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Friday, May 25, 2007

Statoil's Vice-President: "Though Azerbaijan accepted Norway's way as model, this country has very little time"

17 May 2007 - ARA News - "Azerbaijan and Norway have very common similarities. Norway was poor country in the past, but it succeeded to develop its economy later." "Azerbaijan follows this path but it does not have so much time as Norway does," Arve Thorvik, Statoil’'s Vice-President for EU affairs stated. According to him, there are two choices: the quickest development and quickest collapse. "Nigeria, one of the huge oil-exporting country is an example of it. Azerbaijan should examine Norway’s path. By the end of the World War II Norway could not succeed to develop its social and political structures. But there were some factors which let Norway succeed in that. The first factor was our national recourses, oil and electric energy. These factors created favorable conditions for industrialization of Norway. The second factor was the large investments in the education. The third factor was the introduction of elected democracy in Norway." Arve Thorvik said in the 70s of the 20th century, Norway's budget received large scale petrodollars form oil export. "US companies discovered oil recourses in Norway. But the Norwegian government took some important steps. Firstly, oil revenues were imposed 76 percent tax. Secondly, all oil companies were to recruit its workers among Norwegians. Thirdly, Norway established Oil Fund." Statoil's vice-president said Norway model is suitable for small and active economies. That is why, education and health is free of charge for citizens. Norway model stresses the human recourses in its policy. "Once Norwegian Prime Minister said human recourses form 75 percent of Norway's gross domestic product (GDP). Openness to the world and new ideas, free trade are significant in this issue. It also requires planned policy and protection of national-cultural distinctness," he said. "He said according to Norwegian law, establishing of offices in regions for oil companies is obligatory. Much more factor is that oil revenues should be spent on important spheres. The society supervises the government, holds monitoring and government makes reports. These factors should be taken into consideration in the production of any good: capital, creative work, human potential, culture."

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