The political-military situation, which arose in the last decade of the twentieth century, had catastrophic consequences on the country’s economy as a whole, which avoided collapse only by virtue of oil production. The dissolution of the USSR and the contextual outbreak of tensions between the states of the Caucasian area have in fact changed the economic and commercial equilibrium consolidated during the twentieth century, creating a situation of difficulty from which Azerbaijan is still trying to free itself. Agricultural production, an important item of GDP in 1991 with 34%, reduced its specific contribution (6.2%), however remaining a sector of great importance with over 39% of the workforce. Based on cereals, industrial crops (cotton, tobacco) and irrigated fruit and vegetables, it also counts a notable wine production. Intensive agriculture is practiced on the northern hills (tobacco and aromatic plants) and on the Caspian coast (citrus fruits, tea). Sheep and goat breeding, which among its products includes an excellent quality of wool that feeds internal textile processing and exports, is practiced in arid areas, with summer transhumance towards the mountains. Important, even if highly specialized, is the sericulture. Fishing is carried out in the Caspian Sea: the quantities of fish are totally used for internal consumption even if the heavy pollution of the last decades is causing serious repercussions on the lake ecosystem. According to allcountrylist, the industrial sector is divided into various fields, from steel and metallurgy to chemical and construction products, but the most developed and profitable activity is undoubtedly the extraction of oil and natural gas. Already at the beginning of the twentieth century this area was among the main mining districts in the world and has continued to develop and maintain this role to this day, also thanks to the constant discovery of new deposits, especially in the Caspian, and to foreign investments, particularly from the United States., Russian, Middle Eastern and European. L’ interest and foreign resources were key, for example, for the construction and commissioning in 2006 of the 1770 km Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, which, through Georgia, transports oil to the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey. The resources of the subsoil are also made up of copper, zinc, lead, manganese, iron, which in turn feed the industrial sectors of the sector. They also operate food, textile, refrigerator and air conditioners, tobacco processing and mechanical industries. In terms of trade, recent years have seen a contraction in relations with the neighboring ex-Soviet republics and a gradual decrease in flows to the Russian and Ukrainian markets, towards which most of the primary and secondary sector production was directed. . per capita at US $ 4,569, in 2018) and allowed to direct efforts towards modernization and restructuring also of the public sector. The main trading partners are Italy, France, the Czech Republic and Iran, where Azerbaijan exports hydrocarbons, textiles and machinery, while from Russia, the United Kingdom, Turkey and Germany it imports mainly goods derived from crude oil, food. and chemists. Road transport is the most used mode for both goods and people, relying on 56,891 km of roads of which approx. 30,000 asphalted. There are two main railway lines: one runs along the Kura valley and connects Baku to T’bilisi, in Georgia, and the other runs along the Caspian coast. Azerbaijan, thanks to the well-known political events, has so far been excluded from the itineraries of international tourism.
The traditions of Azerbaijan have their roots in the same mixture of cultures, languages and customs from which all the contradictions and peculiarities of today’s country originate. The literary tradition of Azerbaijan was born in the Middle Ages, reaching with authors such as the novelist Nezāmī Gäncävi (1140-1209) fame throughout the geographical area of Transcaucasia and beyond up to Turkey (the Azerbaijani dialect, or Azerbaijani, was used as a literary language even in the classical era of Turkish literature, in the sec. XV-XVI). In the following centuries, the theater played an important role in the context of Azerbaijani literature: Azerbaijani returned to being a literary language with the works of the playwright Mirza Fatali Akhundov (1812-1878). Among the most characteristic expressions of culture there is music, whose most enduring folkloric genre is the mugam, traditionally performed by an itinerant singer, the ashug, often accompanied by the characteristic stringed instrument, the kobuz.: among the contemporary interpreters of this musical form, A. Qasimov (b.1957) enjoys international fame, who was awarded the UNESCO prize for music in 1999. In the field of cultured music, the work of K. Karayev (1918-1982) has been highlighted. In the field of cinema we remember the film Nabat by Azerbaijani director Elchin Musaoglu, presented at the first edition of the International Azerbaijani Film Festival in Baku in 2017. In the field of applied arts, the traditional carpet manufacturers located in Guba, Baku, Shirvan, Gäncä, Tabriz are particularly appreciated. Among the most recent artists are Kanan Aliyev, Ulviyya Aliyeva, Zarnishan Yusifova, Zeigam Azizov and Orkhan Mammadov. Most of the museums and galleries are located in the capital, and the most important are the Nizami Museum of Azerbaijan Literature, the National Art Museum and the Carpet Museum. The country’s cuisine is essentially based on meat, lamb or mutton, accompanied by rice and spices: dolma and plov, the most popular classic dishes. There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Azerbaijan: the fortified city of Baku (2000), the Gobusan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (2007), and the historic center of Şeki with the khan’s palace (2019).