World Bank Delays Disbursement of $15 Million Tranche

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–A senior official of World Bank Yerevan office said the third disbursement of $15 million worth tranche of SAC-4 credit will be transferred to Armenia next month.

He explained that the delay was due to the failure of Armenian tax and customs authorities to meet their targets for the third quarter of the year and low macroeconomic indexes.

Vigen Sarkisian–head of World Bank Armenia press office said the upcoming visit of World Bank regional director for Georgia and Armenia Judy O’Connor has no connection with tranche disbursement.

A fund named "Assistance to enterprises" has been created to support the business activities directed at the development of export and the continuation of the World Bank "Assistance to enterprises fund" program.

Under the corresponding decision of the Armenian government–the Armenian Agency for Development was entitled to participate in the creation of the "Assistance to enterprises" fund and to make investmen’s in Armenia.

Under the 1999-2000 World Bank program–Armenian companies received $1,000,000 as interest-free loans–and 26 organizations received loans totaling $811,000 during those two years.

The experience of extending loans to the Armenian companies without collateral proved that the Armenian financial market is not as risky as it seems to be–said Executive Director of the new fund Artavazd Ghazarian.

Meanwhile–he stated that the repaymen’s of the loans were made with slight deviations from the schedule.

Proceeding from this–the government decided to transfer all the funds of the "Assistance to enterprises fund" to the new company.

A program on "Attracting investmen’s via the Internet" has been submitted to the Dutch government.

Ghazarian said–the program has passed through all stages of regulations. The government will issue a grant of $400,000 in the form of equipment and legal advice after approving the program.

Negotiations with various organizations and donor-banks were conducted to implement credit programs in Armenia.

One of the programs plans to establish an "Offshore Bank" office in Armenia to organize orders of various services (accounting–program issuing–etc.) from the developed countries. International experts will visit Armenia in the near future to establish the office.

Ghazarian also pointed out that the office will probably open in February of 2002 and will create jobs in the provinces as well.

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