With a population with over 10,000,000, Azerbaijan has grown rapidly in recent years, mainly due to its oil revenues. Consequently, poverty in Azerbaijan has reduced from 50% to below 6% in just ten years.
However, since the recent collapse of oil prices, the oil-dominated economy and the national currency (Manat) have come under increasing pressure. The Azerbaijan Central Bank devalued the Manat twice in 2015, which hit the banking sector hard.
Oil and gas still dominate the economy, but the Azerbaijani Government is trying to diversify, with consolidation of the banking sector now in progress following a recession in 2016.
Geographically, Azerbaijan is about the size of Scotland and is located on the southern edge of the Caucasus Mountains in Transcaucasia, and borders Iran to the south, Armenia to the west, Georgia to the northwest, Russia to the north and the Caspian Sea to the east. It also has a small exclave, Nakhichevan, to the southwest bordering Iran, Armenia and Turkey.
Azerbaijan’s political system functions as a republic based upon a dual executive structure. Powers are therefore exercised through the President, who holds the position of head of state, and the Prime Minister as the head of government. Legislative authority is based within the institution of government in the National Assembly.
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