FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U.S. - Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC)
1212 Potomac Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 333-8702
Fax: (202) 333-8703
Transparent Fund Estimated at More Than $200 Billion in Revenue in Next 15 Years Set to Build Azerbaijan's Major Infrastructure, Attract New Business Ventures
Washington, D.C. - October 25, 2007 - The United States - Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) hosted a briefing for its members on "Safeguarding the Future: Managing Azerbaijan's State Oil Fund for Economic Diversification" by Mr. Shahmar Movsumov, Executive Director of State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ).
In introductory remarks at his well-attended October 23 briefing, Mr. Movsumov highlighted the main objectives of SOFAZ and stated that the Fund's creation has helped to achieve macroeconomic stability in Azerbaijan.
"Using oil revenues to solve current social problems and stimulate economic development in the country is one of the primary goals of the Fund," remarked Mr. Movsumov.
The Fund has generated $4.7 billion between 2001 and 2007 and has already invested more than $2.6 billion in critical social and infrastructure projects, including housing for refugees and IDPs, construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, a new railway, and water supply and irrigation systems.
As of October 2007, SOFAZ assets stand at $2.2 billion. Conservative projections place the Fund's value at more than $200 billion in approximately 15 years, Mr. Movsumov said.
Management of the Fund has been rooted in transparency since its inception, Mr. Movsumov added. SOFAZ revenues and expenditures are made available to the public and the Fund is audited by an international audit firm, which publishes its audit results and report annually.
"Azerbaijan's long-term revenue management strategy and SOFAZ's participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) ensures and strengthens improved governance, accountability and transparency in the country," he said.
SOFAZ was established in 2001 to secure the stability and prosperity of future generations in Azerbaijan. The guiding philosophy of the Fund is to guarantee equal distribution of the country's oil wealth by financing major infrastructure projects. Mr. Movsumov has been the Fund's Executive Director since 2006.
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