Donors Review Armenia’s Economic Policy Discuss More Aid

YEREVAN (combined sources)–Representatives of Western donor-states and international finance institutions met in Paris on Monday to review the Armenian government’s economic policy and discuss more aid and loans to Yerevan.

An Armenian government delegation led by Prime Minister Andranik Markarian briefed the donors on Armenia’s poverty reduction strategy. The two-day Paris meeting will discuss the Markarian cabinet’s tentative three-month economic program. Its overall approval by the boards of directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) led to the release of a total of $140 million in fresh loans from the two institutions in late May.

Vahram Nersisiants–chief advisor on economic issues to President Kocharian–will present the government’s investment plans–Deputy Parliament Speaker Tigran Torosian will focus on the government’s efforts to struggle against corruption–Health Minister Ararat Mkrtchian will propose loan programs which will optimize his sector (up to $13 mln) and Finance and Economy Minister Vartan Khachatrian will present the programs aimed at developing the economy and reducing poverty.

Vartan Khachatrian said some 80 representatives from international lending organizations will participate in the Paris meeting.

Before leaving Yerevan–Prime Minister Andranik Markarian reminded that WB and IMF representatives were unsatisfied with program preparation works last October–but as of April-May of this year they have already approved the implementation process–which will help in acquiring newer loans.

According to Markarian–the complete implementation of governmen’s programs aimed at reducing poverty–will help Armenia achieve positive results in Paris or at future donor meetings.

The results of the Armenia Investment Summit in New York were considered positive by the Armenian government–which has supported business projects referred to the Armenian development agency. According to the prime minister–Armenia will receive high ratings and a beneficial position in political and economic negotiations if the delegation presents the programs in a successful manner.

Markarian concluded that all three states of the Transcaucasus should have meetings with the World Bank–however–the fact that Armenia is the first of the three to have meeting clearly states that according to donors–the economic reforms in Armenia have produced better results compared to Azerbaijan and Georgia.

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