Country Listing

Azerbaijan Table of Contents




Baku Harbor
Courtesy Azerbaijan International

During World War II, relocated and expanded factories in Azerbaijan produced steel, electrical motors, and finished weaponry for the Soviet Union's war effort. The canning and textile industries were expanded to process foodstuffs and cotton from Azerbaijan's fields. Azerbaijan's postwar industrial economy was based on those wartime activities. Among the key elements of that base were petrochemical-derived products such as plastics and tires, oil-drilling equipment, and processed foods and textiles (see table 14, Appendix). In 1991 the largest share of Azerbaijan's industrial output was contributed by the food industry, followed by light industry (defined to include synthetic and natural textiles, leather goods, carpets, and furniture), fuels, and machine building. Significant food processing and cotton textile operations are located in Gyandzha in western Azerbaijan, and petrochemical-based industries are clustered near Baku. The city of Sumgait, just north of Baku, is the nation's center for steel, iron, and other metallurgical industries.

The Soviet-era Azerbaijan Oil Machinery Company (Azneftemash) company controls virtually all of Azerbaijan's oil equipment industry. Once a major exporter of equipment to the rest of the Soviet Union, Azneftemash has remained dependent since 1991 on imports of parts from the other former Soviet republics. The economic decline and the breakup of the union has disrupted imports and caused an estimated output reduction of 27 percent in the Azerbaijani oil equipment industry in 1992.

Data as of March 1994