Azerbaijan is well-known worldwide as an ancient oil country. From the late 19th to the early 20th century, Baku has transformed into one of the biggest oil centres in the world.
After Azerbaijan gained its independence, oil played a crucial role in the country’s development. At the time, the country suffered from military aggression and faced a multitude of different risks. To rebuild the country, the national leader Heydar Aliyev developed a long-term oil strategy. The three pillars of this strategy include:
On September 20, 1994, Azerbaijan signed the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with leading international oil companies. Dubbed the “Contract of the Century,” this agreement spurred the signing of new oil contracts, which generated substantial revenues for the country. These developments urged the need to establish an entity whereby assets could be accumulated and efficiently managed. Ilham Aliyev, the vice-president of SOCAR back then, initiated the realization of this idea. As proposed by Ilham Aliyev, the experiences of similar sovereign wealth funds abroad were thoroughly evaluated.
Consequently, the national leader Heydar Aliyev signed a Decree to establish the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) on December 29, 1999.
SOFAZ is an extra-budgetary fund and functions as a legal entity separate from the government or central bank. SOFAZ safeguards and prudently manages energy-related earnings for present and future generations. One of the key principles of SOFAZ is transparency. Throughout this period, the Fund has developed institutionally and became an internationally recognized asset management organization.
FILM DEDICATED TO SOFAZ 20th ANNIVERSARY