Azerbaijan (GPS: 40 30 N, 47 30 E) located in Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range. The country’s area measurements are total: 86,600 sq km; land: 82,629 sq km, water: 3,971 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than Maine. The total irrigated land is 14,277 sq km (2012).
One of Azerbaijan’s essential features: Both the country’s central area and the Naxcivan exclave are landlocked.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Baku’s GPS coordinates are 40 23 N 49 52 E. Baku’s local time is 9 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+4.
Azerbaijan – a secular nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-Shia Muslim population – was briefly independent (from 1918 to 1920) following the collapse of the Russian Empire; It was subsequently incorporated into the Soviet Union for seven decades. Azerbaijan remains involved in the protracted Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia. Nagorno-Karabakh was a primarily ethnic Armenian region that Moscow recognized in 1923 as an autonomous oblast within Soviet Azerbaijan. In the late Soviet period, a separatist movement developed, which sought to end the region’s Azerbaijani control. Fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh began in 1988 and escalated after Armenia and Azerbaijan attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
By the time a ceasefire took effect in May 1994, separatists, with Armenian support, controlled Nagorno‑Karabakh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories. The 1994 ceasefire continues to hold, although violence continues along the line of contact separating the opposing forces and the Azerbaijan-Armenia international border. The final status of Nagorno-Karabakh remains the subject of international mediation by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, which works to help the sides settle the conflict peacefully. The OSCE Minsk Group is co‑chaired by the United States, France, and Russia.
In the 25 years following its independence, Azerbaijan succeeded in significantly reducing the poverty rate and directed revenues from its oil and gas production to develop its infrastructure. However, corruption remains a problem, and the government has been accused of authoritarianism.
The country’s leadership has remained in the Aliyev family since Heydar ALIYEV became president in 1993 and was succeeded by his son, President Ilham ALIYEV, in 2003. Following two national referendums in the past several years that eliminated presidential term limits and extended presidential terms from 5 to 7 years, President ALIYEV secured a fourth term as president in April 2018 in an election that international observers noted had severe shortcomings. Reforms are underway to diversify the country’s non-oil economy. Additional reforms are needed to address government institutions’ weaknesses, particularly in the education and health sectors and the court system.
Azerbaijan’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Azerbaijan, traditional short form: Azerbaijan, local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi, local short state: Azarbaycan, former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, etymology: the name translates as “Land of fire” and refers to naturally occurring surface fires on ancient oil pools or from natural gas discharges. The name translates as “Land of Fire” and refers to naturally occurring surface fires on old oil pools or natural gas discharges.
Azerbaijan’s terrain is typically large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland, much of it below sea-level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) to the west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into the Caspian Sea. The country’s mean elevation: 384 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: the Caspian Sea -28 m, highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m.
The general climate in the country; dry, semiarid steppe.
The total number of border countries is 5, Armenia 996 km, Georgia 428 km, Iran 689 km, Russia 338 km, Turkey 17 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Azerbaijan’s coastline is 0 km (landlocked country); note – Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km), while its marital claims are: none. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 57.6%; arable land 22.8%; permanent crops 2.7%; permanent pasture 32.1%; forest: 11.3%; other: 31.1% (2011 estimate).
The population in Azerbaijan 10,046,516 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 54.6% of total population (2015), central metropolitan area’s population: BAKU (capital) 2.374 million (2015), while Azerbaijan has the highest population density is found in the far eastern region of the county, in and around Baku; apart from smaller urbanized areas, the rest of the country has a relatively evenly distributed population.
Their spoken languages are: Azerbaijani (Azeri) (official language) 92.5%, Russian 1.4%, Armenian 1.4%, other 4.7% (2009 estimate). The main religions in Azerbaijan are Muslim 96.9% (predominantly Shia), Christian 3%. The nation uses civil law system. It is a(n) presidential republic, National holiday(s) Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918).
Economic overview for the country: Before the decline in global oil prices since 2014, Azerbaijan’s high economic growth was attributable to rising energy exports and 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 geopolitically important Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) ‘s expected completion between Azerbaijan and Europe will open up another source of revenue from gas exports. First gas to Turkey through the SGC is scheduled for 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-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), the nation’s largest bank, to default on some of its outstanding debt and filed 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. It seeks 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.
Natural resources of Azerbaijan: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, bauxite.
Main export partners for Azerbaijan, Asia are Italy 26.3%, Germany 13.3%, Indonesia 7%, France 6.9%, Czech Republic 6% (2015) for oil and gas 90%, machinery, foodstuffs, cotton, while the main import partners for the country are: Russia 19.9%, Turkey 16.5%, UK 8.6%, Germany 6.6%, Italy 6.3%, US 4.1% (2015) for machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals.
When you visit this country in Asia, consider the natural hazards in Azerbaijan: Droughts, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Azerbaijan faces the following environmental issues: Local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, soil, and water pollution, Soil pollution results from oil spills, from the use of DDT pesticide, and toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton, Surface and underground water are polluted by untreated municipal and industrial wastewater and agricultural run-off.