Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear friends!
First of all, I want to cordially congratulate you and the people of Azerbaijan on the Day of the State Flag. In this dear day for us, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences. I heartily congratulate all Azerbaijani scientists on this occasion, wish them new successes and achievements.
During these 70 years, Academy has passed a long and successful road. Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences has made a very valuable contribution to the strengthening of the intellectual potential of our country. It has made a valuable contribution to the training. Today this venture plays an active role in the overall development of our country, scientists are conducting research, accelerate the dynamics of the future development of the country.
I really want Azerbaijani scientists to play a more active role in the comprehensive development of our country in future. Because, in every country, including in Azerbaijan development links to level of science. Today - is the age of new technologies. Countries with such technologies, of course, may be more to protect its interests in the world.
Azerbaijan should also be among these countries. Today we try Azerbaijan were imported and used the latest technology in various areas of our lives, so that in the future our scientists are better able to build on the basis of these technologies.
As you know, in the early years of independence, to the work of the Academy it was not very positive. Scientists are well remembered that in 1992 then government even put forward a proposal to close the academy. Then management of those times believed that in Azerbaijan there was no need for a National Academy of Sciences.
It was a very wrong approach. Fortunately, after great leader Heydar Aliyev’s return in 1993 at the request of the people in power all this talk, of course, came to an end. The first meeting with the public of the great leader was held with scientists at the National Academy of Sciences. From that time till today the development of Azerbaijani science is paid great attention. This area today is a priority.
Sure, in the first years of independence, our financial situation was not as it is now. Azerbaijan is going through a very difficult period. The political, military crisis, civil war, the occupation of our lands and the economic downturn, of course, was not allowed to allocate the appropriate level of funding for the Academy. But while these issues within the capacity to find solutions.
Of course, now Azerbaijan has presented its model of economic development on a global scale, and has won great respect because of the pace of economic development. So today we can devote to the work of the Academy even more heavily and do it. I should also note that there are taken into account offers of the scientists of a scientific community. I remember speaking in this building, in this hall four years ago, I expressed my thoughts. The speaker-scientists have also put forward proposals. We can say that all these proposals either were executed or are executed.
In recent years, improved the logistical base of the Academy, a beautiful building repaired. Funds have been allocated for the repair of institutes of the Academy. Complex of scientific library was set. Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory has been capitally renovated. Builded a beautiful building for the National Encyclopedia. That is all it reflects the policy of the Azerbaijani state. We want that, even more perfect conditions for the development of science were made. Meanwhile, adopted and implemented national strategy and state program on the development of science for five-six years. I believe that the establishment of the Science Development Fund is also an important step in this direction, as the fund allows and provide grants to young researchers, and conduct research. Overall, this is certainly a positive impact on the development of science.
Speaking here today to scientists, I want to share some thoughts on the future development of our country and the role of scientists in this development.
Today the world is experiencing a new period. Every citizen of the television and the media sees that in the region and in the world of development, unfortunately, is not in a positive direction. There are new threats, dangers, the risks of confrontation, war. Unfortunately, in forecasting future is no reason for optimism. In such circumstances, each country, of course, should rely primarily on domestic resources, to an even greater extent to ensure its security in the period experienced by the world financial and economic crisis to make certain adjustments to its economic model. For many years Azerbaijan is conducting an independent policy, carries out independent activities in the political and economic spheres, and in the field of international relations. Our work is based on the national interests of the people. This is the main condition for us, the main challenge, and all our efforts to serve this purpose.
Of course, watching the processes taking place in the world and the region, we should also try as much as possible, to minimize the risks for our country and achieve this. Today, in the burning region, Azerbaijan is an island of stability, a space of peace and tranquility. Azerbaijani citizens live and work in conditions of peace. I am confident that as a result of actions and measures to be adopted, the positive dynamic, positive atmosphere in Azerbaijan further strengthened.
At the same time experiencing today in the world economic crisis is continuing, and no end in sight. In this case, we have to spend even more serious reforms in the economic sphere.
In general, our policy in recent years was to maximize the reduction of dependence on oil and gas factor, to diversify the economy, to solve the questions of creation in the region new jobs, industries. Adoption is still the first regional development program in 2004, it pursued this goal. I am glad that this program has already been implemented consistently and shape of the region has changed. New enterprises, social facilities, infrastructure projects strengthen our country and significantly reduce dependence on oil and gas factor. If we look at the structure of our gross domestic product, we can make sure that the current oil and gas sector accounts for about 30 percent here. In the future, this figure should be even lower.
However, along with this, today we think of the new economic model. Government, public entities are given the appropriate instructions, and I would really like to see our scientists are also actively involved in the case.
I am confident that the dynamics of our economic development will continue, as it is based on the work already undertaken, infrastructure projects, an excellent investment climate, while at the same time, the powerful economic structure of the world appreciate our efforts. And the World Bank and International Monetary Fund believe that in the coming years Azerbaijan will have rate of economy in the region, in the Eastern Europe countries. It is no coincidence, the Davos World Economic Forum, has awarded Azerbaijan on the 40th place in the competitiveness of the economy. This is a very high figure. Take the 40th position among the two hundred countries, ahead of many developed countries - it is really a great achievement, and we do not have the expense of oil and gas. This was made possible thanks to well thought-out policy, economic reforms. We should try to maintain these high growth in the coming years, and thus make the long-term economic development and sustainable.
Our economic success and economic independence are the foundation of the state independence. If we were in a state of dependence on other countries, it could not pursue an independent policy. Our strength is in here. So we try to make maximum use of internal resources and no one could depend on. If you're going to depend, t will have to carry out orders or others suffer. We do not want to depend on anyone. We want to go our own way, our people lived better, and that makes our state become even stronger. I want to reiterate that economic independence is the foundation of the state independence. Therefore, I believe that scientists should make, and will make valuable suggestions in relation to this new situation.
I want to touch upon another issue. In Azerbaijan, there were very positive demographics. This is due to the development of the country in recent years, because if you look at the statistics of demography, we can see that in the most difficult years for our country's demographic situation was very negative. But with the development of the economy, after the final determination of the stability, demographic situation has improved. Today, the population of Azerbaijan is growing rapidly, in a few years it will reach 10 million people. Of course, it is our greatest asset. The larger the population, the greater will be our country. But at the same time, this situation dictates the need to address many issues. A growing population means an increasing number of jobs. Over the past ten years, we have opened more than one million permanent jobs. But this process must continue. To open jobs must invest both public and foreign investment. Now, our revenues are declining. This of course, the price of oil has fallen from 100 $ to $ 50 and below. The state budget for next year we have made cuts, postponed some investment projects. Therefore, the creation of jobs in the future should be linked to improving the investment climate. We should try to attract more foreign investment Azerbaijan. In general, I believe that due to the demographic situation of our scientists have to work even harder. It will increase the social burden that is necessary to build new kindergartens, schools, create new industries, build buildings, houses, including individual houses. It needs land. Where do we find them? New challenges associated with urban development. Most of the load will have to transport. That is the reality of it all. If we do not think about it, the day will come when all this will lead to big problems. So we already have, based on demographic development, determined in accordance with the new strategy to the board.
Until now, and even today our main task has been associated with infrastructure projects. We sell them in Baku and regions. Of course, electricity supply, gas supply, drinking water, land reclamation, rural roads, highways, repairs - all these will continue. But simultaneously, necessarily need a new approach.
In recent years have been taken serious steps related to the development of the industry. As a result, for the first nine months of this year our non-oil industry grew by more than 10 percent. In the current environment it is - a historic achievement. Currently implemented and planned large industrial projects in Azerbaijan will increase in future, our non-oil capacity will significantly increase the export potential. Technoparks are built. Chemical Industry Park has been already laid down. There have already created the first enterprise. Azerbaijani scientists should take an active part in all these matters. Of course, the construction and engineering work in all these areas carry out foreign contractors. However, relevant government agencies have been instructed to bring Azerbaijani scientists this case. Please scientists themselves become active in this matter.
Azerbaijan has done a lot of work related to food security. We can say, 100 or 90 per cent provide ourselves with basic food products. This process will continue. In recent years, grain production has been created about 20 large farms. Yields on these farms are 55-60 quintals per hectare. That is twice as much as the total yield. Why is that? Because they are used, use a scientific approach, modern technology. Scientists have put a lot of work in achieving these results. If we consider that about 50 percent of our population lives in rural areas, in the future development of agriculture will always be on the agenda as an economic and as a social issue.
It is no coincidence that the current year has been declared in Azerbaijan as the "Year of Agriculture". During the first 9 months of this year, growth in agriculture was almost 7 percent. It is also very high. At present, Azerbaijani state is investing large investments in irrigation and reclamation work. Two major reservoirs - Takhtakorpu and Shamkirchay were built. This is - a historic achievement. Now the area of irrigated land is largely increased, and will increase. The area of newly irrigated lands and lands, which improved irrigation, will be in the hundreds of thousands of hectares. There definitely needs a scientific approach. We cannot allow this matter to a chaotic situation. The work should be carried out systematically in order to know in what areas what products to grow, what kind of work needs to be done to the state for the cultivation of these products. Here, the key word for the scientists. Ministry of Economy and Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture were commissioned to build all future work on a scientific basis. I ask Azerbaijani scientists, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences is actively involved in this case.
We can greatly enhance our export potential. That is, we can go out to the world markets with even greater volume of agricultural products, and thus greatly improve the living standards of farmers. Our further development will define the industrial and agricultural sectors. Therefore, public policy is clear. State structures have been instructed. Please scientists seriously address this issue.
One very significant event in Azerbaijan that took place in the past years since my last appearance here was the creation of the space industry. It was put into orbit the first telecommunications satellite. Thereafter orbit satellite was launched for monitoring the earth's surface. Currently, we are engaged in the launch of the third satellite. Indeed, the country has created a new industrial area, a new branch of science. Of course, in this regard, in the first place it is necessary to deepen international cooperation. Because this area is new for us. We have to hold a variety of events - seminars, conferences, scientific and practical activities With foreign partners. We must be more active in the training of personnel, as this new space industry had created. Azerbaijan became a member of the not very numerous space club of the world. This reflects our policy. We look to the future: Modern, dynamic development, the use of technology. Without that we cannot develop as would like. We want to enter the ranks of developed countries, and the opportunities for that. Because human resources is strong. Education is at the proper level. Literacy is virtually 100 percent. This - the main base for the development of science. The development of science is surrounded by care and attention. All these factors are. The main thing - to plan all this strategy and take the right steps to Azerbaijan in this field, was among the first.
Military industry is established in Azerbaijan. It has been established by the Ministry of Defense Industry since 10 years. If at the time this decision was not made, today we would be unable to benefit from the development of the industry. Currently, we manufacture military products more than a thousand titles.
Azerbaijan itself provides most of the needs of our army. This is - a historic achievement, especially when you consider that we are in a war. In some cases, we cannot buy the necessary equipment, guns. In some cases, there is an embargo. They lack any justification. But it is another question. We knew that. Today, the main provision of the Azerbaijani army is possible thanks to domestic production. I know that the scientists involved in this business, but they need to participate more actively. Of course, we acquire advanced technology. When purchasing them, we are introduced to this technology. In the future we will be able themselves to produce all kinds of guns we need. We can even use these samples. Therefore, there is a wide field of activity for the Azerbaijani scientists. Azerbaijani state, for its part, will try to attract more scientists to this work.
Sure, I want to say a few words about the traditional oil and gas sector of our economic development. Scientists are well aware that all oil and gas fields in the Caspian Sea discovered by Azerbaijani scientists. Without the Azerbaijani Scientific School, these fields would not have been discovered or whether they would have discovered much later. Today, Azerbaijani scientists play an important role in the successful implementation of oil and gas operations in the country are involved in co-operation with foreign partners, as well as in projects of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan. Of course, this area is also strategic for us. Our oil and gas reserves are large enough. Stocks of our gas reserves will suffice for us and for export to the partner at least for 100 years. Of course, our scientists also need to meet existing and emerging technology in the world in this field, since in recent years, in this field there is a great development. Today we are not only easily are drilling wells to depths that were previously inaccessible to us, but even in Baku are big rigs capable of drilling to maintain the greatest depths of the earth. Therefore, this sphere is strategic for us and for our partners.
Today Azerbaijan is known worldwide as a reliable partner, plays a crucial role in the oil and gas sector, energy security of some countries. After a few years of our partners will become even more so after the realization of the Southern Gas Corridor about 10, and in the future more countries will be able to receive Azerbaijani gas. Because, Azerbaijan takes the lead in this area. Azerbaijan is not only the initiator but also the leading force of the Southern Gas Corridor project TANAP. We both aim in this sector and our financial resources.
Of course, scientists face a lot of problems. If I'm here to talk about each of them, it probably takes a long time. I think enough has been said. Since the main my desire - is to Azerbaijani science in the first place, to develop and, on the other hand, it contributes to the overall development of the country. That is the research was not just for the sake of research, and directed at strengthening the capacity of the country's economic security.
In conclusion, I want to say a few words about the humanities. This area is constantly in the spotlight. Carried out in Azerbaijan in recent years, a variety of activities - the Baku Humanitarian Forum, the Forum on Intercultural Dialogue has represented Azerbaijan in the world as a center of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism in Azerbaijan is a state policy and, at the same time, the public order. Because, for us it is - a normal life. Although at present we see in some countries a different picture. Some political leaders are even using extremely dangerous expression, claiming that multiculturalism has failed, it has no future. This is erroneous and dangerous view because there is no alternative to multiculturalism. What is the alternative - xenophobia, discrimination, and racism. Unfortunately, all that we see every day on TV. Azerbaijan demonstrates its model in this area. I believe that in connection with this theme Azerbaijani scientists can be even more active. Based on the scientific substantiation of the history, traditions and present realities of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan and government policies can create an even more fundamental works both in Azerbaijani, and foreign languages. I believe that research in this area will be very interesting and very useful for us.
For centuries the people of Azerbaijan as a nation preserved our culture, art, music, and other carpet weaving tradition. At the heart of all our activities in this area is the Azerbaijani language. Azerbaijan has preserved us as a people, a nation. We have lived for centuries as part of other countries, empires, at a time when we were not independent, we were able to preserve our national values, the native language. We were able to preserve the purity of the Azerbaijani language. So today, when I sometimes see in our language intervention from the outside, which sometimes receive support in Azerbaijan, it really bothers me. Azerbaijani language is so rich that he does not need any foreign words. Once again I want to say that we guarded for centuries our language. We must guard even today. We need to ensure the purity of the Azerbaijani language. Of course, the more foreign languages know our citizens, especially the younger generation, the better. But, first of all, they need to know the native language. On the other hand, should not be allowed entry into our native language of foreign words. That is unnecessary. But we see it. I hear that some of the speeches of public figures, members of the government, in some television broadcasts, in the parliament used foreign expression. That is unnecessary. Of course, I'm no expert in this area, but as a citizen, I believe that the need for the invention of new words not. Our vocabulary so rich that, if we keep it and give future generations, it is our greatest achievement in this area.
In conclusion, I want to say a few words about the historical sciences. Azerbaijan has a very rich history. This is well known and Azerbaijani scientists and Azerbaijani public. We need to better introduce our history, these realities on a global scale. Why is that? In the first place, so that we learn to see what we have a rich history. On the other hand, we have committed against provocation. That is, the Armenians are trying to distort the history of Azerbaijan and, taking advantage of the Diaspora, in some cases, achieve this. "Armenian scientists" on the basis of lies and fantasies published books, made presentations relating to the history of the region, the South Caucasus. Of course, our history is our greatest asset. Our history shows that Azerbaijanis have lived for centuries in this land. The present Armenia was created on historical Azerbaijani lands. One needs only to look at the maps published by tsarist Russia in the early twentieth century that they saw that the absolute majority of the names of villages and towns, located on the territory of present Armenia have Azerbaijani origin. That is the reality. 70-80 percent of the population of the Iravan Khanate was Azerbaijanis. I am very glad that my recommendation is created and translated into several foreign languages fundamental scientific work of Erivan khanate. These works are based on the facts, realities.
Nagorno-Karabakh is an ancient Azerbaijani land. "Karabakh", "Khankendi" - is the Azerbaijani words. I have repeatedly said that if Khankandi had any historical name, the Armenians would have restored it. "Stepanakert" named in honor of the leader of the Bolshevik squad Armenian bandit Stepan Shaumyan. That is, we all know it, but to know and the world. Everywhere should know that this is our land and we have the right to live on this earth. International law, of course, supports our position. But the world community needs to know that the issue is not limited to international law. This – is our historical land. In the XIX century the Armenians were resettled in Nagorno-Karabakh and some other places of Iran, Eastern Anatolia. For what purpose relocated - we know it well. We need to more widely distribute all of this in the form of books and prove thus the whole world that this - our historic, historical land.
I believe that the time has come to establish a solid scientific work devoted to the period of independence. Next year we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of our independence. I think that if by that time will create a solid scientific work, it can be a very good gift to our holiday.
Dear friends, members of the Academy, scientists once again I congratulate the 70th anniversary of the Academy. I want to assure you that I will continue to keep focus on the development of the Academy and will always support the decision of all its tasks. Thank you.