Fiscal Rule of Azerbaijan: A Positive First Step?

As a broad term, fiscal policy refers to the management of taxes and expenditures by governments. It is certainly the number one tool that the governments utilize to intervene into the national economy. That intervention, on the other hand, should have definite restraints, which brings us to the topic of fiscal rules…

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Comparative Advantage of Azerbaijan

One of the most predominant principles of international trade is the comparative advantage theory, developed by the British economist David Ricardo in the early 19th century. To put it simply, the theory argues that a country can boost its welfare if it specializes in certain products in which it has comparably lower cost of production (in other words, lower opportunity cost) and then trade with others. Keeping this principle in mind, one may wonder, in which products Azerbaijan can have comparative advantage and how can we use that to maximize our national well-being?

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How much is Azerbaijan integrated into the world?

When the global economy was facing a relentless recession in 2008 – 2009 period, Azerbaijani economy was still doing well enough with annual GDP growth of ~10%. Naturally, one may wonder, how come Azerbaijani economy did not went under a recession (or at least stagnation of economic growth) if there was a global crisis going on?

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Protectionism or Free Trade?

A while ago I came across a news story about imported potatoes. With the decision of Cabinet of Ministers, the tariffs on potatoes are doubled, from the previous rate of 15% to 30%[1]. This might not be a binding decision, because as Minister of Agriculture, Inam Karimov himself mentioned, Azerbaijan’s potato production is two times more than its consumption[2]. Considering this statistic, how does the new law fit in? and overall, what is going on with protectionism in Azerbaijan?

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Azerbaijan’s Concrete based Economy

Frequently we hear stories of economic growth propelled by increasing government expenditures. An expansionary fiscal policy achieved with extensive government spending is usually enough to stimulate consumption in times of recessions. On the other hand, in such a situation, the resources are not allocated efficiently, and the growth may not be sustainable in the long run.

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Foreign Trade of Azerbaijan: A Shadowed Deficit

A couple of days ago I read online that Azerbaijan’s imports during July 2018 was the highest of the year so far[1]. We all know that Azerbaijan primarily imports things like vehicles, telephones, laptops etc. but still couple of questions came to my mind. Particularly, how does our trade balance look once we take oil/gas exports out of the equation?

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Bad Neighborhood: Can Manat Hold On?

Political tensions in Turkey and sanctions against the Russian Federation resulted in sharp depreciation of Turkish Lira (TRY) and modest loss of value by Russian Ruble (RUB), creating an overall expectation of devaluation in Azerbaijan. With this post, I would like to briefly look at different factors and argue why and why not a devaluation[1] can be expected. At the end, I will give my overall conclusion on whether we should worry about Manat.

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SOEs of Azerbaijan: Natural Inefficiencies

It is an inevitable fact that State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are in every aspect of our daily lives in Azerbaijan. From basic utilities, such as electricity, gas, water, to transportation and banking, we are surrounded by large SOEs. Some of these enterprises, such as “Azerishiq”, “Azerqaz”, “Azersu”, “Baku Metro”, “Azerbaijan Railways” operate in an absolute monopolistic environment where there is no other provider in the industry. Some others, including “International Bank of Azerbaijan”, “Azer-Turk Bank”, “State Insurance Commerce Company of the Azerbaijan Republic” and “Azerbaijani Airlines (AZAL)” operate in a slightly more competitive setting. However, just like everything that has got something to do with government in our economy, these SOEs also take their fair share of problems.

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