Azerbaijan Non-Oil Economy Expanded 10% in January, Aliyev Says

Azerbaijan’s non-oil economy expanded more than 10 percent in January from the same month a year earlier, President Ilham Aliyev said in comments broadcast on state television channel AzTV.

The government will spend heavily in the coming years to develop industries outside of oil production, with $7.3 billion to be allocated from the budget in 2012 as part of a state investment program, Aliyev said. A further $1.7 billion will be channeled in state-guaranteed loans, bringing the total in capital investments to at least $20 billion this year.

Aliyev said the goal for the next 10 years is to double the Caspian Sea nation’s gross domestic product by relying on faster growth of the non-oil economy as crude output remains flat, according to AzTV.

Azerbaijan, the third-largest oil producer in the former Soviet Union, pumped 45.4 million metric tons of crude and 25.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas last year.

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