BAKU: Aliyev speech at opening of XI int’l conference”Caspian – Oil,

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
June 1 2004

[June 01, 2004, 19:47:10]

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

Dear visitors!

I intimately congratulate you on the occasion of opening of the XI
International exhibition – conference “Caspian – oil, gas, oil
refining and petrochemicals – 2004”. I wish the Conference success.

In 1994, in Azerbaijan first such exhibition has been carried out. I
well remember those days. I remember, how then carrying out of this
exhibition caused in ones – doubts, others – were surprised to this
as at that time Azerbaijan was in very difficult situation. Situation
in the country was very difficult. The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict
has just been suspended, the agreement on ceasefire was reached.
Certainly, carrying out of exhibition in such conditions was the
extreme phenomenon. The country experienced heavy days. In Azerbaijan
ruled an economic crisis.

As a whole, at that time Azerbaijan was known in the world in quality
of very risky country. However, thanks to efforts of organizers of
the Exhibition and support of President Heydar Aliyev this exhibition
has taken place, and I remember, that it has passed very
successfully. The representatives who have arrived to Azerbaijan of
the foreign companies have expressed here the interests to our
country, trust to Azerbaijan, and, thus, with participation of the
large oil companies in Azerbaijan the international action was
carried out.

In general, the year 1994 takes a special place in the history of
Azerbaijan. In 1994, the “Contract of the Century” has been signed,
and from this contract new oil strategy of Azerbaijan began. Heydar
Aliyev’s oil strategy is put into practice already more than 10 years
and has brought to Azerbaijan great successes. For these years to
Azerbaijan, in a petroleum industry of our country, large investments
have been enclosed. The known oil companies came to Azerbaijan and
have adjusted very successful cooperation with our country. I can
tell, that the works, which have begun in 1994, had decisive
character for the future Azerbaijan.

After the “Contract of the Century”, it has been signed more than 20
oil contracts. Within the framework of the said contracts, the
investment at amount almost 60 billion dollars is expected. The
investments enclosed in the oil industry, naturally, will stimulate
all our economy. I can tell you that the volume of the investments
enclosed in Azerbaijan within last 7-8 years makes 17 billion
dollars. Of them, 12 billion are direct foreign investments. It
testifies to the great trust in Azerbaijan, that Azerbaijan is very
reliable partner. Otherwise, the foreign companies, certainly, would
not begin to put to Azerbaijan so many investments. Also I should
tell, that in comparison with neighboring countries, former Soviet
republics, and at the same time with some states of the East Europe,
Azerbaijan is the leader on volume of foreign investments per capita
and during many years keeps this leadership.

If in Azerbaijan political stability and order have not been
established, certainly, achievement of such level of foreign
investments would be impossible. Due to activity and efforts of the
national leader of our people Heydar Aliyev, Azerbaijan for very
short time has made significant steps. The oil sector develops; other
branches of our economy also are in development. It speaks that
Azerbaijan is on a true way.

In Azerbaijan, there is extremely favorable investment environment.
Our foreign friends, partners are sure that their investments are
protected up to the mark. Already all know, that any oil contract
after signing is ratified by Milli Majlis and, thus, inures as the
law, and nobody can change this law. It is pleasant, that within
these ten years between Azerbaijan and the oil companies there was no
question at issue. We always work, we cooperate in very friendly
conditions, and carrying out activity in our country the foreign oil
companies, living here the foreign experts became members of the
Azerbaijan society, and I know, that they feel very easy in

Our purpose consists in an all-around development of Azerbaijan. In
that, using the oil factor, to make our economy versatile to open new
workplaces. In particular, due to activity of the foreign oil
companies, in oil sector in Azerbaijan thousand, tens thousand new
workplaces were open. Our citizens working in this sector, receive
very high wages, and have good conditions. Now, we should take
advantage of this factor so that in Azerbaijan other sectors of
economy also have comprehensively developed. With this purpose, have
been adopted and special programs. I hope, that these programs will
bring the results.

With feeling of deep satisfaction I can tell, that for last 7 months,
after presidential elections in Azerbaijan it was open about 30
thousand new workplaces. It once again shows that the promises given
up to electors become true and find approval in the life.

The oil sector of Azerbaijan develops. I can tell, that in 1990s one
of the complicated questions was the question on legal status of the
Caspian. In this connection, though the question was many times
discussed, there was certain intensity. But I can tell and that as a
result of Heydar Aliyev’s diplomacy the said question also finds its
settlement. In the direction of settlement of this question extremely
important steps have been undertaken, and Azerbaijan has already
signed agreements with Russia and Kazakhstan about legal status of
the Caspian Sea. This certifies that even on such complex
international problems it is possible to come to a common
denominator, and it was found a decision satisfying each side. I
hope, that in the near future the question on the status of the
Caspian Sea, at last, can find its decision as a whole.

The future prospects of Azerbaijan are fine. For realization of all
plans we face, certainly, it is necessary strong economy. Naturally,
the oil sector being the basic branch of our economy plays thus
important and, I can tell, the main role. We have already executed
preliminary stage. Azerbaijan has involved large investments. The oil
sector of Azerbaijan develops very promptly and the new
infrastructure is being created.

For these years, in Azerbaijan, four drilling installations have been
constructed and handed over in operation: “Dede Gorgud”, “Istiglal”,
“Gurtulush” and the largest drilling installation – “Heydar Aliyev”
capable to work in the deepest waters of the Caspian Sea. It very
much strengthens our infrastructure. But, at the same time, the
following stage will depend on how will the incomes received from oil
effectively work to efficiently use them. With this purpose, in
Azerbaijan the Oil Fund has been created. The Oil Fund is very
transparent structure, and its activity gets support of the
international financial institutions. The international audit is on
regular basis carried out, the information on incomes and charges of
Oil Fund is periodically published in press.

The transparency becomes one of the main preconditions of our
success. As you know, Azerbaijan has joined the International
Transparency Initiative. Already more than year we seriously are
engaged in the given question and we support the initiative of the
Prime Minister of the Great Britain. I can tell, that Azerbaijan is,
may be, the unique country in region which accepts very active
participation in this Initiative. It will allow us that the incomes
received from oil in the future, worked effectively, and each citizen
of Azerbaijan has felt it in the daily life.

The incomes, to tell the truth, received from oil already render the
influence to our life. I can tell to you, that the last year wages
and pensions have been raised by decrees of our national leader
Heydar Aliyev due to means of the Oil Fund. It means that incomes
received from oil already find the reflection in a daily life of our
people. Certainly, with growth of our incomes in the future we shall
have even more opportunities that our people lived even better.

One of the most important directions of oil strategy of Heydar Aliyev
is construction of oil pipelines and delivery of the Azerbaijan oil
to the world markets. Two oil pipelines, transporting the Azerbaijan
oil now function, and it allows us to deliver in very effective form
our oil on the world markets.

As you know, construction of the oil pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
goes very successfully, and we hope, that in the beginning of the
next year it will be handed over in operation. This pipeline also is
Heydar Aliyev’s creation. Not casually, that the members of the
Company “Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan” have given to this pipeline Heydar
Aliyev’s name, and our brothers living in Turkey, our friends, the
government of Turkey have named after Heydar Aliyev the Ceyhan
terminal. Truly, Heydar Aliyev is the architect of the oil pipeline

About the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan many words have been told. I do not
want to repeat them. I want to tell only, that it is the project,
which in a huge degree will determine the future of Azerbaijan. It is
the project, which can bring to Azerbaijan, the region the peace and
calmness. It is the project strengthening cooperation in the region.
I hope and is confident, that after realization of the said project,
our region will change, we shall reach peace and calmness. Certainly,
as soon as Azerbaijan, using this pipeline, will deliver the oil on
the world markets, our country will achieve even greater development,
our people will live even better, and our economy become stronger.

The strong economy is the most important condition. For solution of
all problems in Azerbaijan, first of all, there should be a strong
economy. Social questions find their solution. Means allocated from
Oil Fund, first of all, are spent for refugees and IDPs living in the
most difficult conditions. I hope, that the said question will find
its settlement. We aspire to peace settlement of the
Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorny Karabakh conflict. But it should be
solved on the basis of all international legal norms, within the
framework of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

The project “Shahdeniz” will bring to Azerbaijan new achievements.
The large works directed on delivery of the Azerbaijan gas to Europe,
Turkey are already being carried out. I hope, that the mentioned
project also will bring fine results, and in the near future the
Azerbaijan gas will be delivered to Turkey, and there from – to
Europe. Azerbaijan becomes very much reliable source for the European

Dear friends!

In a word, all works, which have been carried out in Azerbaijan
within last ten years, were very successful. Including in the
oil-and-gas sector. It once again shows, that the steps undertaken in
1994 were true. This is celebration of oil strategy, Heydar Aliyev’s
oil diplomacy. I hope, that, continuing this policy, we shall achieve
new successes, we shall reach strengthening and an all-round
development of our country.

Once again I sincerely congratulate you on the occasion of opening of
this Exhibition-Conference. I wish you robust health, happiness and
successes. Thanks!