Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev yesterday (7 July) signed a decree reorganising Azerbaijan’s economic regions, including establishing its capital, Baku, as an independent economic region; and the creation of the 'Karabakh' and 'East Zangazur' economic regions.
The new 'Karabakh' economic region appears to replace what was the 'Upper Karabakh' economic region, and is stated to include the Aghjabadi, Agdam, Barda, Fuzuli, Khojavand, Shusha and Tartar districts, as well territories that are not under Azerbaijani control, such as the city of Khankandi (Stepanakert), the Khojaly district and part of the Khojavand district. The decree states that this region has been formed "to ensure the restoration and rapid development of the ancient Karabakh region, which has its own rich historical and cultural heritage".
The new 'East Zangazur' economic region appears to replace what was the 'Kalbajar-Lachin' economic region, and is stated to cover the Kalbajar, Lachin, Jabrayil, Gubadli, and Zangilan districts, which returned to Azerbaijani control last year. The decree states that the "traditional socio-economic, historical and cultural ties" make it necessary to unite these areas into a single economic region.
The decree explains that a revision of the economic regions is necessary for the economic integration of the territories returned to Azerbaijani control last year, which requires increased efficiency in planning in the other regions as well to ensure flexibility in economic management.