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June 19, 2002

ACNIS Convenes Expert Roundtable on
Economic Challenges

"Obstacles to the Establishment and
Development of the Armenian Economy"

Yerevan—Government officials and members of Parliament, noted businessmen and university professors, and representatives of NGOs and international organizations gathered today at the main conference facility of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) for a specialized seminar on the vital challenge of establishing and developing the Armenian economy.

ACNIS founder Raffi K. Hovannisian opened the meeting with words of welcome and wished the 50 participants from the state, academic, non-governmental, and private sectors "a productive brainstorming."

Mr. Mikayel Melkoumian, the deputy minister for State Property Management, addressed "Armenia's National Strategy of Economic Reforms and Its Initial Results." "There are certain positive shifts as conditioned by a flexible state policy," he asserted.

Professor Haik Sargsian, dean of Yerevan State University's department of economics and a member of the National Citizens' Initiative coordinating council, presented the points of departure for today's economic development in Armenia. He opined in particular, "Unless we have a precise overview of the real state of the economy in both internal and external sectors, we shall encounter serious uncertainties in the long term."

Mr. Artak Arakelian of the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs' Union surveyed real-life obstacles to the establishment and development of the Armenian economy.

The formal presentations stimulated questions from the audience and a robust exchange among the other deputy minister for State Property Management, Mr. Ashot Markosian; prime ministerial adviser Mr. Ararat Gomtsian; Mr. Hovsep Seferian of the Armenian Businessmen's Forum; Member of Parliament Vardan Mkrtchian; Professor Toros Torosian of Yerevan State University's economics department; Ms. Tsolvard Gevorgian of the Armenian Merchants' Union; Mr. Grigor Ghazarian of the Armenian Development Agency; Mr. Hrach Hakobian of the National Citizens' Initiative; and many others. ACNIS research director Professor Tatoul Manasserian moderated the discussions and closed the day's policy session.

Founded in 1994 by Armenia's first Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi Hovannisian and supported by the Lincy Foundation and a global network of contributors, ACNIS serves as a link between innovative scholarship and the public policy challenges facing Armenia and the Armenian people in the post-Soviet world. It also aspires to be a catalyst for creative, strategic thinking and a wider understanding of the new global environment. In 2002, the Center focuses increasingly on public outreach, civic education, and applied research on critical public and foreign policy issues for the state and the nation.

For further information, please call (37410) 27-16-00 or 52-87-80; fax (37410) 52-48-46; e-mail root@acnis.am.

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