HEAD OF CBA: ACCORDING TO INDEX OF ECONOMIC FREEDOM ARMENIA IS IN THE LEAD AGAINST GEORGIA AND AZERBAIJAN AS WELL AS AGAINST OTHER CIS COUNTRIES

ARKA News Agency, Armenia
May 2 2006

YEREVAN, May 2. /ARKA/. According to the index of economic freedom
Armenia is in the lead against Georgia and Azerbaijan as well as
against other CIS countries, as the Head of CBA Tigran Sargsyan stated
during the "Caucasus 2005" international conference.

He emphasized that Armenia has taken the lead over Georgia and
Azerbaijan according to the index of structure and institutional
reforms as well.

"However due to the index of competitive capacity growth Azerbaijan is
in more favorable condition, after it comes Armenia and then Georgia",
he added.

In his words, another specific advantage of Armenia is the quality of
energy supply. "Taking into consideration the fact that the quality of
energy system is one of the main problems of Georgia at the moment
and energy could have become one of the main points of region's
integration into the unified geo-economic area together with ecology",
Sargsyan stated.

He emphasized that, according to the estimates of the EBRD, among CIS
countries Armenia took first place due to conduction of structure and
institutional reforms, after improvement of three indexes, reflecting
privatization of large enterprises, antimonopoly policy and reformation
of banking system.

"Armenia still is in the lead in accordance with the index of economic
freedom", Sargsyan went on emphasizing that among 157 countries Armenia
takes 27th place, Georgia takes 68th place and Azerbaijan - 123th.

However in his words, according to the estimates of the World
Economic Forum, Armenia yields leading positions to Azerbaijan in
the region. "Such estimate was affected by monopolization of the
telecommunication market, low level of cooperation between science
and business, absence of credit rating of the country, as well as
low level of independence of the RA justice system.