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July 15, 2002

ACNIS Hosts Roundtable on Economic Reforms and Prospects

Yerevan—The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) convened today a seminar on “The Experience of Economic Reforms and Prospects.” Representatives of the Armenian government, deputy ministers, national parliamentarians, directors of research institutes, professors and other academicians, officials from international organizations accredited to Armenia, and members of political parties, NGOs, and the media participated in the meeting.

ACNIS research director Dr. Tatoul Manasserian delivered the welcoming address. “From the perspective of four main domains-public and international structures, scientific and business circles-we will focus on past and contemporary economic reforms in Armenia and will try to specify both the problems and the prospects we are facing today,” he said.

The first presenter, economist Gohar Minasian of the IMF’s Yerevan Office, spoke about “The Objectives and Goals of Armenian Economic Reforms.” She introduced several statistical data about the transition period. “The 1990-1993 economic recession of Armenia was twice as much as that encountered by CIS countries in general, which came as a result of the Spitak earthquake, war in Karabagh, and a host of other factors,” she said.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture Samvel Avetisian and prime ministerial advisor Ararat Gomtsian outlined national policy currently pursued in the field of economic reforms. According to Mr. Gomtsian: “In 1991-1997, the government focused mainly on the capital city and thus damaged the economy in provincial life. Today the government is taking firm steps to fill the gaps.” Minister Avetisian stated that the government pays due attention to agriculture, as during the last 12 months 41.6 billion drams worth of assistance has been rendered to farmers nationwide.

Mr. Tigran Jrbashian, executive director of Sed-Marsed consulting company, followed with a survey on “The 21st Century: China’s Golden Economic Era.” “It is amazing that today China is considered as a developing, sometimes even a poorly developed country. China, however, is a superpower with the strongest economic indicators and high levels of production,” he said.

The formal presentations were followed by questions, answers, and a brisk debate among deputy Minister of State Property Ashot Markosian, National Citizens’ Initiative councilmember and economist Dr. Haik Sargsian, World Bank representative Gohar Giulumian, Grigor Ghazarian of the Armenian Development Agency, president Hovsep Seferian of the Armenian Businessmen’s Association, MPs Vazgen Manoukian and Semion Baghdasarian, economist Edward Aghajanov, specialist Edward Tangian, and others.

ACNIS research director Tatoul Manasserian summed up the day’s deliberations.

Founded in 1994 by Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi K. 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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