Speech of the Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev at the joint press conference after the negotiations in Baku with the managing director of International Monetary Fund Michel Camdessu - March 12, 1996

Esteemed ladies and gentlemen, esteemed press workers!

You know, that the manager of International Monetary Fund Mishel Camdessu arrived in Baku. There were held a lot of meetings since the morning. We have carried out long negotiations now. These negotiations were devoted to the perspective cooperation between Azerbaijan Republic and International Monetary Fund.

The International Monetary Fund is a large financial centre of the world and more than 180 countries are the member of this fund. One of the main duties of this fund is rendering assistance to economically falling behind countries of the world, in particular in implementation of economic reforms in these countries.

Azerbaijan is the member of International Monetary Fund, and I can mark that our cooperation continues successfully. The International Monetary Fund gives to us very valuable advices in the sphere of leading of economic reforms in Azerbaijan, advance of our country on the way of market economy reforms in Azerbaijan and we try to make use of these recommendations. At the same time the fund renders financial assistance on credits to our republic for the realization of economic reforms, structural transformations in economy, privatization and other similar measures in Azerbaijan. We have received 100 million dollars credit from International Monetary Fund. This is very favorable long-term credit, and in the future it will be paid with very low percent.

The second part of credit is called the stand-by credit to the of sum about 75 million of dollars, most likely it will be granted to Azerbaijan at the end of this month. At present a large program is being preparied, and the International Monetary Fund will cooperate with us for the realization of economic reforms in the future on this basis. This cooperation will also be provided by long-term credits. All this once again testifies to the fact that all spheres of Azerbaijan are on the way of democracy, including economy, and create conditions for us in order we follow this way.

Mr. Camdessu leads International Monetary Fund about ten years and it is one of the famous economists and financier of the world. He has great services before a lot of countries of the world being on this position. He arrived in Azerbaijan for the first time and we met him with great respect and esteem. I am pleased of these negotiations. I hope that on the basis of these meetings and negotiations, the cooperation between Azerbaijan and International Monetary Fund will develop with more rapid speed.

Question: Mr. Camdessu, thank you for generosity that you have found time for us. If you divide the financial means with such liberality, it will be very good in our republic. You have noted that according to the first article of charter of International Monetary Fund, you envisage to create a self-reliance in needy member-countries and also confidence of other countries in them. Your desire to create confidence to Azerbaijan we understood from your visit here and from your words on leading of economic reforms in our country. What work did you realize, realize and will realize in the future in order to arouse a confidence in Azerbaijan of other countries?

Michel Camdessu: I want to assure other states that Azerbaijan is worthy of confidence and belief. For this purpose I use the most acceptable council - executive council of International Monetary Fund which presents 181 countries. They take into consideration our estimation about situation in the country, and its success. If we give a positive estimation, we are intending to make it now - the financing of this country is confirmed. Otherwise, such decision is not taken. I want to say we will give positive estimation to your achievement in other international conferences. If you do not see the results of the assessments in the nearest future, it will greatly surprise me.

The most important factor in strengthening of confidence to a country is its readiness to the cooperation with outward things, including the neighbors, the capacity and desire to put forward common aims at the regional level. As a result of it, I want to mark the importance of declaration on Caucasian initiative - a document directed to the achievement of stability and progress in the region, which is signed with your president and with the president of Georgia Mr. Shevardnadze. The wide expansion of such common look at the issue in the region is very important. It is especially because there are other countries of the Caucasian region also have an opportunity to join this declaration. The international community will be ready to support just such initiatives.

Question: Which concrete agreements were particularly achieved with the president of Azerbaijan? As for instance, do you link the delivery of the third credit with the realization of privatization in the republic?

Michel Camdessu: I am not sure that we have held some particular concrete negotiations, as in many questions our opinions coincided. Our conversation was mainly devoted, to clarify views and see how Azerbaijan pictured its future. As for the agreements within the framework of the stand-by mechanism, I can say that on successful implementation of this program, we are ready to transfer to the three-years program of large definition of structural transformations. Moreover, these credits will be delivered on preferential terms, that is to say, with lower percent and for longer period. Undoubtedly, the privatization will take the central place in this program. Because your country wishes to pass to the market economy and economic democracy. We, your leadership and government see the future in such way. We came to an agreement, as it was envisaged on credit stand-by, first of all the full-scale minor privatization can be realized. In this case, it is a question of 8 thousand small enterprises. Yet we did not discuss the second stage of privatization particularly.

Question: Mr. director, you have pointed out that great successes are reached in republic, in the sphere of creation of macroeconomic stability. In spite of that, the social condition of population extremely becomes worse, and some powers connect it with the implementation of the conditions of International Monetary Fund on the part of the government of Azerbaijan. You have told that you would render assistance to the government for improvement of the situation of population, creation of social establishment. What will this assistance be made up?

Michel Camdessu: During the implementation of the program of stabilization, people often confirm that all their deprivations and purposes come out from this programme. We hear such remarks very often. This reminds the state of sick treating in hospital. He complains about his suffering because of the drugs or the course of treatment, but forgets wherefore he went to the hospital. However the drug is the basis of further health. Our aim is to find the way in a short time which will lead out your country from this situation and bring to progress. Therefore, I call upon you not to be afraid of painful feeling in the name of sooner recovery and achievement of progress.

Question: During your stay in Turkmenistan in 1993, if I am not mistaken, you declared that if Armenia and Azerbaijan conclude a peace, the International Monetary Fund can undertake the financing of restoration of the destroyed territories. Are you still in the same opinion today?

Michel Camdessu: More than earlier. We have begun to render you assistance. We help to Armenia also. We see that both sides make efforts in order to lead out the economy of their country to the right way. Restoring the economy, its health, we think that the most important, necessary and original condition of this process and the pledge of its successful course is the acceleration of peace process. When this process leads out to concrete results, we will be very glad to play the role of catalyst on the world arena mobilizing the means. And it is necessary for the restoration of the territories destroyed by war.