Significant developments have been observed in the economic, political and social life of the Republic of Azerbaijan since the declaration of state independence. The chaotic situation emerged just after the decline of economic and political system of the Soviet Union was left far behind, the social and political stability was restored, and the economic development period was commenced.
Scope of the achievements has been considerably broadened owing to the successful continuation of economic development strategy by the President Ilham Aliyev which was set by Heydar Aliyev, the National Leader of Azerbaijan. The measures implemented according to the main dimensions of socio-economic development set by the decree of the President on "the measures for promoting the socio-economic development in the Republic of Azerbaijan" dated 24 November 2003 consolidated the achievements in this field. On the other hand, fulfillment of the development-oriented measures in all spheres of economy in the framework of separate state programs fairly raised overall efficiency. One of these programs for 2004-2008, "The State Program for the socio-economic development of the regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan" dated 11 February 2004, is of crucial importance to direct the general economic development towards different regions alongside the center. The measures regarding complete implementation of the regional investment potential, establishment of innovative industry, agriculture and service institutions, rise of employment level, improvement of education, health and other social guarantees of the people serve the economic and food security, the protection of internal market, the minimization of the dependency on import economy and several such strategic state interests.
Thus far crucial achievements have been obtained regarding the arrangement of various directions of development of the country's economy in the framework of common state programs, the speedy economic development, the increasing role of the regions on social and economic development, and the improvement of prosperity and life standards thanks to the complex development of the regions and various spheres of economy.
The economy and social life of the Nakhchivan AR is notable with its uniqueness on the mentioned development background. In the wake of the military aggression of the invader Republic of Armenia to Azerbaijani soils, the autonomous republic being imposed to exist under the blockade conditions of economic and transportation relations actively participates in large-scale constructive process in spite of current obstacles.
The territory of the Nakhchivan AR as a whole is mentioned as one of the domestic economic districts upon the economic and geographical division of the Republic of Azerbaijan into districts. It is, however, distinguished with its diversified structure. This situation is due to the location of the autonomous republic on the isolated geographical territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the necessity to face domestic demand via the creation of relevant industrial fields to this end.
The Nakhchivan AR is a developing diversified industrial and agrarian-industrial republic. Processing of agricultural produce and output of mineral products are of special place. There are electronics, metal processing, building materials and light industry. Agriculture mainly includes grain-grower, cattle-breeding, vegetable-growing and horticulture. The economic reforms were systematically carried out, the agrarian reform was concluded, and the great opportunities were created in order to develop free ownership, private property and small-scale business.
Significant measures have been implemented so as to attain sustainable development, to stimulate the tendency towards the entrepreneurship and to support all efforts in that regard. Purposeful programs, moreover, have been worked out in this field. "The Regional Development Program of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (2005-2008)" was endorsed and have been successfully implemented by the order of the Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of Nakhchivan AR in order to fulfill the relevant decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the "endorsement of the State Program on Social and Economic Development of the Regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2004-2008)", as well as to increase the production of agricultural produce utilizing natural resources and local conditions, to ensure the development of processing industry, service and other infrastructure centers, and tourism, to elevate the employment level and to improve general life conditions.
As result of pursuing import-export policy guided by scientific principles, economic push was made for the development of production-oriented ownership, for the increasing of final produce, for the supply of domestic market with local productions and for the strengthening of production potential rest upon local materials. Such a complex approach to socio-economic development, the outcomes of fundamental reforms conducted and large-scale creative processes ensure the high-rate development and further regarding the economy and social life of the autonomous republic.
On 14 April 2009, "State Program on Socio-economic Development of the Regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2009-2013" has been endorsed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in order to make the progress sustainable and to effectively use existing natural resources and labor potential. The implementation of decisive measures as to development of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is also considered in the second State Program. The results of 2009 and dynamic growth in the socio-economic life of the autonomous republic give a guarantee for the successful implementation of this State Program as well.
Economic potential and success achieved by Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic during the period of 1991-2001 considerably surpasses the success achieved for the period of 67 years, beginning from establishment of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic in 1924 till 1991. The maximum number of the industrial enterprises in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic during the period of 1924-1990 was equal to 46. As a result of some carrying out reforms in this sector during 20 years 383 more new enterprises were open. Nowadays the number of the industrial enterprises reached 429, i.e. 9 times more.The yielding of industrial production also increased. If during the period of 1924-1990 the maximum yielding of industrial production made in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic was equal to 23, within the last 20 years, there were productionized 221 new industrial productions. Thus in total this figure increased to 244. For the last 20 years, in the administrative territory of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic 2993 km of new roads were constructed, while during the period of 1924 - 1990 there were constructed only 1278 kilometers of highways. It means that the present indicator increased by 2.3 times.
As in recent periods, the macroeconomic indicators showing the activity in economic and social fields of the autonomous republic fairly elevated in 2012. In fact, GDP, as a main indicator of economic development in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, became 2 billion 103 million 424 thousand AZN in 2012 increasing by 16.8% as compared to 2011. During this period, the GDP per capita increased too. By growing 15.4%, it became 4978.8 AZN in 2012.
The total gross profit from GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, for 2013 made 2 billion 338 million 928 thousand AZN, what exceeded a last year’s indicator for 10,3 percent. The main profit of GDP was made from industry – 28,5 percent, construction activity made 25,5 percent, and business sector – 64,8 percent. As compared to the indicators for 2012, the GDP per capita in 2013 increased by 9 percent and made 5423 AZN (6911,8 US dollar).
As compared to the indicators for 2012, the indicators for 2013 were increased: industrial production by 6,3 percent; investments allocated into the fixed capital by 5,6 percent; total amount of agricultural production by 6,9 percent; freight traffic in the transport sector by 9,5 percent; information and communication services by 6,1 percent, including mobile communication service by 5,9 percent; the turnover of retail trade by 11,8 percent; paid services by 16,7 percent; the turnover of external trade by 13,5; the turnover of export by 7,7 percent; the population’s incomes by 7 percent; per capita income by 4,9 percent; the average monthly wage by 3,1 percent.
The social-oriented economic development, the improvement of well-being for each individual depending upon the participation in economic and social development, the liberalization of state-regulatory mechanisms, the improvement of basic criteria of economic prosperity such as free competition, entrepreneurship and investment conditions, the overthrow of reasonless restrictions, the wide employment of methods for promotion of investments and entrepreneurship, and complex works conducted for the economic security of the autonomous republic are basis for social and economic development.