YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The President of Azerbaijan–Heydar Aliev is one of the most popular men among the heads of the 181 International Monetary Fund-member countries–the Baku-based ANS Press news agency reports quoting Deputy Managing Director of the IMF Shigimitsu Sugishaki. He also stressed that of all the visits to Commonwealth of Independent States countries proposed to him he gave preference to Azerbaijan–considering it to be the most open for cooperation with the IMF. Sugishaki welcomed the "taming of inflation in Azerbaijan–which was the highest in the CIS." He also described as economic stabilization the 5.2 percent growth of the Gross Domestic Product for the first six months of 1997.
Sugishaki confirmed the IMF’s intention to further render technical and financial assistance to Azerbaijan in structural adjustmen’s in the economy and for the production of competitive items on world markets.