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ures are consistent with the top-line measured GDP growth number. For example, production and
supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water increased by 7.1 percent in the quarter. Pl
us, value-added index of transport, storage and post increased by 7.3 percent.
A closer look at the highest growth sectors shows that the economy is moving toward the long-term goal of shif
ting away from a development strategy based on heavy investment in industry and
infrastructure to one based on services and domestic consumption. Also, more productive industries that tur
n out higher-value added goods are growing at a much faster rate than traditional heavy industry.
Among large companies, State-owned enterprises grew 4.5 percent yea
r-on-year while shareholding enterprises grew almost twice as fast, at 7.8 percent. So, stro
ng progress is being made toward the goal of promoting private enterprise, which was re
inforced by many policies announced at last month’s meeting of the National People’s Congress.
“The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 has touc
hed the hearts of the Azerbaijani people, as the restoration of the ancient Silk Road i
s for the benefit of the entire world, and the development and prosperity of all countries,” Hajiyev said.
“The Belt and Road Initiative is not imposing anything on anyon
e, it just provides a framework for mutually beneficial cooperation,” he added. The fundam
ental features of the Belt and Road Initiative are that every country knows how to de
velop in their own way. As China and Azerbaijan have a strong traditional friendship, Hajiyev believes the init
iative will provide immense opportunities to bring China and Azerbaijan closer.
According to Hajiyev, Azerbaijan fully supports the initiative, and
is building new bridges of cooperation and frien
dship. “We are looking forward to the second Belt and Road Forum for International Co
operation at the end of this month, and Azerbaijan will actively participate in this high-level event,” he said.