Azerbaijan International

Summer 1995 (3.2)
Page 4


Natural & Intellectual

These days, Azerbaijan is becoming more and more well known in the West, though for many it's hardly more than a little country some place on the Caspian Sea with a lot of oil. Despite it's small size (Texas is eight times larger than Azerbaijan), the country has many more diverse resources than just hydrocarbons. That's what this issue is all about since it coincides with the 95 International Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference (May 23-28) and the largest international event of the year.

Volumes could be written about the vast and varied resources of Azerbaijan - both natural and intellectual. We've tried to briefly introduce some of the possibilities from the minerals deep in the Caucasus to the manufacturing industry that has risen up around the oil industry. Baku's satellite city of Sumgayit, the major manufacturing base for Azerbaijan, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Then there's the agricultural industry cotton, tobacco, wheat, grapes, fruits, vegetables and tea.

Natural resources require intellectual resources to unlock them. This year marks the 50th year of Azerbaijan's Academy of Sciences and the 75th year of the University of Baku. We'll feature these institutes and other research centers in the future.

But history also serves as a valuable resource for Azerbaijan. This May as countries of the Western Allies celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their Victory over Nazi Germany, we salute the energy, ingenuity, and commitment of the Azerbaijanis in the war effort. They supplied nearly 75% of the Soviet Union's needs for petroleum. Their dedication and that of their parents and grandparents has made a profound impact on our own lives in the West, despite that fact that many of us did not know of their significant role in World War II. Without it, the war could well have had a very different conclusion.

This is the "Dawn of Renaissance in Azerbaijan" - an exciting moment in modern history. A gradual transformation is beginning to take place as Azerbaijan searches for new markets and new relationships. It can't be denied that there are tremendous obstacles to this transitional process, intensified by the additional burdens brought on by economic and geo-political complexities in the region, especially as they relate to the Armenian Karabakh conflict. But those who are taking part in shaping these events, including foreigners, are stepping forward in faith that the future will be promising and the process rewarding.

From Azerbaijan International (3.2) Summer 1995.
© Azerbaijan International 1995. All rights reserved.

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