Competitive?: Report puts Armenia 79 of 117 countries

For the first time since publication began in 1979, the Global Competitiveness Report has included Armenia in its 2005-2006 edition.

The Armenian portion of the report was prepared by the Economy and Value Research Center whose president, Manuk Hergnyan, presented the results yesterday at the Armenia Marriott hotel.

The index, which ranks preconditions for economic growth, places Armenia 79th of 117 countries. Of other Commonwealth of Independent States, Armenia trails Kazkahstan (61st) and Azerbaijan (69th). Armenia placed only four positions behind Russia and is ahead of former Soviet countries Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Finland tops the list, followed by the United States. Chad is at the bottom.

While preparing the report the countries’ technological problems, state public institutes (implementation of law and productivity of contract relations), macro and micro economic indices, business competitiveness, level of development and other issues have been taken into account, each of which has a separate index table. (Armenia is, for example, 94th in the technological index.)

Participants to the presentation voiced concern that Armenia trails Azerbaijan in competitiveness (it leads only one category over its foe, corruption).

Hergnyan says it is to be expected that Armenia would trail its neighbor and enemy in macroeconomics, because the Azeri state budget enjoys oil revenues. The researcher is troubled, however, that Armenia is behind in business environment, public institutes and technological development.

“Azerbaijan has provided stability not only by means of oil dollars but has also created better conditions for business,” Hergnyan said.

The Report is prepared by the World Economic Forum ( non-profit international organization based in Geneva. The organization is known also for organizing the annual summit of political and economic leaders in Davos.