"Our social policy is unambiguous. I have repeatedly said that our policy is centered on the people of Azerbaijan. I believe that Azerbaijan is an exemplary country on a global scale in terms of social protection. The minimum wage and pensions are increasing, while the self-employment program is gaining pace. This year, the program will cover more than 10,000 people. The number of people receiving targeted social assistance is growing. I set the task for the Minister of Labor and Social Protection: we must provide even more assistance to people of this category. At present, each family receives assistance exceeding 200 manats on average. The number of such families should be increased. This is the task we set,"the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said at a meeting on the economic area, ONA reports.
"Of course, our main goal is to deepen the reforms that pave the way for economic development. In general, reforms in the economic sphere are progressing well in Azerbaijan. Leading international organizations highly evaluate our activities in this area. My numerous meetings with leaders of the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions suggest that the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan are receiving good feedback.
The Doing Business report ranks Azerbaijan in 25th place in the world in terms of the business environment: "According to the latest report, Azerbaijan is one of the top 20 most reforming countries again. The Davos World Economic Forum has recently published a new report, which demonstrates again that the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan are consistent in nature. I would like to inform the Azerbaijani public about some details of this report. As you know, there are many criteria related to competitiveness in it – the public and political situation, the fight against crime, the economic reforms, the social reforms, infrastructure and so on," Azerbaijani President said.
Mr Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan ranks 18th in the world in terms of the fight against organized crime. I can say that this report was prepared and published on the basis of the results of a study conducted among 141 countries of the world. Azerbaijan ranks 30th in terms of public confidence in the police. In the field of protection of property rights, we are in 37th place. Please note that in terms of the long-term strategy of the government, i.e. the state and its leadership, Azerbaijan is in 10th place on a global scale. In other words, this shows that a thought-out and long-term policy is being implemented in Azerbaijan at the highest level. In terms of the leadership's desire for change, i.e. for reform, we are in fifth place in the world. In terms of the transport infrastructure, we are in 31st place and in terms of the road infrastructure in 27th place. In the previous report, we were in 34th place, while in the current report we are in 27th place and first in the CIS. In terms of railways, we are in 34th and the efficiency of transport services in 12th places. According to the access to electricity factor, we are in second place in the world. The construction of such a large number of power plants, substations and power lines in recent years has brought us to second place in the world.
In terms of the digital capacity of the active population, we are in 19th place. This testifies to the talent of our people and their proximity to progressive trends. From the point of view of starting a business, we are in eighth place. These figures, of course, reflect reality, because the Davos World Economic Forum is one of the leading international financial institutions in the world and a very authoritative forum. As you know, the President of Azerbaijan regularly participates in the meetings of the forum.
All this, of course, is good feedback of our work. The best assessment is that of the Azerbaijani people. According to a recent survey, it is possible to say that the vast majority of the population unequivocally supports the leadership of Azerbaijan and our policies. Of course, this support gives us strength, increases our determination, and we aspire to reforms and implement them even more enthusiastically and with even greater opportunities. Despite this, of course, I want to say it again, there are still unused reserves, and we must identify them. We must try to ensure that all areas of life in Azerbaijan are transparent and meet the highest standards. Of course, in order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to carry out a merciless fight against corruption and bribery. I believe that at present we cannot be fully satisfied with this struggle. Because we know that facts of corruption have assumed large proportions not only in Azerbaijan, but also throughout the CIS. That is, it is a bitter legacy we have inherited from the past. But we must fight against negative phenomena – not only law enforcement agencies, but also all relevant agencies, including citizens. I have repeatedly spoken about the need for stepping up public oversight. If lawlessness occurs somewhere, in any region, anywhere in Baku, relevant authorities should identify this and hold those who have committed lawlessness responsible. People, in turn, should report and be more active in terms of public oversight, so that we carry out reforms and build up the power of our country."