3. Cultural and creative sectors
Last update: June, 2016
Protection and support of tangible and intangible cultural heritage are among the main priorities of the Government. There are 6 036 archaeological, 3 086 architectural, 223 garden-park, monumental and memorial, and 177 decorative-applied art monuments under state protection. Due to the importance of immovable historical and cultural monuments under state protection, 101 are of world importance, 2 145 are of national importance, and 3 790 are of local significance. There are also 26 historical, cultural, architectural, artistic and ethnographic reserves in the country, 18 of them in the system of the Ministry for Culture, 7 in the State Tourism Agency, and one in the Icheri Sheher State Historical-Architectural Reserve under the Cabinet of Ministers.
The executive body exercising state control over the use, restoration, reconstruction, conservation and reconstruction of immovable historical and cultural monuments and reserves within the system of the Ministry for Culture is the State Service for Protection, Development and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, established by the President on December 18, 2014. The regional offices of the State Service in Baku, Shabran, Gabala, Ganja and Salyan were set up on February 17, 2020, by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers. The implementation of "The state programme on restoration, protection of physical historical and cultural monuments, and the improvement and development of historical and cultural reserves activities for 2014-2020" was completed last year. As a result, 3 824 monuments were monitored, and national passports containing GPS coordinates, history, description and other information were issued for 368 monuments, borders of 244 monuments were determined, and protection zones were prepared.
Special attention is paid to preserving, restoring and supporting Azerbaijan's intangible cultural heritage. It includes the country’s local lore (customs and traditions, ceremonies and festivities, symbols and mysteries), national folklore (music and dances, verbal literature traditions, games and performances), and artisanship (traditional applied, visual and decorative arts). The Ministry for Culture has created “The State Register of Azerbaijan Intangible Cultural Heritage Samples” in cooperation with the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, related public associations and non-governmental organisations.
Club enterprises organise the local infrastructure of Azerbaijan's intangible cultural heritage and folk art. There are 2 244 club establishments (Cultural Centres, Palaces of Culture, Houses of Culture, clubs), with 320 679 seats in auditoriums and lecture halls in urban and rural areas of the country. Reforms in the field were carried under the "Project for establishing the city (district) cultural centres". In 2010-2016, the Ministry for Culture implemented the "Peoples’ Creativity Capitals of Azerbaijan" Programme. Within the framework of the programme, "Capital of Legends", "Capital of Folklore", and "Capital of Crafts” were announced every year. Besides numerous actions, festivals, fairs, concerts, projects, etc., implemented during the realisation of this programme, some local initiatives retained special popularity, namely the biennial International Ashigs Festival, the annual International Masally Folklore Festival, the annual Balaken International Folklore and Tourism Festival, the annual Guba Apple Festivity, the annual Gabala Jam Festivity, etc.
Last update: October, 2021
The Law on the National Archive Fund (June 22, 1999) regulates the formation, protection, use, and activity of the National Archive Fund archives in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Today, the archive system of the Republic of Azerbaijan includes six state archives of national importance, 15 branches of the State Archive, the State Archive of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, as well as 57 districts and city archives, which are directly subordinated to the National Archives Department.
State archives of national importance include:
- The State Archive (1 581 funds and 589 378 works are protected in the archive. The chronological period of the documents covers the years 1917-2011),
- The State Historical Archive (757 funds, 244 419 works are protected in the archive. The chronological period of the documents covers 1805-1922),
- The State Archive of Literature and Art (764 funds and 108 390 works are protected in the archive. The chronological period of the documents covers the XIX century – 2011),
- The Archive of State Scientific and Technical Documents (The archive preserves 170 funds and 188 361 works. The chronological period of the documents covers the years 1873-2011),
- The State Cinema-Photo Documents’ Archive (The archive preserves 20 632 film documents and 342 346 photo documents), and
- The State Sound Recordings’ Archive (The archive preserves 32 983 background documents and 1 677 video documents. The chronological period of the documents covers the years 1903-2011).
The State Programme On the Development of Archival Work in the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2020-2025 approved with the Presidential Order (February 12, 2020), aimed to ensure reliable protection and widespread use of archival documents, to modernise archival service organisations, to implement modern information and communication technologies, etc.
The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Libraries (December 29, 1998) formulates the principles of state policy on libraries, provides an everyday basis for the library system, regulates the founding and running of libraries, and covers funding, the public's rights regarding the use of libraries, and the principles of international co-operation in this area. The mass library network of the Ministry for Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan consists of the National Library of Azerbaijan, republic, mass and children's libraries, and centralised library systems. In addition, the State Oil Company (2), Confederation of Trade Unions (5), and other organisations (35) also own some of the libraries.
Under the Ministry for Culture, the Centralised Library System has 75 Central Libraries, 213 city library branches, 137 settlement library branches, and 2 087 rural library branches – 2 512 libraries a total. At present, 2 281 403 readers use the library fund of Centralised Library Systems (22 493 426 copies in total). The “State Programme on development of library and information sphere in the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2008-2013”, dedicated to the modernisation of the library-information network, was executed in the previous decade. ALISA (Automated Library Information System of Azerbaijan), the first national system in this field to automate library and bibliographic processes, has been implemented in 45 Centralised Library Systems.
The Presidential Decree “On measures to improve the structure and management of the Ministry for Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan” (January 15, 2019) implies reconstruction of the library system in the country, taking into account the opportunities of information and communication technologies, as well as the existing demand and international experience.
Last update: October, 2021
The performing arts such as theatre, dance, and music are traditionally in the centre of attention of both audiences and government in Azerbaijan. Therefore, it naturally finds its reflection in the state cultural policy. In particular, the Concept of the Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan (February 14, 2014), which is the framework document of the executive branch in the field of culture, pays considerable attention to the support of professional performing arts. For instance, main state strategies for the development of professional theatrical art presuppose:
- supporting creation of new works of high artistic value in various genres of theatrical art and broader and more effective use of state orders to ensure their stage embodiment, implementation of related programmes;
- to stimulate the preparation of performances in theatres, holding national and international level theatre festivals, competitions, ensuring the participation of theatre groups in these events, and so on.
There are 29 professional theatres in the country, including one opera and ballet theatre, 19 drama, musical comedy, and musical drama theatre, nine children's and youth theatres. These professional theatres include the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, Azerbaijan State Academic National Drama Theatre, Azerbaijan State Academic Musical Theatre, Azerbaijan State Academic Russian Drama Theatre, Azerbaijan State Theatre of Young Spectators, Azerbaijan State Puppet Theatre, Azerbaijan State Pantomime Theatre, etc.
The State Programme "Azerbaijan Theatre in 2009-2019 envisaged the formation of a new theatre policy and optimisation of management in the theatre process, support of young talents in all genres and professions of theatre; improving the system of personnel training and additional education, repair of theatre buildings, application of modern information and communication technologies, and so on.
The history of Azerbaijan dance traces its roots from the Stone Age. Drawings chiselled into the rocks at Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape up to 40 000 years ago represent old Azerbaijani folk dances, which initially were ceremonial and based around hunting.
The Baku Choreography Academy is the country's only training school for ballet and folk dancers. The Academy provides general secondary special and higher education for choreographers, ballet education, ballet artist, ballet history and other specialisations.
Based on this, there are two areas of dance skills in the country now: ballet and folklore. Today's leading choreographic collective of Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijan Song and Dance Ensemble, named after Fikret Amirov, which operates in the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall. The repertoire of the ballet troupe of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre includes such ballet masterpieces of the Azerbaijani composers as:
- “Maiden Tower” by Afrasiyab Badalbeyli.
- “Seven Beauties” by Gara Garayev.
- “The Legend of Love” by Arif Malikov.
- “Babek” by Agshin Alizadeh.
- “Whites and Blacks” by Khayyam Mirzezadeh.
- “Love and Death” by Polad Bulbuloglu, et cetera.
The stages for rehearsals and performances, social security and salaries of the members of these groups, costumes, sets, tours around the country and abroad are provided by the state.
Last update: October, 2021
The fine and decorative art of Azerbaijan has an ancient history and rooted traditions. The development of modern fine and decorative-applied art is related to supporting artistic creativity and promoting creative works both nationally and internationally.
Support is provided to the visual arts in the following ways:
- publication of books, discs, booklets, catalogues, etc. dedicated to modern fine and decorative-applied art of Azerbaijan, and creation of related internet sites;
- Support for exciting projects in the different categories of fine and decorative-applied art;
- Holding national and international symposia, festivals, contests, and support for the participation of professionals in international projects and contests;
- Support and stimulation of the activities of talented young people;
- Offering all necessary facilities for transforming picture galleries into art centres;
- Formation of respective art collections, support for the exhibition and educational activity of galleries;
- Enriching the collections of local galleries with artworks, application of new information technologies.
The Azerbaijan State Art Gallery, as well as 32 state regional art galleries, are operating within the system of the Ministry for Culture in the sphere of fine arts (graphics, sculpture, painting, and partly architecture) and decorative-applied arts (carpet weaving, jewellery, copper-smithing, armaments, pottery, etc.) at present. Private galleries also operate in this field including the Union of Artists of Azerbaijan and its regional branches in Ganja, Nakhchivan, Sheki, and Lankaran, "YARAT!" Contemporary Art Space and other public associations. The creation of cultural heritage samples and national fine and decorative-applied arts in the Republic is possible mainly due to artists. Numerous events and exhibitions are held to support the development of digital art and contemporary art.
There is an extensive museum network in the Republic of Azerbaijan of historical, historical-regional ethnography, scientific, political, art and literature, patriotic museums, and house-museums of culture and artworks, promoting the visual arts and crafts sector in the country. In general, there are 239 museums in the country under the ministries and departments. 225 museums belong to the Ministry for Culture and 4 museums to the National Academy of Sciences. In addition, there is one museum in each of the Ministries of Education, Health, Agriculture, Ecology and Natural Resources, and the Interior. Furthermore, the State Oil Company has one museum, and one museum is private. Of the total number of museums, 76 are history museums, 42 are memorial museums, 68 are ethnographic museums, 41 are art museums, and 12 are other museums. The fund of museums in the Republic consists of 1 330 000 exhibits in total.
The main leading museums are Azerbaijan National Museum of Art, Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum, Azerbaijan State Theatre Museum named after Jafar Jabbarli, The State Museum of Musical Culture of Azerbaijan, National Museum of History of Azerbaijan,and Azerbaijan Independence Museum.
Last update: October, 2021
According to UNESCO's definition of the cultural and creative industries, "the creative and cultural industries are those whose primary purpose is the production or reproduction, promotion, dissemination or commercialisation of products, services, and activities of a cultural, artistic or heritage nature." The culture and creative industries are not defined statistically in the country yet, but in the working documents of state bodies, they are called Cultural and Creative Industries. There is an understanding that this cross-border sphere is situated at the intersection of culture and the economy. That is, any cultural product at the stage of creativity is in the field of culture. However, with the release of this cultural product into circulation, that is, when the economic laws of mass production, exchange, trade, and consumption come into force, this is already an area of economics.
The development of cultural and creative industries as a field of activity providing the production of cultural products and implementing cultural services is envisaged as one of the main directions of state cultural policy. However, despite some progress in some sub-sectors of the cultural and creative industries, this area is forming yet.
Private companies, studios, workshops, centres, and individual entrepreneurs are the top part of the creative industries. Private organisations operating mainly in Baku and other major cities cover design, advertising, crafts, fashion, fine arts, music, and other creative fields. However, the lack of regular publication of comprehensive statistics on cultural and creative industries (CSIs) at the national level does not fully allow the measurement, monitoring, and evaluation of development processes in this sector.
At the same time, according to the UNCTAD report, in 2014, Azerbaijan's imports of CCIs’ products amounted to 138.04 million US dollars, while exports amounted to 3.95 million US dollars, resulting in a negative trade balance of CCIs of 134.09 million US dollars. In the 2017 EU Report on Cultural Development Indicators for Azerbaijan to determine the share of CCIs in the Azerbaijani economy, the share of CCIs in GDP was officially set at 1% ($ 374 million for 2016). Furthermore, a study based on the International Intellectual Property Organisation's Guidelines for 2019 shows that the growth of the creative industries from 2003 to 2015 increased by 13 times, from 220.5 million to 2 815.9 million AZN.
Since 2018, the Ministry for Culture has taken various measures and drafted several plans to develop CCIs. In addition, the research on the role of the CCIs sector in the world economy, the local situation in the Azerbaijani context, the contribution of CCIs to the Azerbaijani economy, shortcomings in this area, public-private investigations into partnerships and partnership gaps were conducted.
According to the "Action Plan for 2019 on implementing the necessary activities for developing creative and cultural industries", a strategic document on CCIs is being prepared.
The main areas of activity, such as the Start-up Competition and Forum on MYS, sectoral organisations (councils), and the brand "Creative Azerbaijan", have already been identified. Furthermore, on October 31, 2019, Baku was included in the UNESCO "Creative Cities Network" on the theme of "design". In addition, the Ministry for Culture has acted as a partner in several events to support and develop the industry ("Azerbaijan Design Forum 2019", "Azerbaijan Design Award").
The Ministry for Culture has been a partner in several competitions to coordinate independent creative industries with state-funded and managed culture, support and development initiatives that combine creativity and business, increase the interest of business organisations and youth in this field, and support startups in the country, such as “Creative Business Cup”, Venture Battle Hackathon, “Big Idea Challenge”, Republican Innovation Competition, etc. The Boomerang project was presented as part of the Creative Spark programme implemented by the British Council.
On February 27, 2020, with the support of the "Creative Azerbaijan" portal, organised by the Ministry for Culture and the Public Council under the Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SMBDA), a public discussion on "Cultural Business Forum: Current Situation and Prospects" at the YARAT Contemporary Art Centre was organised. In addition, the Ministry for Culture regularly holds meetings with representatives of the culture and creative industries, exchanging views on the challenges and opportunities in the field.
The understanding is emerging that Azerbaijani culture has excellent internal potential and driving force to promote the cultural and creative industries. That is why many necessary activities for the period up to 2030 have been identifying within the current Cultural Strategy:
- Improving the legislation on cultural and creative industries, tax policy, and other financial and legal issues in this field, the application of comprehensive protection of copyright, brands, patents, and trademarks;
- Improving the existing legal framework in cinematography and book circulation to regulate modern trends and new opportunities.
- Regulation of production, exchange, sale and consumption of cultural products, the establishment of art management and production institutes, increasing the knowledge of key actors in logistics, marketing, fundraising, crowdfunding, advertising and promotion, expansion of monetisation and paid cultural services, application of international experience in the field development of cultural and creative industries; et cetera.
Last update: October, 2021
State and private publishing houses carry out book publishing in the republic. These publishing houses are acting under the Law on Publishing and other respective legislative acts. There are about 70 publishing and printing companies in Azerbaijan, mainly in the capital Baku, and include: “Azerbaijan State Publishing House”, “Sharg-Garb”, “Qanun”, “TEAS Press”, “Tahsil”, “Hadaf Naşhrlari”, “Elm”, “Altun Kitab”, “Qelem”, “Aspoliqraf”, “Alatoran Yayınları”, “Parlaq imzalar”, “Xan”, “Renessans”, “3 Alma”, “Aghıllı bala”, “Qedim Qala”, “Çashıoglu”, “Chinar-chap”, “Mujru”, “Elm ve tehsil”, “Letterpress”, “Libra Kitab”, “Shirvannaşr”, “Mutarjim”, “Uchbujaq” and others. In addition, Azerneshr, a self-supporting publishing house, operates under the Ministry for Culture.
In 2019, 3 697 titles and 3 435 800 copies of books were published across the country. Included are 1 355 titles of scientific literature, 833 titles of educational literature, 1 266 titles of fiction, 243 titles of children's literature, and other publications. In the field of the book trade, there are large book trade enterprises and other enterprises such as "Ali and Nino", "Libraff", "Baku Book Center", "Azerkitab", and "Ovod Book House". These companies also organise the e-book trade. According to the Law on Publishing, publishing houses are free in their activities and are personally responsible for their publications.
Regarding the current problems and shortcomings in the field of publishing, the following can also be mentioned. Legislative discounts on book publishing, including tax breaks, are not provided (although currently, the publication of textbooks and children's books is exempt from VAT; the fact that VAT remains on paper does not affect the prices of these books).
A low level of reading leads to low book circulation, which, in turn, negatively influences the financial situation of publishing houses and reduces the range and quality of books. Many publishers do not have the opportunity to communicate directly with readers, identify readers' needs and adapt publishing policies (their bookstore). In addition, bookstores in the regions are almost non-existent, making it difficult for readers to obtain books for their private libraries.
Publishers are reluctant to publish the works of young writers because introducing a new name (author) to the reader requires certain marketing costs and copyright infringement (piracy and plagiarism) in the book market. Thus, all of it seriously undermines the financial support of authors and weakens official publishers.
According to the Culture Concept of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the following strategy is necessary for the improvement of national publishing work:
- Provision of book publishing on scientific, social-political, artistic, publicist themes (encyclopaedias, dictionaries, multi-volumes, collections, anthology, musical publications, etc.) to a high standard;
- Promotion of the translation of Azerbaijan literature samples into foreign languages and world literature samples into the Azerbaijani language as well as the creation of new works;
- Improvement of the enrichment of library funds through the Republic Library Collection system; and
- Providing access for book publishers in Azerbaijan to the international arena, participation in international book exhibition fairs, holding international book exhibitions in the country.
- Introduction of modern publishing, including “print-on-demand” technology to Azerbaijan, application, and promotion of e-book and audiobook formats along with traditional book publishing, researching ways to promote national literature to the world audience, including e-book markets, are among the recent books debates.
Last update: October, 2021
Currently, the state policy in audio-visual and interactive media is carried out through the Ministry for Culture (film and video) and the National Television and Radio Council (TV and radio). In each of these supervisions, appropriate state programmes and specific policies are adopted to promote the country's audio-visual and interactive media industry.
Within the framework of the State Programme for the Development of Azerbaijani Cinema for 2008-2018 (№ 2961 of August 4, 2008):
- the material and technical base of cinemas has been significantly strengthened, including the construction of a new building with the latest technological equipment for the State Film Fund and the reconstruction of the Nizami Cinema Centre to world standards.
- Film production has been improved by the state order, and various projects aimed at strengthening the human resources potential of national cinema have been implemented.
- More than 300 films have been made in public and private studios with the state order and financial support. In addition, many screen works have been awarded various prizes at international film festivals.
To ensure the implementation of the Order of the President On Some Measures Related to the Development of Azerbaijani Cinema (№ 1007 of March 1, 2019) a technical base for the Azerbaijan-film studio named after Jabbarli was reconstructed to the latest standards and modern cinematographic equipment was purchased.
The draft Concept for the Development of Azerbaijani Cinematography, prepared by the Ministry for Culture, taking into account the proposals of the Union of Cinematographers and other specialised departments, is being agreed upon with the relevant state structures.
Preparatory work is underway to create the Film Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ARKA), to attract investment to the national film industry, attract foreign partners, and thus achieve convergence of the private and public sectors.
To implement the Presidential Order On Providing One-time Financial Assistance to Private National TV and Radio Broadcasters in the Republic of Azerbaijan (№896 of January 17, 2019), 3 million AZN was allocated to private national TV and radio broadcasters.
In 2020, The National Television and Radio Council conducted a study titled the "Current state of the audio-visual industry in Azerbaijan; forecasts and objectives". The study shows that educational programmes and projects dominate the programme basket of AZTV, MADANIYYET TV, IDMAN TV, and ITV, funded from the state budget. Moreover, during the pandemic, such TV lessons were of exceptional importance to the country's schoolchildren as they continued their distance (or online) education.
The TV and Radio Academy, established on June 14, 2010, is located in the building of Azerbaijan Radio. The material and technical base of the academy has been formed, filming, and editing equipment has been installed, filming pavilions and a recording studio have been established. The purpose of establishing the academy is to train professional TV and radio specialists to higher education standard, to improve employees' skills. Along with local scientists and specialists, TV specialists from Turkey, Russia, European countries, and the United States are invited to teach at the academy.
Last update: October, 2021
The musical traditions of Azerbaijan are accepted as a vital part of the country's uniqueness and future development. They are an essential part of Azerbaijani culture and its people. Therefore, specific policies to promote the music industry in Azerbaijan are directed to the development of infrastructure, musical collectives, and concert activities.
There are 16 concert halls in the country, including five philharmonic halls, five concert halls, and six independent groups. Among the leading concert venues is the Azerbaijan State Academy Philharmonic, named after Muslim Magomayev, the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Heydar Aliyev Palace, the International Mugham Centre, the Azerbaijan State Song Theatre, the Azerbaijan State Children's Philharmonic, and the Ganja State Philharmonic. The state provides support for this infrastructure, repairs, and maintanence of the buildings of these organisations, equipping them with modern technologies, concert and stage equipment. Thus, for example, the building of the Azerbaijan State Academic Philharmonic built back in 1912, based on an organic combination of Italian architectural style and the traditions of oriental architecture, was restored, reconstructed, and provided with the necessary equipment at the level of modern requirements entirely at the expense of the state budget.
The most famous musical groups of the country are the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra named after Uzeyir Hajibayli, the Azerbaijan State Choir Capella, The Azerbaijan State Chamber Orchestra named after G.Garayev, The Azerbaijan State Piano Trio, The Azerbaijan State String Quartet, The Azerbaijan State Folk Song and Dance Ensemble named after F.Amirov, and The Azerbaijan State Orchestra of Folk Instruments. In addition, enterprises and groups such as the Azerbaijan State Wind Orchestra, Gaya State Ensemble, and Zeynab Khanlarova's State Ensemble can be mentioned. The state partially finances these musical groups by purchasing professional instruments and stage costumes, fixed wages, providing social support to participants, and so on. An example is the Presidential Order On Strengthening the Social Protection of the Artistic Staff of the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra, named after Uzeyir Hajibayli (№3340 of November 3, 2017).
Various festivals, concerts, anniversary evenings, etc., are regularly held with the participation of music groups and soloists. At the same time, the ensemble and soloists represent Azerbaijani culture at a high level, performing at events and tours abroad. Furthermore, the Ministry for Culture provides serious support to concert-touring and festival-competitive activities of state musical institutions, bands, and outstanding performers both in the country and abroad. It happens mainly within culture days, official events and includes touring concerts, under related programmes and projects, and multilateral and bilateral international treaties.
The number of concerts in 2019 was 1 224, including 573 in philharmonic halls, 347 in concert halls, and 304 by independent groups. Eighty-four thousand people attended the concerts of independent groups. According to statistics, the number of visitors to concert venues was 50 per 1 000 people. The statistic is given for 2019 because the activities of concert halls have been restricted in the quarantine regime.
Last update: October, 2021
The State Committee for Urban Planning and Architecture is the central executive body implementing state policy and regulation in urban planning, spatial planning, architecture, and related design in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Together with relevant executive authorities and self-government bodies, the Committee must:
- take measures for preservation, protection, and enrichment of national and historical heritage, urban planning, architectural monuments, natural and cultural landscape, and other protected areas;
- together with the relevant executive authorities and local self-government bodies in newly constructed facilities, the national architectural style must be considered in the landscaping works carried out in cities and regions to ensure aesthetic beauty, modernity.
Baku State Design Institute was established in 1937. Since its inception, it has been involved in design activities and addresses the urban planning issues in Baku, as well as developing schemes and projects for engineering and transport infrastructure. In addition, it created the Master Plan of Baku that was effective until 2005. The activities of the Institute include regional planning projects, master plans, complex planning projects, residential construction projects, residential and commercial construction projects, engineering communications and transport infrastructure projects, environmental protection, ecology, dendrology, drainage, geodesy and geological and feasibility studies, project management, and architectural supervision.
Union of Architects of Azerbaijan (UAA) is a voluntary professional creative association of architects of the country that aims:
- To develop creative concepts and implement the development strategy of Azerbaijan architecture together with the governmental bodies;
- To promote the protection of the historical architectural and natural environment, and pay careful attention to architectural monuments,
- To promote improvements in architectural education and continued improvement in professional skills of architects in the country, to encourage and nurture the young generation in the profession
- To propagate achievements in Azerbaijan architecture, promote the development of printing and architectural critics; organise shows, exhibitions, and sale of the works of architecture, painting and applied arts, et cetera.
"Azerbaijan Design Forum 2019" was organised at the International Mugham Center on November 23, 2019, with the support of the Ministry for Culture. The forum's primary purpose was to bring together Azerbaijani designers, exchange experiences, discuss, and share the most innovative approaches to these issues. The event also discussed the importance of Baku's recent inclusion in the UNESCO Network of Creative Cities and the establishment of the Azerbaijan Design Council.
The "Azerbaijan Design Forum 2019" competition winners’ ceremony was held at the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre on March 2, 2020. The competition, supported by the Ministry for Culture and free of charge for creative people, was held to raise the level of design in the country and identify talented people. A jury of world-renowned professionals (18 judges from 6 countries) evaluated all projects online anonymously. In total, 611 works by more than 400 designers were submitted to the competition in 10 categories on the official website: branding, packaging design, illustration, web design, industrial design, application design, interior design, exterior design, print design and outdoor design.
Last update: October, 2021
The Law on Tourism (№ 674-IQ of June 4, 1999) determines the state policy's principles to establish the tourism market's legal basis, the foundation of tourism activity. It regulates the relations arising in the field of tourism, determines the order of effective use of tourism resources as one of the means of socio-economic development. According to the law, cultural facilities are classified as tourism resources, and effective use of historical and cultural heritage is a part of state regulation of tourism activities.
From 2006 to 2018, the tourism sector was under the Ministry for Culture and Tourism jurisdiction. The main goal was to bring the tourism sector, being potentially self-sufficient from an economic point of view, closer to culture and cultural heritage, and help the two sectors develop together in a framework of joint cultural tourism programmes and projects. At the next stage, tourism began to stand out as an independent branch due to the vital flow of tourists to the country in 2010-2016. As of 2017, the tourism sector provides about 4% of Azerbaijan's GDP while being a relatively fast-growing industry. Based on this trend, the Government decided to separate the Ministry for Culture and Tourism and establish two separate bodies: the Ministry for Culture and the State Tourism Agency (№4 of April 20, 2018).
The State Tourism Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan is the central executive body implementing state policy and regulation in tourism and protecting historical and cultural monuments located in the territories of state reserves. Ensuring the development of cultural tourism was assigned to the State Agency alongside health, sports, mountain and winter tourism, extreme, business, ecological tourism, beach, hunting tourism, and other types of tourism. For this purpose, the agency was strengthened by the following organisations under its subordination:
- Azerbaijan Tourism Bureau (ATB) - a public legal entity, has the main goal to strengthen the country's competitiveness in the global tourism market and increase the level of recognition of Azerbaijan as a tourist destination by forming and promoting Azerbaijan's tourism brand locally and internationally.
- The Azerbaijan Convention Bureau (AzCB) is a lead entity for promoting and implementing Azerbaijan's business events development strategy.
- The Reserves Management Centre aims to implement conservation measures to protect its reserves' tangible and intangible heritage assets, develop their tourism potential, and revitalise the economy by integrating the local population into the tourism and heritage value chains.
- "Shahdag Tourism Centre", Closed Joint-Stock Company;
- Azerbaijan National Culinary Centre (ANCC), engaged in collecting, studying, and promoting national culinary culture, uniting the country's leading chefs, scientists, and specialists.
Tourism Information Centres function in Baku (including Baku City Tour tourist buses) and districts like Shamakhi, Khachmaz, Guba, Lankaran, Ganja, Sheki, Zagatala, Gabala, Ismayilli, Barda.
Various aspects of tourism in general and of cultural and creative tourism, in particular, are taught in such educational institutions as Azerbaijan Tourism and Management University, Baku Tourism Vocational School, and Mingachevir Tourism College.