UCLA Conference on Sustainable Development in Armenia

LOS ANGELES–The University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) will host an international conference titled "Armenia: Challenges of Sustainable Development," on Saturday–May 6–from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. in the Court of Sciences 50 (Young Hall). The conference–featuring specialists in economics–finance–and governance–is dedicated to UCLA Professor Emeritus of Economics–Armen A. Alchian–a world-renowned economist and teacher who was born in Fresno in 1914 and has been a member of the UCLA faculty since 1946.

The conference is organized by the Armenian Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA and the Armenian International Policy Research Group (AIPRG)–with support from the UCLA Von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies and the Department of Economics. AEF Chair Holder Richard Hovannisian will open the morning session with introductory commen’s on "The Economic Factor," followed by the presentation of Professor Alchian and his contributions to economic theory by a similarly distinguished Professor of Economics–Harold Demsetz.

Enrique Gelband–Deputy Division Chief and former Mission Chief to Armenia of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)–will give the keynote address on "Growth and Poverty Reduction in Armenia: Achievemen’s and Challenges," the title of his recent book published by the IMF. A panel discussion on the subject will be moderated by UCLA Professor of Economics Michael Intriligator and include William Ascher–McKenna Professor of Government and Economics at Claremont McKenna College; Daniel Mazmanian–Director of the Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise at the University of Southern California; and Ara Khanjian–Professor of Economics at Ventura College.

The Saturday afternoon session moderated by Professor Lee Ohanian of the UCLA Department of Economics focuses on specific topics relating to Armenia’s economic development. David Grigorian of the IMF will speak on "Tax Potential versus Tax Effort: Factors behind the Stubbornly Low Tax Collection in Armenia"; Bryan Roberts of the Department of Homeland Security–"Remittances–Poverty–and Growth in Armenia"; and Nerses Yeritsyan–Central Bank of Armenia–"Financial Sector Development in Armenia: Problems and Challenges." A discussion period will conclude the afternoon session.

Richard Hovannisian stated: "I am pleased that after sixteen wonderful semi-annual conferences on Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces–we shifted the focus to contemporary issues in 2005 with ‘The Enduring Legacy of the Armenian Genocide’ and ‘Three Turkish Voices on the Armenian Question.’ Now–for the first conference of 2006–the economic and fiscal challenges facing the Republic of Armenia will be addressed. I am thankful to David Grigorian for arranging much of the program–especially as Ascher–Khanjian–Roberts–Yeritsyan–and Grigorian are also associated with AIPRG. The subject of this conference is of critical importance to Armenia and all those concerned with the welfare of its people."

The conference is open to the public and free of charge. Parking is available in Structure 2 at the Hilgard and Westholme Avenue entrance to UCLA. A map of the UCLA campus can be found at the web site: www.ucla.edu/map or the UCLA Armenian Studies web site at www.uclaarmenian.org. For additional information–e-mail Richard Hovannisian at Hovannis@history.ucla.edu or David Grigorian at aiprg.conference@armpolicyresearch.org.

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