President: Domestic market should not depend on import for prevention of currency from leaving country

Fri 04 August 2017 16:05 GMT | 20:05 Local Time

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President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has delivered a speech at the republican meeting on the development of cocoon, tobacco and nuts production in Gakh district.

“One of the main duties is that Azerbaijan should increase the cigarette production. I have always said that we must try Azerbaijani citizens to smoke less because this is harmful. Therefore, relevant measures will be taken for this purpose. However, there is cigarette consumption in Azerbaijan today. Today, 10 billion cigarettes are consumed in Azerbaijan. Only 1,600,000,000 of them are produced in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan spends $150 million for import of 9 billion cigarettes. Therefore, we should develop cigarette production to meet domestic need and access to foreign markets. Firstly, domestic market should not depend on import for prevention of currency from leaving the country. Then we’ll engage in export issues”, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said at the republican meeting on the development of cocoon, tobacco and nuts production in Gakh district, APA reported.

He noted that capacity of existing cigarette factories should be increased: “We have not many cigarette factories. I think new and modern cigarette factories should be created. There are some countries that don’t produce tobacco due to climatic conditions. However, they have several cigarette factories. They bur raw tobacco from us, produce cigarette and sell them back to us. It means that this is very profitable field. We knew that it is a profitable field. If we take into account that we have tobacco, profitability of this field will increase. Therefore, the state provides its support. This field is seriously supported, all necessary equipments, reception centers, technique will be provided. We must try this product to be produced in Azerbaijan. Sowing-areas for tobacco production should be extended twice by 2021 from existing 3,200 hectares to 6,000 hectares. This is possible and relevant bodies should engage in this issue. In this case, if we take average productivity as 2 tonnes, Azerbaijan will produce 12,000 tonnes of tobacco every year and this will give benefit to our country, prevent currency from leaving the country and event can allow export. State Program on development of tobacco cultivation will be adopted. The program is almost prepared. Today’s opinions and my observations also wil be included in that program. This program once again proves that the state pays attention to this field”. 

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