalli is fully provided with drinking water meeting the highest standards. Water problems in the villages are also being dealt with now.
As for other infrastructure projects, road construction is successfully under way, in particular the construction of country roads. I am told that about 85 per cent of country roads have been reconstructed. I am sure there won’t be any unrepaired country roads left in Masalli district in the coming years. I have received appeals from the district in connection with the reconstruction of Masalli streets. These appeals have received a positive response. I am sure that all streets in the city will be reconstructed at the highest level in the near future. As for the road infrastructure, I should note that the Baku-Astara highway was opened today. This is also a historic project. It shows the capabilities of Azerbaijan. At the same time, the road is of very high-quality and meets the highest international standards. From the point of view of distance, the road from Baku to Astara has reduced by about 40 kilometers because a new road has been built. There were swamps in these places before. The new road bypasses cities – both Bilasuvar and Masalli. It goes in a new direction – right up to the border. Of course, I believe that the people of Masalli district will also appreciate this because the round-the-clock traffic, especially of heavy-duty vehicles, along the highway, created inconveniences for people and posed certain safety threats.
This work is associated with infrastructure projects. Social issues are being successfully resolved in Masalli district. I remember all the opening ceremonies perfectly well. The opening of the Central District Hospital after major repairs, the opening of an eye hospital, an Olympic center, a youth center and an “ASAN xidmət” center are all very important projects. The first "ASAN xidmət" center in the southern zone was created in the city of Masalli, and I attended its opening two years ago. I am informed that the people of Masalli and neighboring districts highly appreciate the work of the service.
So I believe that we have completed major work related to the social and economic development of Masalli district. Of course, a lot still remains to be done. Despite the fact that more than 40 schools have been built and repaired, there are still a lot of schools in need of repair. We will resolve this problem too. Most importantly, all the issues are being resolved and the proposals coming from the ground are considered positively. Early next year, we will adopt a new State Program on the social and economic development of the region, and the proposals coming from the ground will, of course, play an important role in the drafting of this program. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to report on the issues of concern to people and send them to us, so that all the issues that have not been resolved so far are reflected in the next program.
Let me once again congratulate you on this remarkable event and wish you success.