FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Washington DC - November 17, 2004 – Yesterday the United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) hosted a high level delegation from Azerbaijan.
More than 50 members and special guests attended the event to discuss “Political and Economic Developments in Azerbaijan”, presented by distinguished representatives of the executive branch and the members of the Parliament (Milli Majlis).
Participants discussed a wide range of issues including the visit, the government’s social and economic policies, political and social reforms, the status of Azerbaijan’s economy and the oil fund, and the situation with refugees and internally displaced persons.
Mr. Novruz Mammadov, Head of the Foreign Relations Department, Office of the President briefly talked about the purpose of the visit to the United States - to familiarize with relations between the executive and legislative branches in the US and learn from this experience.
Mr. Adalat Muradov, Head of Macro-Economical Analysis and Forecasts Department, Ministry of Economic Development noted that Azerbaijan has enjoyed steady GDP growth since 1996 at 8-10% and 73.3% of GDP is represented by the private sector. He also noted the forecasted $12 billion investments in Azerbaijan in the near future, 60 percent of which would be directed to regions outside Baku.
Mr. Ali Hasanov, Head of the Social Political Department, Office of the President highlighted the government’s efforts to build and protect free competition, private property ownership, civil society, transparent election system, and human rights. He noted the large number of NGOs (600) in Azerbaijan, including women’s and religious groups.
Ms. Gultakin Hajiyeva, Deputy Chairman of the Standing Commission of the Parliament (Milli Majlis) on Foreign Affairs and Inter-Parliamentary Relations explained how the oil money is used to house Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Ms. Malahat Hasanova, Member of the Standing Commission of the Parliament on Social Policy spoke about computerizing the educational system, while Mr. Asaf Hajiyev, Member of the Standing Commission of the Parliament on Science and Education explained the importance of ensuring a transparent and democratic electoral system while considering local cultural sensitivities.
The delegation was in Washington DC for a 10 day working visit to become familiar with U.S. government, business, non-governmental, and academic communities. The program, funded by USAID and administered by Meridian International Center, included 50 meetings over the course of 10 days.
The US - Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) is a non-profit, Washington, DC based organization that seeks to promote trade and investments between the United States and Azerbaijan by rendering various business services. USACC actively seeks U.S. and international investments and companies whose products and strategic interests can be advanced in the Azerbaijani market. It also serves as a liaison between foreign companies and Azerbaijani businesses and government officials. To learn more about USACC, please visit www.usacc.org
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