Ilham Aliyev viewed Bakutel 2018 exhibition

04 december 2018, 21:25

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, first lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughters Leyla Aliyeva and Arzu Aliyeva have viewed Bakutel 2018, the 24th Azerbaijan International Exhibition and Conference on Telecommunications and Information Technologies at the Baku Expo Center.

Azerbaijan`s Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade informed President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva of the exhibition.

Bakutel 2018 exhibition brings together 230 companies from 20 countries.

The debutants of this year make up 30 per cent of the total number of participants.

The exhibition features national stands of a number of countries, including the USA, Turkey, Belarus, the United Arab Emirates, France, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Iran, and Slovenia.

President Ilham Aliyev and first lady Mehriban Aliyeva viewed pavilions of the exhibition.

Then President Ilham Aliyev gave an interview to “Russia-24” television channel.

Correspondent: Mr. President, thank you very much for the interview. We are very happy to be in Azerbaijan. May I continue the conversation with you in Russian?

President Ilham Aliyev: Yes please. You speak excellent Azerbaijani.

- First of all, since this is not my first time in Azerbaijan, it is nice to see that Baku is changing all the time. You keep developing and don’t become complacent. Could you please tell me what innovations have you been developing lately, especially in Azerbaijan? I am aware that you are developing not only the oil sector and also want to focus on the non-oil sector. What would you like to develop here?

- You are quite right. This is our main goal and we are successfully meeting it – to develop the non-oil sector so that Azerbaijan’s economy develops steadily regardless of the global situation with oil prices. Therefore, a lot is being done in this regard to develop infrastructure projects in order to create good conditions for business. There are many projects related to business promotion and provision of assistance to entrepreneurs. In general, the investment and business climate in Azerbaijan is improving. According to latest World Bank’s Doing Business report, Azerbaijan is in 25th place in the world. In one year, we have moved 32 steps up and are among leading countries of the world for doing business today. Therefore, the sphere represented here today is very important from the point of view of doing business, from the point of view of innovation and from the point of view of education. This area is one of our priorities, and it is no coincidence that we have been conducting this exhibition for 24 years. The number of participating companies is growing every year. I am told that this year’s show brings together 230 companies, including a lot of local Azerbaijani ones. More than half are Azerbaijani companies. This suggests that we are ready to work in this direction in order to develop the country and create jobs because the oil sector does not create jobs.

- And it is not eternal either.

- Of course. Therefore, we need to always strive to create jobs at a pace that would correspond to the level of economic development given the demographic growth in Azerbaijan. We should strive to ensure that every citizen born here is provided with a job in 20-30 years.

- What about tourism. You want to develop tourism too, don’t you? I understand that the biggest number of tourists is from Russia now. Right?

- Yes, tourists from Russia are in first place. This year, which is not over yet, there were more than 800,000 Russian visitors. The Russians are steadily in first place. We have seen growth in tourism over the past two years: in 2016 by 22 per cent and in 2017 by 20 per cent. This year we don’t know yet but there will be growth as well. Tourists are primarily attracted by the conditions here. As for the Russians, I think they feel very much at home here. There is no language barrier here, there is a very good attitude towards them and our common history also plays an important role.

- And very tasty food…

- Yes, you are quite right. Of course, there is a high level of safety, comfort and hospitality of the Azerbaijani people. There are historical monuments and favorable climate. I can talk a lot about why tourists should come to Azerbaijan. I think that the Russian people will hear me. I am pleased to invite them to visit our country. We are always very happy to see them.

- Thank you very much for the interview!