Team WCRS invited at the memorial service of Muslim Soldiers at Woking by British Army. Honoured to have met with Defence Minsiter UK, General Officer Commanding Regional Command, Sheikh Ramsy, Royal Air Force Chaplaiins and others.
Roniel Aledo, ex CIA Analyst was invited to WCRS for a guest lecture. He spoke to our audience about his experiences in Afghanistan and the war on terror that has been going on since 2001.
Team WCRS with General Yusuf Burutai at the Royal United Services Institute while some valuable discussion around Boko Haram and Nigeria's CT Strategy took place.
Diversification of the economy has now become a driving aim of the government of Azerbaijan in recent years due to dramatic reductions in oil revenues resulting in low global prices. Agriculture reforms necessary in these regulations as a key non-energy sector of the economy in order to preserve financial protection and support for continued development. Advancement of the oil and gas sectors in the early 1990s encouraged Azerbaijan to rebound from both the post-Soviet economic meltdown. Despite the "Contract of the Century" agreed to sign in 1994 between the Azerbaijani government and the British Petroleum (now BP)-led conglomerate of energy companies, oil exports brought considerable financial resources that led to remarkable economic development in a relatively short period of time. By 2007, Azerbaijan was among the world's fastest emerging growing economies. The increasing reliance of Azerbaijan on oil and gas also multiplied its sensitivity to volatility in the price of hydrocarbon commodities. The transformation to a market economy and the war with Armenia, indeed, had disrupted much of the economic and social infrastructure and international trade relations, providing additional stress to rely on its oil and natural gas being developed.
After the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, Baku centered on tackling the consequent vulnerability of the economic system of Azerbaijan by attempting to put the foundations for regional economic diversification. The first prominent initiative was the idea of "Azerbaijan—2020: The Vision of the Future," launched in 2012 to build a competitive economy beyond hydrocarbons. These initial attempts were totally inadequate to sustain the important implications of sudden oil shocks in 2014 and 2015. The Central Bank of Azerbaijan undervalued the national currency by around 80 percent against the dollar in 2015 as a result of lower oil revenues. A deteriorating economic situation led to an economic depression of 3.8% in 2016, which further compelled Azerbaijan to strengthen its cycle of diversification. The government, in reality, introduced so-called "Strategic Roadmaps" to design a new liquidity-oriented business strategy. Baku is introducing many other structural reforms together with the roadmaps. The Economic Reform and Communications Analysis Center was formed to examine the efficacy of the ongoing reforms. And in the financial sector, the government has established the Financial Markets Control Chamber to impose stricter rigorous and effective control of the financial sector.
Azerbaijan is also focusing on developing the cross-regional transit possibilities of the country as part of its diversification approach. Within the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the North-South Transport Corridor, the government should take an influential role in presenting itself as a regional link. In order to maximise the flow of goods and people throughout its territory and keep improving the operation of its border crossing contentions, Azerbaijan aims to demystify the transportation process by putting in place the eTIR system (which ensures secure, digital data exchange between national customs systems) with surrounding countries such as Iran. A further important consideration undertaken was the establishment of a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) on the grounds of the launch of a new Baku International Sea Trade Port (BISTP), where all enterprises were exempt from taxes and government duties.
The FTZ will encourage the thorough utilization of the transit capacity of the country and reinforce the global role of Azerbaijan as a trans-regional transport and logistics center. The BISTP has also entered into an agreement with the Venlo Transport Hub in the Netherlands to draw well-known European companies functioning as part of Asia-Europe regional logistics chains. Azerbaijan's actions are yielding results in the implementation of its non-oil sectors. The non-petroleum economy contributed for 58.7% of the country's GDP in 2018. Non-oil sectors increased by 3% in the first seven months of 2019, non-oil exports by 17% and non-oil industries by 15.8%. The oil sector, however, still holds the highest dollar value share of exports and thus persists the main source of economic income of the state. Economic diversification encompasses more complex export destinations, which could be made necessary by experimenting with new partners. This prerequisite is the result of the increased expansion of Sino-Azerbaijani economic relations. Nevertheless, this advancement also increases China's political influence over conventional regional powers in the South Caucasus.
Azerbaijan is also convinced of the credit problems in the BRI countries. Considering these variables, Azerbaijan is hesitant in its economic relations with China, slowing the drive for diversification of Baku. The insurmountable reliance of Azerbaijan's non-oil exports on trade with two neighboring countries — Russia and Turkey — is another important consideration plaguing diversification. Agricultural products exports, with the highest proportion of all non-oil exports, are mainly targeted at these two locations. However, it takes time to prepare for new markets, and so does the consequent redirection of domestic exporters and the improvement of their products ' quality and traits to the mandates of new foreign customers.
World Trade Organization (WTO) participation might also be an effective way of increasing economic diversification. Yet Baku was unwilling to discuss WTO requests for dramatically reduced agricultural subsidies to Azerbaijan. Food production employs 36% of the country's labor force, and local products in Azerbaijan are technically unable to interact with imports in terms of price and quality. The government is therefore afraid that ratification to the WTO would undermine the political and economic situation at this time by increasing unregulated foreign economic influence.
Economic diversification is a complicated process, and there is a long way to go for Azerbaijan. Threats from a possible global economic slowdown, however, would have a negative impact on oil prices, thus raising the value of stimulating the growth of non-petroleum and non-gas industries or sectors. Azerbaijan has a tough task down that route of itself, making the existence of the above-mentioned barriers even more difficult. Nonetheless, it has already concentrated on a variety of strategically valuable ventures with impact on future advancement.
Director General of WCRS M Touseef was invited as a speaker at Counter Terrorism and Deradicalization conference on 30th April 2018 at the prestigious King's College London. The conference was sponsored by IOHR and other delegates came from Spain, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Poland and UK.
DG and President WCRS were invited to the prestigious APCV at RAF Coningsby on 15th Oct 2018. They inspected RAF equipment, ISTAR, Air Mobility, Force Deployment, RAF Police, Force Protection, Flying Training and inflight experience with A 400 Atlas and C130. (October 2018)
Team WCRS with delegation of President Trump at Houses of Parliament, Chief White House correspondent Emerald Robinson and Republican Leader Erika Miller alongwith the historic bust of Churchill that was returned by President Obama to UK. (July 2018)
Team WCRS with Sir Jonathan Evans, Ex Chief of MI 5, the British Secret Service. A valuable discussion arounf security threats took place.
Team WCRS was invited to Embassy of Norway to to attend a discussion with Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Important matters including Brexit and Trident Exercises
Team WCRS was invited at a wonderful reception by University of Surrey at the famous London Yacht Hotel. Dinner was followed by some great discussion with Professor Adcroft, Professor Ansgor, Seema and others. (June 2018).
Team WCRS with the famous author Christina Lamb who has authored many books on war on terror and Afghanistan. She authored "I am Malala".
Major General (R) Robert Adam Mungo from british Amry presents his latest book to team WCRS.
Team WCRS with Honorable Duke of Wellington Charles Wellesley at the Royal United Services Institute.
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