"On 1 September, Azerbaijan's strategic currency reserves exceeded $40 billion, which is eight times larger than the republic's foreign debt. Azerbaijan's foreign debt at present constitutes 7% of the country's GDP," the minister told a meeting of chairpersons of the regional association of energy regulators in Baku on Thursday, Interfax-Azerbaijan reported.
In early July, he said that strategic currency reserves had reached $40bn and were seven times larger than the foreign debt.
Shahin Mustafayev said on Thursday that Azerbaijan enjoyed macroeconomic stability with a 14% growth in GDP in 2009-10.
“Over the past 10 years, the country's GDP increased four-fold, while non-oil GDP grew 2.8-fold. Azerbaijan today accounts for more than 70% of the GDP of the South Caucasus," he said.
Mustafayev emphasized the increasing role of Azerbaijan in the global energy sector with oil and gas exported via three routes.
The minister said that the government's strategic goal was now to diversify the economy and develop the non-oil sector. He said that to this end increased attention was paid to the development of entrepreneurship and improvement of the business environment.
"Azerbaijan also attaches great importance to regional cooperation, particularly, in the energy sector. If you look at Azerbaijan’s oil and gas export routes, you will see that there is energy cooperation with almost all the countries in the region. The only exception is Armenia which has occupied Azerbaijan’s territories for more than 20 years," Mustafayev said.