Islamic Solidarity Economy2017 January 11 ( Thursday ) 18:49:32
The meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan titled "Results of socio-economic development in 2016 and the challenges ahead" held on January 10 under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev resulted in the announcement of 2017 the Year of Islamic solidarity in Azerbaijan.
At first glance, the question arises, what is the relation of socio-economic problems of Azerbaijan to Islamic solidarity. Two speeches of Aliyev - the initial and final, were connected mainly with the economic crisis in the country, the fight against it and plans on restoration the ailing economy in 2017.
Theses of the president regarding the assessment of the situation and overcome the crisis are not of particular interest, since they did not reflect the real picture and did not offer a clear recipe for the future. Aliyev, contrary to the actual statistical data and the real drop in the living standard of citizens, did not to recognize the deterioration of the situation, presenting a picture of a successful fight against the crisis and the presence of stability and harmony in society. It was his assessment of the past year. The first part of the speech strengthened doubts about the possibility of the team of the president to generate operational anti-crisis proposal, because the speech was based on the inadequacy of perception and description of reality. Subsequently, after the gallant speeches of three officials in charge, which can hardly be called a key, representing a vision of 2017, Aliyev, naturally, was unable to present a prescription to cure the ailing economy, which the audience expected from him.
As it turned out from the President's speech, he sees the economic growth in the implementation of mega-projects, reflecting the interests of the oligarchy, but not small and medium-sized businesses. These projects involve the further laundering of public funds, mainly, coming from increasingly scarce oil reserves and own funds of the oligarchy, accumulated over the years of the oil boom. These include housing in the capital, the development of large-scale farms in the area of cotton, fruit, wine, etc. In other words, nothing has been said about the support of private producers and the distribution of investment among the many thousands of members of the private sector.
The most disappointing was the fact that the president almost did not say anything about the "road maps" of reforms, which he signed at the end of the year, and that according to the preamble of the document should become engines of development in the 12 economic regions.
From the speech of the president comes out the conclusion that he is not interested in comprehensive reforms that would open up the potential of each citizen of the country, ready and willing to bring its contribution to the formation of the new economy. Aliyev still sees a free person and a free economy as a threat to the regime and, therefore, his theses are aimed at support and development of large monopolistic structures and associations.
In this sense, it becomes clear why the Islamic factor becomes the basis of his philosophy in carrying out reforms. Because the Islamic world itself, its economy is mainly regressive, it is basically built on the interests of monopolies and oligarchic groups and clans. At the beginning and at the end of his speech Aliyev once again turned to the favorite topic of confrontation of Christian and Islamic world, on the one hand making it clear that enforcement of the reforms have a biased attitude of the West to Azerbaijan as part of the Islamic world, on the other hand, in such a way he made it clear that the need for solidarity of Islamic authoritarian regimes that are experiencing similar problems, arising from the anachronistic system of governance.
It also points out that in 2017 Aliyev will seek to support for the internal stability of the regime in the Islamic world, both politically and financially. We know that the last two years were characterized by the search for funding to authoritarian Middle East to feed the Azerbaijani economy. Yet they did not give the desired fruits. But, apparently, Aliyev does not intend to continue efforts in this direction, as the radical reforms the West suggested he was not commensurate with the regime interests, even despite the fact that they serve the interests of the majority of the Azerbaijani people, which today more than ever consists of small shopkeepers, businessmen and simple people, the self-employed and in need of economic freedom.
Turan Analytical Service