ADB President, President of Azerbaijan Discuss Combating COVID-19 and Enhancing Partnership

New Delhi: Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev today discussed how ADB can support the government’s response in combating the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with an oil price shock, presents an unprecedented challenge for Azerbaijan’s economy,” said Mr. Asakawa. “ADB is firmly committed to supporting Azerbaijan’s fight against this pandemic, reducing the impact on vulnerable people, and protecting the economy.”

Mr. Asakawa commended the government for its swift and comprehensive response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. This comprises a three-pronged package enabling an effective public health response; increasing social protection, including by expanding unemployment benefits; and shielding the private sector, including through employee wage subsidies, direct financial support, and tax relief for businesses in affected sectors.

President Aliyev expressed his appreciation for the strong 20-year partnership with ADB and valued ADB’s timely support to the country’s strategic programs, including catalyzing funding for the South Gas Corridor.

The two leaders discussed possible options for ADB’s support to Azerbaijan and whether additional policy measures may be required to further mitigate the socioeconomic risks of the pandemic and stimulate the financial and private sectors to enable the country’s economy to more quickly return to sustainable growth.

ADB will continue expanding its partnership with Azerbaijan to focus on designing and financing innovative and high technology projects, in line with the government’s policy on external borrowing. ADB will also seek to step up engagement in water resource management, skills development, small and medium-sized enterprise finance, energy efficiency, and public–private partnerships, while continuing to support economic policy reforms and the railway sector.

ADB’s 2019–2023 Country Partnership Strategy with Azerbaijan supports diversified and inclusive growth by boosting non-oil private sector development, raising public sector efficiency, improving infrastructure, and strengthening human capital.

On 13 April, ADB increased its COVID-19 response package to $20 billion to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries. ADB also approved measures to streamline its operations for quicker and more flexible delivery of assistance. Visit ADB’s website to learn more about our ongoing response.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.