AZERBAIJAN FINANCIAL AND BANKING SYSTEM DURING THE GLOBAL CRISIS: SHIFT OF EMPHASIS IN INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENTS

Shamseddin HAJIYEV, Fakhri MURSHUDLI


Shamseddin Hajiyev, D.Sc. (Econ.), professor, rector of Azerbaijan State Economic University (Baku, Azerbaijan)

Fakhri Murshudli, Researcher, Azerbaijan State Economic University (Baku, Azerbaijan)


Introduction

The creation of a robust, innovative financial and banking system capable of meeting the needs of society is among the strategic tasks of the republics economic policy aimed at ensuring the national sovereignty of this system as the country integrates into the global market. A sound financial system and increasing competitiveness of the banking sector are effective factors of sustainable economic growth making it possible to survive the global financial and economic collapse with relatively insignificant losses. International comparative assessments are among the main instruments for analyzing the financial and credit strength and vulnerability of individual countries. At the same time, the realities of the global crisis show that the techniques, principles, emphasis and focus of these assessments in current conditions should change radically. Otherwise their objectivity and validity will be called into question, and this will in turn have a negative impact on the decision making process.

Azerbaijan Financial and Banking System during Global Turmoil

At the turn of the century, Azerbaijan entered a stage of active reform in all areas of social life, characterized by significant improvements in economic indicators and rising living standards. Today the country has one of the most dynamic economies in the world. In the last five years, the countrys economy grew 2.6-fold. And in 2008, faced with the challenges of the global crisis, our national economy demonstrated high stability and dynamism: in terms of GDP growth (10.8%), Azerbaijan ranked first among the CIS countries. It is interesting to note that non-oil GDP increased even faster: by 15.7%. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), GDP (PPP) per capita increased 3.9-fold in 2000-2008 and reached a sufficiently high level for transition economies: $8.6 thousand.

The positive trend caused by the general economic recovery and rising household incomes in Azerbaijan in recent years has strengthened the positive trends in the financial and banking sector. Statistical data show that undeniable progress has by now been achieved in this sector in terms of its main quantitative and qualitative parameters.

In 2008, the republics state budget revenues increased 1.8-fold, and their share in GDP rose by 4.5 percentage points. The consolidated budget surplus was 11% of GDP. In investment policy, priority is given to..


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