Middle East and Central Asia

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Maria Atamanchuk and Kiichi Tokuoka
In Armenia, both external and domestic financing face challenges. Armenia’s share of inward foreign direct investment (FDI) in private external financing has declined significantly over the past decade. Access to domestic finance in Armenia is also moderate and masks important disparities. Against this background, this paper analyses the determinants of inward FDI and examines the impediments to increasing access to domestic finance. The paper confirms empirically that governance-related structural factors have a significant impact on inward FDI. Similar structural factors, informality and poor accounting practices are reported among major challenges for increasing access to finance for firms in Armenia. This paper finds that to improve financing in Armenia include: implementing structural reforms to improve the business environment, maintaining prudent macroeconomic policies, strengthening financial reporting, and improving financial inclusion through reduced informality in the economy.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The economy has maintained a strong momentum, driven by robust consumption and a surge in inflows of income, capital, business, and labor. Inflation has increased markedly due to the sharp rise in food and energy prices and the booming economy, but proactive monetary policy tightening and GDP growth deceleration are projected to bring inflation down in 2023. While robust growth should continue over the medium-term, uncertainty is elevated and downside risks are significant due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, global financial tightening, slowdown in major trading partners, and high food and energy prices. Structural challenges also remain, including high unemployment, weak business environment, and low productivity growth.
Klakow Akepanidtaworn, Lili Karapetyan, Nathalie Reyes, and Ms. Yulia Ustyugova
Raising Armenia’s long-term growth prospects is critical to meet the pressing need for jobs, achieve higher living standards, and arrest emigration. Armenia’s long-term growth prospects have weakened since the global COVID-19 crisis, while recent global and regional the geopolitical developments added new shocks. This paper argues that there is a need to boost the potential of the tradable sector by focusing on products with higher complexity to sustainably increase Armenia’s growth rate. It provides an overview of Armenia’s export performance, analyzes factors and policy valuables that affect export outcomes in terms of volumes and composition, and draws policy implications.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Armenia’s economy has been hit hard by twin shocks: the COVID-19 pandemic (now in its second wave), and the recent military hostilities involving the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict zone. Reflecting these shocks, growth is expected at -7¼ percent this year, with the fiscal deficit and debt rising considerably. Nonetheless, the authorities have responded promptly with healthcare and anti-crisis measures to limit the pandemic’s impact while protecting vulnerable groups and safeguarding macroeconomic stability.