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Mr. Christian H. Beddies, Mr. Enrique A Gelbard, Mr. James McHugh, Ms. Laure Redifer, and Mr. Garbis Iradian

Abstract

Since 2000, Armenia's economic performance has been remarkable. Real economic growth has averaged 11 percent a year, annual inflation has averaged 3 percent, and poverty and inequality have fallen. The country has outperformed other low-income countries including other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. This is particularly impressive given the geographical location of Armenia, the closure of two critical borders, and occasional political turmoil. The key factors behind Armenia's economic performance are prudent monetary and fiscal policies, liberal trade and foreign exchange regimes, rapid and relaively well-sequenced structural reforms, and support from the Armenian diaspora. In addition, the implementation of a poverty reduction strategy since 2002 has complemented the effect of economic growth on reducing poverty. This book assesses the country's economic transformation during the last 10 years and discusses the challenges to sustaining these successes.

Mr. Christian H. Beddies, Mr. Enrique A Gelbard, Mr. James McHugh, Ms. Laure Redifer, and Mr. Garbis Iradian

services and public investment. This would generate additional tax revenues to ensure fiscal sustainability and help finance growth-enhancing public expenditures. As envisaged in the PRSP, rural and regional imbalances will have to be mitigated and the government will need to devote more resources to these areas as well as to strengthening the public infrastructure. Lastly, Armenia’s economic potential lies with an export-led development growth process, and further integration with its neighbors and main trading partners should be a priority. Such potential will only be

Mr. Christian H. Beddies, Mr. Enrique A Gelbard, Mr. James McHugh, Ms. Laure Redifer, and Mr. Garbis Iradian

judicial system. Improved transparency and reduced corruption in the public sector and in the judicial system will be essential to encourage efficient investments, foster growth, and contribute to a more equitable distribution of income. Political will, more than technical assistance, will be required to address these challenges. Armenia’s economic potential lies in an export-led development growth process, and further integration with its neighbors and main trading partners should remain a top priority. Such potential will be realized when the barriers to regional