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Armenia's Economic Pulse

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  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

    Yeraskh is south west, very close to Nakhichevan.
    Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

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    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

      In short, Artsakh is planning a program to construct hydoelectric plants that will make the republic completely self-sufficient in electricity by 2012-2015. The project will require about €100 million investment of which a portion has already been collected thanks to Russian-Armenians. The least expensive project costs €400 000 and the most expensive is €30 million. Artsakh has a lot of potential in its electricity sector thanks to its rivers and reservoirs. Then it gives calculations on what percentage the investors will get and how much will they buy it for etc.
      -----------------------------------
      Artsakh : programme de centrales hydroélectriques

      mercredi7 janvier 2009, par Stéphane/armenews

      Le gouvernement de la République d’Artsakh a présenté le programme en cours de construction de centrales hydroélectriques. Le programme prévoit la construction d’une dizaine de centrales qui permettront à la république de devenir autosufisante en électricité d’ici 2012-2015.

      Un programme complémentaire est en cours d’élaboration pour permettre l’extension du réseau et l’exportation d’électricité. Grace à la réalisation de ce programme, le gouvernement sera en mesure de controler la facturation du kw à la population.

      Le succès de la réalisation de ce programme nécessite des investissements de près de 100 millions de dollars dont plusieurs projets sont déjà en cours de réalisation (investissements russes). La construction d’une centrale sur la rivière Varanda est le projet le moins cher, soit environ 400 000 euros, la construction d’un barrage hydroélectrique sur la rivière Tartar est le projet présenté le plus cher, soit un investissement de plus de 30 millions d’euros.

      Valérik Balayan, responsable de la coordination des projets d’équipement de la République précise que le gouvernement se porte garant de la construction, de la mise en oeuvre, de l’entretien et de la rentabilisation des investissements. Pour cela, l’Etat organise la construction de la centrale et garantie l’achat de l’électricité au prix de 15 drams le kw jusqu’au retour sur investissement (en 5-6 ans) et ensuite un achat de l’électricité à 12 drams le kw. Les frais de gestion et d’entretien se montent à environ 25% des recettes. Les rivières d’Artsakh permettent de produire de l’électricité 250 à 300 jours par an meme si le gouvernement a calculé les rentabilités sur la base de 220 jours. L’investisseur est garanti d’une rente de 10 à 18% en fonction du projet considéré.

      Armen de Shoushi

      http://www.armenews.com/article.php3?id_article=47971
      Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

      Comment


      • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

        nice, just hope the damage to the environment is of a controlled measure.
        I was taught how to think.

        Comment


        • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

          Armenia confirmed that it is interested in developing an aviation industry where they manufacture small airplanes. This can boost tourism and travel across the country as well as help the agriculture and science sectors.
          ---------------------------------------------------------
          Développer l’industrie de l’aviation légère en Arménie



          Jeudi 8 janvier, le gouvernement arménien vient de confirmer sa volonté de favoriser le développement de l’industrie aéronautique de l’aviation légère en Arménie. Erévan envisage ainsi de soutenir la naissance d’unités de fabrication de petits avions. Ces derniers pourraient développer le tourisme, ainsi que de servir aux besoins de déplacement de nombre de citoyens. Ces avions peuvent également être fort utiles pour nombre de secteurs de l’économie arménienne comme l’agriculture la science. Krikor Amirzayan

          http://www.armenews.com/article.php3?id_article=48056
          Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

          Comment


          • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

            Armenian Economy ‘Freest In CIS’

            By Ruben Meloyan

            Armenia continues to boast the freest economy in the Commonwealth of Independent States, according to an annual report released Tuesday by the conservative U.S. Heritage Foundation and “The Wall Street Journal.”

            Their 2009 Index of Economic Freedom around the world rates 179 countries on 10 economic factors like trade barriers, property rights, taxes and market regulations. Armenia is 31st in the rankings, ahead of all other CIS nations and even European Union countries such as France and the Czech Republic. Its overall performance is unchanged from the previous survey released a year ago.

            “Armenia rates significantly higher than the average country in eight of the 10 freedoms,” reads the latest Heritage/WSJ survey. “Commercial regulations are flexible and relatively simple. Low tax rates and moderate government spending contribute to an impressive degree of fiscal freedom. There are few restrictions on foreign investment, and banking is wholly private and well regulated.”

            Its authors noted at the same time that “widespread corruption” and weak protection of property rights continue to hamper economic activity in Armenia. “Although a number of reforms … have been introduced during the past four years, corruption remains a problem in such critical areas as the judiciary, tax and customs operations, health, education, and law enforcement,” they said.

            Local analysts have long treated these largely positive assessments of economic freedom in Armenia with a degree of skepticism. They argue that the Heritage/WSJ surveys focus on the existence of business-related laws and regulations, rather than their enforcement by the government.

            Government connections remain essential for engaging in large-scale economic activity in the country. Some lucrative sectors of its economy have been effectively monopolized by wealthy businesspeople close to the government. And Armenian courts still rarely make decisions going against the will of the executive branch.

            “I think we should not pay too much attention to these ratings because there are much more important indicators that are not being talked about,” said Suren Poghosian, a senior professor at the Yerevan Economics University. “Take the indicator of the competitiveness of the Armenian economy, for example. We have a much more grim picture here.”

            Gagik Aghajanian, the executive director of the Apaven cargo shipment company, pointed to “serious problems” with the enforcement of Armenian laws. “A lot of work needs to be done to ensure that engaging is business is easy and beneficial in this country,” he told RFE/RL. “For example, there is an outflow of capital from Armenia to Georgia, and everyone is aware of that.”

            That Armenia’s investment climate leaves much to be desired is acknowledged by the government and Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian in particular. Speaking at a cabinet meeting last week, Sarkisian pledged to take “radical” measures to improve it. Those, he said, will include a much tougher crackdown on tax evasion by large companies.

            http://www.armenialiberty.org/armeni...2F7FBB4D47.ASP
            Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

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            • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

              Make sure you don't get too free. We did that in NZ, and well...foreign ownership, state asset sell offs. You get the idea.

              Comment


              • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                Iran, Armenia Exchange Views on Connecting Railroad Networks

                TEHRAN (FNA)- Armenian Deputy Minister in Transportations and Connections in a meeting with Iran's Railroad Managing Director conferred and exchanged views on how to connect two countries' railroad networks.

                In the meeting, Hassan Ziari told his Armenian counterpart that the project is among the important ones for both government and nations.

                He added that the total length of the project is around 540 kilometers 480 kilometers of which is in Armenian territory and the other 60 kilometers in Iran, so if the Armenia would complete and put to use its part, Iran, too, would implement its own part in shortest possible time, the Islamic republic news agency reported.

                Ziari also announced Iran's readiness to sell or lend train wagons to Armenia.
                The Armenian Deputy Minister Bulgarian, for his part, said that the technical and financial studies of the project have been completed by Armenian side and the Iranian officials, too, have presented their report on their own study of the matter.

                He added that the final study on the project would be done by an Austrian company which will end the next month.

                On financial sources of the project, Bulgarian said that the Armenian Government would provide 50 percent of the expenses, adding, "We expect Iran to provide 25 percent of the expenses in the framework of an inter-governmental loan."

                http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8710260809

                ~~~~~~

                ARMENIA’S NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: CLOSER TIES WITH IRAN
                Haroutiun Khachatrian 1/15/09


                Plans for ambitious joint infrastructure projects between Armenia and Iran may prove a key first test of President-Elect Barack Obama’s policy intentions toward Tehran and Armenia’s own economic muscle amidst the global economic crisis. Analysts note that international reactions to the projects could prove a bane or blessing.

                On the drawing board are a railroad between Iran and Armenia, an oil pipeline from Iran’s Tabriz refinery to a special terminal to be built in Armenia’s Ararat province, and a hydropower station on the Araks river, which borders the two countries. Bringing Armenian-Iranian trade relations into sync with World Trade Organization requirements is also under consideration, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisian Gevorgian, who co-chairs the Armenian-Iranian intergovernmental commission, told reporters on December 26.

                The Armenian government expects work on the railroad to begin by late 2009, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan told a group of reporters in late December.

                With its Turkish and Azerbaijani borders closed, the projects present a critical chance for Armenia to create alternative routes for supplies and shipping. Its only open land border -- with Georgia -- is considered highly insecure following Georgia’s war with Russia last August.

                Potential financial and political difficulties, however, mean that opinions vary about the projects’ feasibility.

                For now, Armenia appears to be betting that President-Elect Barack Obama’s administration will not attempt to obstruct the projects, commented one Middle East expert in Yerevan. In her January 13 confirmation hearings, Sen. Hillary Clinton (Democrat-New York), Obama’s proposed Secretary of State, told senators that the administration is looking at "a range of possibilities" for a new approach to relations with Tehran.

                "A change in U.S. policy towards Iran was an expected event, and even the outgoing administration of George W. Bush was reported last spring to undertake some rapprochement with Iran . . . ," commented David Hovhannisian, a professor at Yerevan State University and a former Armenian ambassador to Syria.

                "The need for such changes is dictated by the fact that Iran is an important regional player, and many problems -- such as the problems of Iraq, the Middle East, and even the complicated relations of the U.S with Turkey -- make a dialogue between Washington and Iran important," said Hovhannisian, who also is a member of the unofficial Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission.

                Analyst Sergei Shakariants, an expert on geopolitical issues with the Institute of Political Problems, a Yerevan-based think tank, expresses greater skepticism. In the end, he projected, the new U.S. administration may simply opt to continue President George W. Bush’s policy of isolating Iran.

                The Armenian foreign ministry, meanwhile, is keeping its cards to its chest. "Armenia has always been for solving all problems through negotiation and for this reason it positively assesses dialogue between Iran and the U.S," commented spokesperson Tigran Balaian.

                Shakariants believes, however, that Iran’s interest in the projects, and that of Russia and China, will override such concerns. Iran already runs a gas pipeline from Tabriz to Armenia that can handle 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

                "Iran is very interested in the railroad connecting it with Armenia, and further with the Black Sea region, as this will give Tehran an advantage against its competitor in the region, Turkey," he commented. "These ambitions are supported by Russia, and most likely, by China."

                China was invited to take part in construction of the Iran-Armenia railroad during a December 15-19, 2008, visit by an Armenian parliamentary delegation to China. Beijing is reportedly considering the proposal, according to parliament.

                Finding such investors is critical to the projects, noted Noyan Tapan news agency analyst David Petrosyan. The railroad, with a total price tag of between $1.5 and $2 billion, would cut shortly into Armenia’s budget amidst the global economic downturn. The entire 2009 budget is $2.38 billion, and the government faces difficulty collecting even these revenues under the current economic crisis, the analyst believed. The pipeline from Tabriz is estimated to run another $200-$240 million, squeezing the budget still further.

                Under the terms of the agreement, Iran and Armenia would split the projects’ overall cost.

                In a December 29 interview with local reporters, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan stated that the Asian Development Bank has provided a $1 million grant to perform feasibility studies for the railroad project. Private investors, he claimed, have also expressed interest in it. "The government is ready to allocate its money for this railroad, and the participation of other governments and private investors is also possible," Sargsyan said. He did not elaborate.

                At the same time, the government is keeping a sharp eye on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s January 29 vote on whether or not Armenia has met two resolutions related to the March 2008 crackdown on opposition protestors. A decision that Armenia has not met the requirements, which could cost Armenia its PACE voting powers, may impact Yerevan’s ability to attract outside investors to the Iranian projects, said analyst Petrosyan.

                While many investors may find the PACE vote no serious obstacle, such concerns now run common. In late December, National Assembly Chairperson Hovik Abrahamian appealed to the parliamentary heads of other Council of Europe member states about the vote, saying that a vote against Armenia "will be an additional and serious pressure on the country’s economy by decreasing [the] trust of foreign investors."

                Editor's Note: Haroutiun Khachatrian is an editor at the Noyan Tapan news agency in Yerevan.

                http://www.eurasianet.org/department...v011509a.shtml
                Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

                Comment


                • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                  Not purely economic news, but yet another sign of positive development, which always influences the econonomy I guess

                  Armenia, France sign agreement on cooperation in science

                  YEREVAN, January 21. /ARKA/. The RA Ministry of Education and Science and the National Center of Scientific Researches of France (Centre National des Rechercher Scientifiques – CNRS) signed an agreement on cooperation in Paris, ARKA News Agency was told at the Armenian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

                  The Armenian side was represented by Chairman of State Commission of Science Samvel Harutyunyan, and the French side was represented by CNRS President Catherine Bréchignac and Director General of the Centre Arnold Migus.

                  The agreement is aimed at improving bilateral cooperation in the field of science.

                  The agreement provides for exchanging scientists of the two countries, implementation of joint scientific and research programs, organization of joints scientific conferences and seminars. CNRS means for international cooperation will be used for these aims, including international programs on scientific cooperation, joint international labs and international scientific and research groups. The programs will be implemented by means of the two sides.

                  At the meeting before signing the agreement the sides expressed satisfaction with bilateral scientific cooperation between the two countries over a long period of time.

                  The sides attached most importance to the sectors of molecular physics, chemistry, mathematics, humanities and social sciences.

                  At the meeting before signing the agreement the sides expressed satisfaction with bilateral scientific cooperation between the two countries over a long period of time.

                  The sides attached most importance to the sectors of molecular physics, chemistry, mathematics, humanities and social sciences.

                  CNRS is a state scientific and research organization under Ministry of Education and Science of France. The Centers works include all sectors of science and technologies. G. S. –0--


                  http://www.arka.am/eng/science/2009/01/21/12801.html

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                  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                    “CRISIS WILL NOT CREATE MASS UNEMPLOYMENT IN ARMENIA,” EXPERT SAYS

                    In recent period the topic of world financial-economic crisis and its impact on Armenia has been much spoken about. Public is more concerned with the previsions of mass unemployment.

                    What do our experts think of it? Anahit Melqumyan of the Yerevan State Economic University told to Panorama.am that the impact of the crisis will not be as deeper as some people think.

                    “The impact of the crisis can not be so deep to create mass unemployment as it does in other countries. Of course, Armenian market is a part of it, but it is not a big one and we are not so much integrated into it. Besides we have learnt to keep ourselves in the years of blockade,” she said.

                    What are the aspects the crisis can have its impact of unemployment? Melqumyan says that it has had already its impact on mining (Kapan, Agarak and Lori) and in chemistry (Nairit). According to her probably construction, real estate will be also damaged.

                    The economist says that transparency in tax service could contribute to ease the tension of the crisis. She says she is sure that the measures taken by the Government bodies will improve the situation.

                    Comment


                    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                      Armenian Government Braces for Council of Europe Sanctions
                      Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 13January 21, 2009 11:27 AM Age: 1 daysCategory: Eurasia Daily Monitor, Armenia, Foreign Policy By: Emil Danielyan
                      The Council of Europe looks set to impose embarrassing sanctions on Armenia over its failure to release dozens of opposition activists arrested following the February 2008 presidential election. The move would deal a massive blow to the credibility of the Armenian government’s assurances that its post-election crackdown on the opposition was a legitimate response to a coup attempt rather than unbridled repression.

                      The Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) in particular have been at the forefront of international criticism of the crackdown, which involved mass arrests and the bloody suppression on March 1 of non-stop opposition demonstrations in Yerevan against alleged vote rigging. At least eight civilians and two police officers were killed and more than 150 others wounded in the worst street violence in Armenian history. The administrations of the controversially elected President Serzh Sarkisian and his predecessor Robert Kocharyan have defended the use of deadly force against the protesters, saying that the opposition led by the country’s first President Levon Ter-Petrosian had attempted to stage a coup d’etat. The opposition denies the government claims and says the authorities resorted to “slaughter” to enforce what it sees as fraudulent election results that gave the victory to Sarkisian.

                      In two resolutions on the Armenian crisis adopted in April and June 2008, the PACE demanded that the authorities immediately release all opposition members arrested on “seemingly artificial and politically motivated charges,” restore civil liberties, and allow an independent inquiry into the March 1 clashes. It warned that failure to do so would result in the suspension of the voting rights of the PACE’s Armenian members. The Strasbourg-based assembly has repeatedly extended its deadlines for Yerevan’s compliance with the resolutions, prompting opposition allegations that the West was too lenient toward the ruling regime and not necessarily interested in democratic change in Armenia.

                      Opposition leaders argue that most of the more than 100 Ter-Petrosian loyalists arrested in the wake of the disputed election have still not been released. Among those remaining in jail are Ter-Petrosian’s election campaign manager and former Foreign Minister Aleksandr Arzumanian and three influential members of parliament. They, along with three other opposition figures, went on a collective trial on December 19, accused of organizing “mass riots accompanied by murders” in order to “usurp state authority by force.” The authorities refrained from arresting and bringing similar charges against Ter-Petrosian, despite their earlier claims that the charismatic ex-president was the mastermind of the coup plot. This only raised more questions about the official version of the post-election events.

                      The high-profile trial started two days after the PACE’s Monitoring Committee described the jailed oppositionists as “political prisoners” for the first time and urged the 47-nation assembly to impose the threatened sanctions on Yerevan at its winter session scheduled for January 26 to 30. A new draft resolution on Armenia submitted by the committee to the PACE and posted on the Council of Europe’s website (www.coe.int) on December 18 decries the fact that a “significant number” of those oppositionists have been given prison sentences solely on the basis of police testimony. It also sees “strong indications” that the coup charges leveled against the most prominent of the detainees are politically motivated.

                      The proposed resolution was welcomed by Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) alliance but rejected as unfair by the Sarkisian administration, which insists that there are no political prisoners in Armenia. Sarkisian has so far resisted domestic and Western calls to declare a general amnesty for all jailed oppositionists, a face-saving solution favored even by some government loyalists. The president has been willing to pardon only those oppositionists who admit their guilt. To date only a dozen Ter-Petrosian supporters have asked him for clemency and regained their freedom. Approximately 60 others remain behind bars.

                      Sarkisian and other Armenian officials made last-ditch efforts to avert PACE sanctions during a visit to Yerevan on January 15 by the Monitoring Committee’s two Armenia rapporteurs, John Prescott and Georges Colombier. Official Armenian sources gave few details of the talks. Sarkisian was only quoted by his office as reaffirming his “determination to implement the provisions of the [PACE] resolutions” (Statement by the presidential press service, January 15). Prescott and Colombier avoided any contact with the local media in the Armenian capital. Judging from what some pro-government politicians and media said the next day, their one-day trip was hardly fruitful for the authorities in Yerevan. In a January 16 editorial, the daily Hayots Ashkhar accused the PACE of blackmailing the Armenian government and “blatantly interfering” in the country’s internal affairs.

                      Throughout its more 50-year history the PACE rarely has frozen the voting rights of parliamentarians representing a particular member state. Such action was most recently taken against Russia in 2000 over its renewed military campaign in Chechnya. Moscow went to great lengths to have the Council of Europe repeal it a year later. For a much smaller and more vulnerable country like Armenia, PACE sanctions would be an even greater embarrassment.

                      Yet, the Armenian leadership seems prepared to endure such embarrassment for the sake of keeping its political opponents at bay. From its perspective, as damaging as the continued imprisonment of some of Ter-Petrosian’s most influential associates may be for Yerevan’s international reputation, it significantly reduces the risk of another opposition push for power. Sarkisian clearly sees a bigger threat to his hard-won rule emanating from men like Arzumanian and the three opposition lawmakers than from Strasbourg.

                      Taken from Jamestown Foundation's Eurasia Daily Monitor
                      Exactly what kind of sanctions?

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