Over the medium term, the priority for Azerbaijan is to create a new economic model, where growth is driven by a vibrant and diversified private sector, Natalia Tamirisa, Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Azerbaijan, told Report.

“To this end, it would be important to identify reform measures to strengthen and develop the financial sector and markets, improve the efficiency of state-owned enterprises, and diversify the economy to reduce its dependence on oil production,” Natalia Tamirisa said.

According to her, medium-term fiscal policy plans would need to balance the need to invest in productive infrastructure, nurture human talent, and save oil wealth for future generations.

“Thanks to its large financial buffers, Azerbaijan is in a good position to continue providing support to the economy in the near term until the pandemic subsides and the recovery takes hold. When the exceptional pandemic-related support is phased out, this needs to be done gradually,” the IMF rep said.

“As indicated in the IMF’s World Economic Outlook published last October, for 2021, we project real GDP growth to recover to 2 percent, inflation to reach 3.1 percent, and gross government debt 20 percent of GDP. Our updated forecast will be released in the IMF’s World Economic Outlook this April,” she added.

Azerbaijan joined the IMF on September 18, 1992. In 1995-2005, to support the economic reforms program, the IMF allocated $577.3 million of loans to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has fully repaid the amount.