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Nakhchivan with its 4500-5000 year  history is the cradle of eastern civilization and one of the trade, craftsmanship, scientific and cultural centers of the East.

According to the historical sources, fields of professions and craftsmanship  as  leather-dresser, hatter, shoemaker, blacksmith, coppersmith, weaver, sericulture and others existed and developed in XVIII century. In  XIX century Nakhchivan and Ordubad cities were the trade and craftsmanship centers of this land, here cotton-growing  and sericulture constituted  the basic fields of economy. Produced  cotton and coarse calico fabrics were exported to Nijni- Novgorod, Tbilisi, Moscow, Turkey, while culturally processed silk fabric was exported  to Tabriz.

Current economy of  Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is distinguished from those of other regions of Azerbaijan with  its diversified structure. It is due to the location of the autonomous republic in the isolated geographical territory from the mainland of the  Republic  of Azerbaijan and the necessity of meeting  local needs  on the account of domestic products by creating relevant industrial fields. Beginning from the second half of  XX century   new production fields were established in the autonomous republic , rich natural resources were discovered and exploited, industry was supplied with modern  techniques and technologies.

 Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is a developing diversified industrial and agrarian-industrial republic. Conversion  of local agricultural products and extraction  of mineral products occupy a special place. Other industries include electronics, metal processing, construction materials and light industry. Agriculture mainly includes grain-growing, cattle-breeding, vegetable-growing and gardening.

From the beginning of the 90s of  XX century , at the result of Armenian occupation of  Azerbaijan lands,  Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic was completely isolated from the surrounding world. Slump observed in the economy of the autonomous republic living in a blockade conditions for more than 20 years was replaced by progress at the result of systematic measures-like programme implemented.  Currently the autonomous republic takes one of the first places among the regions of the  Republic of Azerbaijan  according to the level of economic growth.

GDP, as a main indicator of economic development in  Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic constituted more than  2 billion 467 million AZN in 2016 increasing   by 0,5 percent as compared to 2015. And the GDP per capita comprised  about 5 thousand 780 AZN. The share of 62 percent of material production in the GDP is the most obvious example of economic progress.

Purposed  investment policy, universal  state care to the development of entrepreneurship subjects of ownership allowed  new production enterprises to begin their activity, to elevate the employment level, to increase the volume of the production which replaces importation, to supply the domestic market mainly with local productions. In 2016 establishment of 49 production and service fields caused the meeting of the people’s needs  more substantially and had a positive influence on the minimization of the dependence on importation.

366 types of products are produced in the Autonomous Republic as a result of rise of the number of new production fields and extension of processing areas. It is already possible to meet the demand with 344 types of product (107 types food, 237 types non-food) completely on the account of local opportunities. All of these were attained, first of all, as a result of care taken to the improvement of private sector and efficient use of local labor and raw material resources. During only in 2016 the legal and physical entities were granted the loans  over 43 million manats by the banks and credit organizations that function in the Autonomous Republic to stimulate entrepreneurship activity. And the taken measures, in  their turns, caused the private sector to have special weight of 87,3 percent in GDP.

Development of entrepreneurship activity, at the same time means the elimination of unemployment problem. 3010 work places have been created in 2016, 2941 out of which (97,7%) are permanent work places.

In 2016 foreign trade turnover amounts to $463, 245 000, of which exports are $419, 121 000, and imports are $44, 124 000. The tendency of exceeding import by export was kept in 2016, a positive saldo constituted $374, 997 000