THE Economist Journal London has coined two new economic terminologies i.e. Xinomics, and Bidennomics in the near past and both have trans-regional socio-economic impacts and global geostrategic priorities of greater regional connectivity, progress and prosperity. In this regard, keeping in view the splendid economic achievements of Heydar Aliyev, the writer of this article has the honour to coin another economic terminology i.e. “HEYDARNOMICS” which is quiet relevant in terms of total socio-economic transformation, financial transition from cash starvation to current account surplus, sky rocketing inflation to permanent price stability, poor agricultural productivity to rigorous industrialization and, above all, political isolation to connecting hub of trans-regional transporting systems, exports of oil & gas and qualitative human development.
He has been rated as pioneer of numerous disciplines of the modern world i.e. good & corporate governance (even before Switzerland, Norway, Sweden), applied political economy (the rest of the West), befitting geo-politics, geo-economics (UK, Italy, France, Germany etc.), free market economy, economic liberalization (far before even to the UK & Germany), economic competitiveness (far before the World Economic Forum), human capital development (Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia), strategic marketing (surpassed all European countries), strategic communication, anti-corruption module (Denmark, China, and the entire West) and last but not the least anti-warming holistic and policies in South Caucasus, Central Asia, Middle East and beyond.
Obviously, his valuable program of privatization of the national property in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 1995-1998 successfully stimulated national agriculture and started active role of private sector in the country. Thus discarding of feudality and introduction of meaningful land reforms resultantly revolutionized between the state, society and further strengthened the system. Heydar Aliyev was champion of applied economics who successfully transformed the falling macro-economy of Azerbaijan up to optimal level of strength and sustainability. He was guru of conflict resolution and used 4Ds (dialogue, diplomacy, development and determination) to overcome internal and external challenges and now Azerbaijan has become centre of peace, prosperity and peaceful persuasions.
His applied economic model was based on economic liberalization, privatization and diversification and now incumbent President H.E. Ilham Aliyev constantly introduced and comprehensive economic structural reforms pertaining to digitalization, industrialization, diversification, green transformation and trans-regional connectivity to further strengthen Azerbaijan’s macro economy. He successfully converted impediments of geography, geology and geo-politics into geo-economics which is indeed commendable. Signing of “Contract of Century” was the vivid reflection of his strategic vision, pragmatic foreign policy and insight of Realpolitik of international relations. Contract of the Century was one of the biggest achievements of Heydar Aliyev which drastically changed the sociology/economics, geopolitical and geo strategic outlook of Azerbaijan.
His holistic and comprehensive socio-economic policies turned miseries into opportunities and potentials into tarns-regional partnerships and geographical comparative advantages into start of geo-economics in the region enabling him to transform its shaken economy, shattered society and subdued political system in the country. He successfully pursued policies of economic globalization, openness, modernization, internationalism of Diaspora of Azerbaijan, educational reforms and nurturing of human capital were the main and major achievements of him which are now paying dividends. Simply, Heydar was the real champion of economic diplomacy, political reconciliation, good governance, peaceful conflict resolution and pioneer of politicization and democratization not in the South Caucasus, Central Asia, Middle East, Africa and the whole Muslim world.
It completely changed the economic outlook of the country. It was a giant step towards internationalization of Azerbaijan’s economy and started the real economic globalization. It was the real start of today’s concepts of economic corridor, multiculturalism, openness and modernization. He was the pioneer of Concept of Energy Security in the region and beyond. Actually it started a new chapter of socio-economic prosperity, consolidation of state independence of Azerbaijan. At the moment more than 250 foreign-invested enterprises representing 75 states function in industry field, thousands of workplaces have been opened. 74 percent of investments made in national economy in 2003 was directed just to the industrial fields. It was indeed start of joint ventures (‘open door’ policy that was founded by nationwide leader and is implemented at the present day, number of foreign and joint ventures increased 3 times during these years. It instrumented in the transfer of technologies.
President Heydar Aliyev his country from political isolation, internal disintegration, severer ethnicity, external aggression and, above all, severer economic starvation and achieved highest levels of political stability and sustained growth patterns in a very short span of time. The comparative study of its stable socio-economic performance shows that the GDP growth reached 1.3 percent in 1996, 5.8 percent in 1997, and averaged 10 percent during 1998-2003. During (2004-2011) country`s real GDP grew by three times. Initially, political, moral and psychological tension, social decline, cultural depression and moral erosion were rampant in Azerbaijan. There was military conflict, severer economic recession and declining production. The country was entangled into dirty power politics, incompetence of the political administration, chaos and anarchy.
However, Heydar Aliyev’s Initial Consolidation (1993-1996) successfully restored law and order, covered socio-economic development and stopped the war and put an end to civil confrontation and disarmed illegal armed groups. Azerbaijan has achieved an immense social development. It has successfully transformed oil capital into a human capital. It initiated diversified but integrated policy measures to further improve the education system due to which it has now achieved a knowledge-based economy. Its state education program is now rated among the best in the world. Under the leadership of incumbent president Ilham Aliey (20 years), the GDP of the non-oil sector has grown 3.4 times showing success of diversification of macro-economy.
Azerbaijan’s foreign exchange reserves have grown more than 47 times exceeding $66 billion, and are currently 10 times greater than our direct external debt reflecting export orientation of its national economy. More than 2.5 million new jobs have been generated in the country enabling to reduce poverty. Its GDP estimation is 6.3 percent which is the highest in South Caucasus. The future of Azerbaijan belongs to peace, progress, prosperity and peaceful persuasions of greater regional connectivity, socio-economic integration and optimal utility of the Middle Corridor and the close liaison with the Chinese BRI. Pakistan-Azerbaijan economic ties are on the rise achieving new heights of mutual cooperation and collaboration. Islamic banking, SMEs, artificial intelligence, hydrogen power generation, EVs, lithium batteries, hybrid agricultural, science & technology, e-commerce, higher education and tapping of economic potential of newly liberated areas are the key areas of future Pak-Azerbaijan bilateral relations.
—The writer is Executive Director, Centre for South Asia & International Studies, Islamabad, regional expert China, BRI & CPEC & senior analyst, world affairs, Pakistan Observer, Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan.