Speech of the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev at the opening ceremony of the "Caspian-American telecom" Azerbaijani USA joint enterprise - April 14, 1999

Ladies and gentlemen!

Dear guests!

I congratulate you, communications engineers of Azerbaijan, on the occasion of the opening a new telephone exchange with modern technology in Baku today.

In the recent years, there is an intensive development of communications in Azerbaijan, and the work and its results are worth of esteem. In this work, the Ministry of Communications of Azerbaijan, communications engineers use, in particular, foreign investments and achieve successes, conducting teamwork with the corresponding companies of foreign countries, at the same time they bring advanced, modern technology to Azerbaijan.

In the recent 3-4 years, the communications in Azerbaijan has acquired a completely a new form. Several years ago, people could dream only of mobile phones. In the past our citizens used to dream of the mobile phones used in different countries. Arrival of the mobile phones in Azerbaijan became a great event. First, these phones surrounded a small stratum of the population. However, now mobile phones are widespread, many people use them in Azerbaijan. Opportunities of mobile phones have increased to an extent that these phones are daily advertised on the and private TV of Azerbaijan.

It pleases us. As a whole, it is a visual proof that our economy develops on the principals of the market economy. This is a visual proof that Azerbaijan establishes fruitful relations with foreign countries. We approve all these and we wish to have similar innovations in the field of communications in the future as well.

Today here, at the opening ceremony of the telephone exchange, we were informed on the invested invested in it, its opportunities and prospects. All these make a good impression. The importance of it is especially that the Azerbaijani communications engineers, the ministry of Communications of our republic cooperate with the companies of the United States of America. We see positive results of this cooperation.

Telephone exchange is a new event. That is, wireless phone is applied in Azerbaijan for the first time and has fine prospects. I think that we shall become witnesses of the realization of this program, of the project as a whole in the future.

The event of today shows the development in the American-Azerbaijani economic relations and simultaneously mass inflow of investments into non-oil sector of Azerbaijan. You know that since 1994, our country has concluded contracts with many big companies of the world on joint developments in oil and gas deposits in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea and implement these contracts.

As a result of it, plenty of investments has come to Azerbaijan. But, at the same time, developing the market, free economy in Azerbaijan we pay attention to other fields of economy, industry, infrastructure and social sphere in our country. We carry out teamwork with the companies of foreign countries to develop all of this, and capital is invested into our country, 42 million US dollars will be invested here for the construction of only one telephone exchange. It gladdens us.

Thus, the economy of Azerbaijan develops. Foreign investment is made not only in the oil sector, but also in other spheres. It proves that in Azerbaijan there is a favorable condition for foreign companies to act freely in our country. All this shows that the social-political stability established in Azerbaijan has given opportunities to citizens, to businessmen of our country for effective work. At the same time, political stability in our country conditions inflow of foreign investments to Azerbaijan.

Once again, I note that all this gratifying factors. I would like to tell you that this work will continue rapidly as well as henceforth in Azerbaijan, the economy of Azerbaijan will develop day by day, the well-being of the Azerbaijani citizens will be improved.

I congratulate the Azerbaijani communications engineers with their achievements and opening this telephone exchange today. I wish you successes in all your activities. Thank you.