The 11th Caspian Oil and Gas 2004 Exhibition and Conference opened June 1 at the Heydar Aliyev Sports and Concert Complex.
During his speech at the opening, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev stressed the importance of effective use of oil revenues. Transparency will be one of the major reasons for our success. You know that Azerbaijan has joined the international Transparency Initiative. We have been involved in this for more than a year and support the initiative by the British Prime Minister. Azerbai jan is the only country that is actively tak ing part in this Initiative. It will bring about effective use of oil revenues in the future and every Azerbaijani citizen will feel the benefit in his or her daily life.
The leaders of most developed countries sent their letters of congratulation to President Ilham Aliyev on the eve of the traditional showcase oil and gas event in Baku. In his letter, the U.S. President stresse d that over the last ten years, basic development of the energy sector includes completion of over fifty percent of the works on construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the opening of European markets for Azerbaijan's gas, and the increase of transparency in the activity of the State Oil Fund.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair indicates in his letter that Azerbaijan successes in transparent management of its oil revenues is highly appreciated by the British government.
Mr. Tony Blair also expresse d deep satisfaction with both the reports on meetings of the EITI National commission with Baku-based companies and organizations, and the London presentation held in April 2004. The British Prime Minister considers these as extremely important steps in the framework of EITI.
Mr. Bliar's letter furthers tates that adherence of the Azerbaijan Government to increasing transparency will become an important signal for international financial institutions, potential investors and other countries interested in the initiative. This will also have a positive impact upon the general investment environment and play a key role in utilizing Azerbaijan 's oil re venues for the economic and social development of its people and the whole region.
Underlining that adherence of the Azerbaijan President to building contemporary democratic society is praiseworthy, the Prime Minister reaffirm ed that the British Government and its foreign partners on EITI support Azerbaijan