President Ilham Aliyev and the First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva have attended a groundbreaking ceremony of Baku White City project.
Saluting the ceremony participants, the President said:
"My congratulations! A wonderful project is being launched in Baku. We will create a city within a city. The implementation of the White City project is beginning. This is a very important event for our country and city. The city has a wonderful name, architecture and structure. The establishment of this city in Baku is quite symbolic – a White City is being set up in the Black City. Different people have used the rich oil fields of Baku and Azerbaijan to improve their financial status. But they have caused serious damage to the city’s environment. As a result of the oil operations that were carried out without compliance with environmental regulations, this place was turned into a Black City. Huge effort is now made to clean it up. Oil waste has been siphoned out from a depth of several meters and other environmental measures taken. In general, the cleaning of this area is an extremely important issue for the ecology of Baku. But the establishment of a new city in this cleaned area is a major event, which is evidence of Azerbaijan’s development.
This city will be built. This city will live. The White City will be home to tens of thousands of people. Beautiful offices, residential buildings, public places will be built, a seaside boulevard established here. We have ambitious plans.
Extensive measures are taken today to make Baku even more beautiful. The Baku boulevard will be extended several times. Currently, it is 4 km in length. After a few months, we will celebrate the opening of a new boulevard. The new boulevard together with the State Flag Square will be more than 10 km long. New opportunities are created for the residents of Baku to walk and have a rest. We will also improve this part of town. New avenues will be laid here.
Thus, tens of kilometers of new public spaces may be established along the coast.
I am sure that both local and foreign investors will participate in the construction of this city. This project has been designed with great professionalism. It has already been introduced in important international events and conferences and received high awards. It is one of the finest architectural projects worldwide. Local companies, architects and professionals have contributed to its development. At the same time, the world’s leading architectural, design and construction companies have been involved with this project as well. So the day has come to lay the foundation of the White City. Some time ago, all preparations were made. I have signed a relevant order. I do hope that beautiful buildings will be built here in the near future. Each building must be an architectural monument. Each building must be constructed with very good taste, neatly and professionally, to make our beautiful city even better.
I am saluting everyone who has participated in the design and execution of this project. I would like to express my gratitude to you. Everyone who has put work into the implementation of this beautiful and unique project deserves praise.
The implementation of this project this year is remarkable also because the world is overwhelmed by a financial and economic crisis. Certain experts say there will be a new wave of the crisis or that it may have already started. The world’s financial sector is exposed to crisis trends. In some countries, the economic crisis has reached a point when people take to the streets. Pensions and wages are being cut. The execution of all infrastructure projects is being reversed. In Azerbaijan, however, we are laying the foundation of a project measured in billions of dollars. We know that investors will come. The city will be built by the private sector, the government realizes only infrastructure projects. An underground station will also be built here. All utilities will be provided by the state – roads and so on. All buildings, offices must and will be built by the private sector, local and foreign companies.
Azerbaijan is a favorable place for foreign investment. We welcome all investments. I am sure that we will soon inaugurate first buildings.
I wish you, especially construction workers, success in this work. The entire work should be carried out at a high level, so that our city becomes even more beautiful. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you and people of Azerbaijan on the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis and the New Year. Thank you."
The Director-General of Baku White City project, Ruslan Sadigov, addressing the head of state, said:
"Mr. President, please allow me to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Happy New Year on behalf of our staff. It is a great honor for all of us that such a ceremony is conducted on your birthday. Congratulations! We wish you happiness and success in all your endeavors."