Azerbaijan Economy - 2021


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Economic overview

Prior to the decline in global oil prices since 2014, Azerbaijan's high economic growth was attributable to rising energy exports and to some non-export sectors. Oil exports through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline, the Baku-Novorossiysk, and the Baku-Supsa Pipelines remain the main economic driver, but efforts to boost Azerbaijan's gas production are underway. The expected completion of the geopolitically important Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) between Azerbaijan and Europe will open up another source of revenue from gas exports. First gas to Turkey through the SGC is expected in 2018 with project completion expected by 2020-21.

Declining oil prices caused a 3.1% contraction in GDP in 2016, and a 0.8% decline in 2017, highlighted by a sharp reduction in the construction sector. The economic decline was accompanied by higher inflation, a weakened banking sector, and two sharp currency devaluations in 2015. Azerbaijan’s financial sector continued to struggle. In May 2017, Baku allowed the majority state-owed International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), the nation’s largest bank, to default on some of its outstanding debt and file for restructuring in Azerbaijani courts; IBA also filed in US and UK bankruptcy courts to have its restructuring recognized in their respective jurisdictions.

Azerbaijan has made limited progress with market-based economic reforms. Pervasive public and private sector corruption and structural economic inefficiencies remain a drag on long-term growth, particularly in non-energy sectors. The government has, however, made efforts to combat corruption, particularly in customs and government services. Several other obstacles impede Azerbaijan's economic progress, including the need for more foreign investment in the non-energy sector and the continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. While trade with Russia and the other former Soviet republics remains important, Azerbaijan has expanded trade with Turkey and Europe and is seeking new markets for non-oil/gas exports - mainly in the agricultural sector - with Gulf Cooperation Council member countries, the US, and others. It is also improving Baku airport and the Caspian Sea port of Alat for use as a regional transportation and logistics hub.

Long-term prospects depend on world oil prices, Azerbaijan's ability to develop export routes for its growing gas production, and its ability to improve the business environment and diversify the economy. In late 2016, the president approved a strategic roadmap for economic reforms that identified key non-energy segments of the economy for development, such as agriculture, logistics, information technology, and tourism. In October 2017, the long-awaited Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, stretching from the Azerbaijani capital to Kars in north-eastern Turkey, began limited service.

Real GDP growth rate

0.1% (2017 est.)

-3.1% (2016 est.)

0.6% (2015 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.6% (2019 est.)

2.3% (2018 est.)

12.8% (2017 est.)

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB+ (2016)

Moody's rating: Ba2 (2017)

Standard & Poors rating: BB+ (2016)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$144.374 billion (2019 est.)

$141.24 billion (2018 est.)

$139.152 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$48.104 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$14,404 (2019 est.)

$14,210 (2018 est.)

$14,121 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

Gross national saving

29.2% of GDP (2019 est.)

31.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

28.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 6.1% (2017 est.)

industry: 53.5% (2017 est.)

services: 40.4% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 57.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.5% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 23.6% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.5% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 48.7% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -42% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 76.7 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 96.2 (2020)

Trading score: 77 (2020)

Enforcement score: 70.3 (2020)

Agricultural products

milk, wheat, potatoes, barley, tomatoes, watermelons, cotton, apples, maize, onions


petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles

Industrial production growth rate

-3.8% (2017 est.)

Labor force

4.939 million (2019 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 37%

industry: 14.3%

services: 48.9% (2014)

Unemployment rate

5% (2017 est.)

5% (2016 est.)

Population below poverty line

4.9% (2015 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

33.7 (2008)

36.5 (2001)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.4%

highest 10%: 27.4% (2008)


revenues: 9.556 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 10.22 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

23.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

54.1% of GDP (2017 est.)

50.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$1.685 billion (2017 est.)

-$1.363 billion (2016 est.)


$15.15 billion (2017 est.)

$13.21 billion (2016 est.)

Exports - partners

Italy 28%, Turkey 15%, Israel 7%, Germany 5%, India 5% (2017)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, refined petroleum, tomatoes, gold (2019)


$9.037 billion (2017 est.)

$9.004 billion (2016 est.)

Imports - partners

United Kingdom 17%, Russia 17%, Turkey 12%, China 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

gold, cars, refined petroleum, wheat, packaged medical supplies (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$6.681 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$7.142 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt - external

$17.41 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$13.83 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Exchange rates

Azerbaijani manats (AZN) per US dollar -

1.723 (2017 est.)

1.5957 (2016 est.)

1.5957 (2015 est.)

1.0246 (2014 est.)

0.7844 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Azerbaijan on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Azerbaijan 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Azerbaijan 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.