Speech by Heydar Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, at the meeting with Mr. ‎James Wolfonson, President of the World Bank - Washington, July 31, 1997‎

Dear Mr. Wolfonson!

As you may know, I am in the official visit to the United States of America upon the invitation of President Bill Clinton and I am very satisfied with the course of the visit.

At this meeting, I would like to speak about works we have done in the sphere of economy in the course of the last years. One must note that we are reconstructing our economy in accordance with the principles of market economy. A program of large-scale reforms is conducting; an appropriate legislative basis was established. A drastic law on land reform was adopted and we are conducting intensive works for its realization. The privatization process gains in strength and foreign businessmen, alongside with the citizens of our republic, are allowed to participate in it.

In the course of the last years, we have also achieved certain success in the sphere of financial stability in Azerbaijan. If one was not able to restrain the inflation in 1994 and it was as much as 1800%, after taking serious measures we managed to lower it to 85%, in 1996 it made already 6,5%. According to the totals of the first half of 1997 the speed of inflation was lowered to zero. The rate of national currency - manat - increased by 10%.

James Wolfonson: I recall that Azerbaijan is well known also as a country having a very rich history and cultural monuments. Their preservation and handing down to the future generation is of universal importance. Hence, the World Bank considers the possibility of financing this field and proposes to address the part of granted loans to this sphere.

Heydar Aliyev: Mr. Wolfonson, I thank you for the concern you show for the preservation of historical and cultural monuments of our nation that have contributed a lot to the development of the universal civilization and I highly appreciate your proposal.

Mr. Wolfonson, I invite you - the authoritative Head of World Bank - to visit Azerbaijan.