Azerbaijan, which stands out for its stability and support for peace proposals, has a bright future, says Rene van der Linden, former president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Azerbaijan, which stands out for its stability and support for peace proposals, has a bright future, says Rene van der Linden, former president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

He made the remarks May 18 during the second EU-Azerbaijan business forum in Baku.

“Azerbaijan has greatly changed thanks to the incredible development,” he said, adding that it can be seen clearly in Baku. “I see Azerbaijan has a very bright future.”

Addressing the forum, Azerbaijan’s Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev said that over the past years, Azerbaijan has achieved significant economic growth and is gradually reducing its dependence on energy resources.

“Over the past 10 years, the country’s economy rose by 2.4 times, non-oil sector – by 2.3 times, budget expenditures increased by eight times, and the country’s monetary reserves rose by more than 16 times,” said Mustafayev.

He noted that oil sector’s share in the country’s economy decreased from 60 to 30 percent over the past 10 years.

Private sector’s share increased thanks to the development of entrepreneurship and exceeded 80 percent, said the minister.

Mustafayev added that this success is very important and constitute the basis of Azerbaijan’s current economy.

The forum was attended by about 300 businessmen, about 70 of whom were representing the EU.

Panel discussions on opportunities in the agricultural, food, transportation, logistics, tourism sectors, as well as business opportunities in Azerbaijan were held at the business forum.