Labor Migrants from Rich Azerbaijan


Labor Migrants from Rich Azerbaijan

These are mass demonstrations of the residents of Zapadnoye Birulyevo in Moscow. The labor migrants are being smashed not only by skinheads, neo-fascists or captured by the special police force. Even ordinary Moscow residents participate in the demonstrations. Killings in the megalopolis are not unusual, but the killing of the Moscow resident by the Azeri migrant in Zapadnoye Birulyevo turned into the final nail in the coffin …
 Sobesednik newspaper reports, «Tens of Moscow districts can burst much worse than Zapadnoye Birulyevo. They have already nailed the coffin» (№43 (1484), November 13-19 2013) (
The Moscow residents are uniting against migrants. Among them are Public Coalition for Protection of Moscow and Defence of Lyublino.
According to the Federal Migration Service of Russia, Azerbaijani migrants in Russia rank No 5 after Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The Russian experts say that Moscow districts of Vykhino, Otradnoye and Tepliy Stan are monopolized by migrants from Azerbaijan; Azerbaijanis go equal with Dagestani and Chinese migrants in Yuzhnoye Butovo. (
Why is the energy-resource-abundant Azerbaijan, but not Armenia and Georgia, among the first five countries-suppliers of labor migrants to Russia? Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, has been trumpeting for 10 years now that the country leads the region, and is unrivalled in the world for the economic and national income growth. However, the citizens are fleeing from the country for makings. The budgets of Armenia, Georgia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan all together are one order less than the budget of energy-bearing Azerbaijan alone. So, where are petro and gas-dollars flowing to? Why do Azerbaijanis have to leave their homeland and families for jobs in strange lands, where they face intimidation, threat and physical abuse? WHY? Yet, the country is rich!!
The Contract of the Century signed on September 20, 1994, and subsequent agreements with foreign companies on oil and gas extraction in the Caspian Sea made it possible for Azerbaijan to expect at least $ 210 bln during 30 years. Increased world prices for energy resources only increase profits, especially after 2004, when the world prices rocketed. According to the official data, the annual income of the country from oil and gas sales makes at least $ 15 bln. Starting from December of 1999 when the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan Republic was established till November of 2013, over $ 60 bln flooded into the Fund. The currency reserves of the country will reach $ 100 bln in nearest 10 years.
The authorities of Azerbaijan are heavily investing far outside the country. Over recent years Azerbaijan solidly invested in the economies of some countries (Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Turkey) through state and private channels. $ 5 bln were invested particularly in the economy of Turkey.
One should also mention the questionable soft loan to Serbia amounting to € 308 million for construction of the Lig-Prelin highway. Given the crisis and the economy level of Serbia, the experts are sure that the country will not be able to come across. But the task set before Serbia was completed: in 2011 a 3m-high monument to the ex-president of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev was erected in one of the Belgrade parks.
The same can be said about Mexico where the authorities of Azerbaijan spent $ 5 million for construction of a park and a monument to Heydar Aliyev and promised big investments after.
In 2011 Azerbaijan gave a $ 300 million credit to Belorussia and again on favorable terms. Rich Azerbaijan gives out money for restoration of cathedrals and monuments in Europe – for example, in 2010 the Louvre Museum in Paris got € 1 million for restoration
What is going on in Azerbaijan?
Official statistics
According to the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan (SSCA) as of November 01, 2013, the population reached 9.4 million. 4.7 million people are gainfully employed population or around 50.2%. 4.5 million people are engaged with labor activity: 1.5 million of them are employed (around 900.000 are employed in the state sector, over 600.000 in the private sector).
Around 240.000 are officially unemployed, making 5.1% against the economically active population. Over last 3 years, the unemployment reduced by around 20.000 people.  
According to the League for Protection of Labor Rights of Citizens, the real unemployment in Azerbaijan amounts to around 12%. So, more than 500.000 people are unemployed. Other sources report around 1 million unemployed.
Official statistics
According to SSCA, on October 01, 2003 – November 01, 2013, around 960.000 jobs were created, including around 690.000 permanent. As a result of improvements implemented in the regions of the country, 79% of new jobs were created in the regions. 87% of vacancies were in the private sector.
But in his inauguration speech on October 19, 2013 President Ilham Aliyev uttered differently saying that over last 10 years of his reign 1.200.000 jobs were created, 900.000 of them permanent. The poverty reduced by almost ten times during the period, from 49% to 5.5%.
Independent experts say that SSCA increases the number of new businesses every time tailoring figures to each report of the President. A year after the President cuts the red tape the businesses shutdown. At best, 200 or 300 people are working instead of over 1.000 projected.
1.2 million of new jobs since 2003 is trumpeted, meanwhile another statistics points to around 1.1 million dismissed during the reported period. If you add part-time employees, you will get zero efficiency. Scrupulous calculation of shutdown businesses yields a figure juggling. Example: the power station of Shirvan city employed 1.3 thousand. Then, Janub thermal power station was launched instead, employing around 300 people, which means that the unemployed increased by 1.000. It is everywhere in the country.
The activities of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) prove that the state itself fires much more than employs. For example, by January 01, 2011 SOCAR employed 84.000, by January 01, 2013, 66.234. So, 25%-redundancy (18.000) is quite obvious.
The picture can be enriched with redundancies made in other state-run companies due to technical improvements (Azersu, Bakelektroshebeke, etc.).
The official figures of SSCA on job growth strikingly contradict the figures of other state agencies. In fall of 2013 the Central Bank of Azerbaijan monitored the real sector of economy. The top 300 companies of various industries were in the focus. It turned out that construction jobs reduced by 5-10% against the first half of 2012. The service industry is stagnating, as well as in other industries. Looks like that SSCA dreams, while the country’s economy is not growing.
Therefore, the citizens of Azerbaijan (almost a third of employable population) cannot get jobs in their motherland and have to look for it abroad.
Official statistics
According to the authorities and multiple statements of I. Aliyev, 400-500.000 citizens of Azerbaijan are residing in other countries, a half of them works in Russia.
However, the official data fail to reflect the reality. According to the 2010 data of the World Bank, the migrants from Azerbaijan number 1.4 million or 16% of the population. The 2013 data of the Federal Migration Service of Russia, Azerbaijanis number around 2.5 million, mostly labor migrants. There are many Azerbaijani migrants in Turkey, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, EU and the United States. 100.000-120.000 people leave Azerbaijan every year for work.
The people have to abandon their country to make a living, without any other possibility to keep families. The Aliyev clan spends huge money for investments abroad and demolition of the historical look of Baku. The unlawful demolition of historical and architectural monuments, chaotic development of the capital without any architectural plan resembles big investments in delayed-action mines which will explode without fail.
Official statistics
According to the authorities, money transfers of migrants give almost nothing to the country. The 2012 final reports assessed them at 0% of the value of exported goods and services.
According to the World Bank, the money transfers of Azerbaijani citizens are steadily growing (from $ 171 million in 2003 to 1.5 bln in 2012). $ 1.1 bln of which was sent by labor migrants from Russia. It should also be stressed that it is very often when migrants do not trust banks and post service and send money to families through relatives and friends. Finally, a big portion of the transfers goes unrecorded by the statistics. Over 60% is transferred to rural regions of the country. The regions survive thanks to labor migrants.
According to SSCA as of November 01, 2013, the unemployment benefit in rich Azerbaijan, a country which invests, makes AZN 260. Given the number of the officially unemployed (37.000), it appears that every year more than AZN 115 million (€ 115 million) is officially granted from the budget to pay the unemployment benefit to all officially registered unemployed. The real benefit received by the unemployed apart, as a comparison, the government of Croatia allocates € 0.5 bln a year for unemployment benefit (the population of Croatia is two times less; the state budget makes around € 14 bln) .
It is time Azerbaijan gave the soft credit to Croatia … the park for the monument is ready ….


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