Armenia’s economy has become slightly more competitive over the past year thanks to greater government transparency and macroeconomic stability, according to an annual global survey released on Wednesday.
Armenia ranks 82nd in the latest Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) of 144 economies of the world compiled by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF), up from 92nd place it occupied last year and 98th in 2010.
The country still lags behind of all its four neighbors, according to the WEF. Neighboring Azerbaijan and Georgia are 46th and 77th respectively in the annual rankings.
The WEF assigns each of the countries surveyed a GCI score based on a dozen “pillars of competitiveness.” Those include the efficiency of public institutions and the labor market, the macroeconomic environment, financial market sophistication and the quality of public healthcare and education.
Presenting the report in Yerevan, Sevak Hovhannisyan of the EV Consulting firm, the WEF’s partner organization in Armenia, said the improvement shown by the latest report was the result of the ongoing introduction of electronic governance championed by Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan. He also attributed it to the fact that the Armenian government has made the country’s foreign debt more manageable and cut the state budget.
In Hovhannisyan’s words, Armenia’s relatively low position in the rankings reflects lingering problems in the domestic business environment. “Corruption, customs administration, a lack of judicial independence and weak state support for innovation remain serious problems,” he told journalists.