July 13, 2011

More Information to Accompany the Forbes Economic Ranking of Armenia as '2nd Worst'

In the first week of July, when outdoor café populations are blooming and tourist season is in full swing in Yerevan, Armenia was announced by Forbes magazine, as second worst out of 177 economies in the world. Click here for the full article. Forbes is a biweekly American business magazine. Ratings for this list were based on ‘three-year average statistics for gross domestic product growth and inflation,’ IMF estimates for 2012, and ‘whether the country is importing more than it exports.’

This is the second year of the World’s Worst Economies list publication. The Armenian media cite the global economic crisis as the harbinger for low ratings, since its effects hit the country fully only several years ago. Hence, a swing of the Armenia’s average numbers in a more negative direction for the Forbes’s evaluation.

2010
2011
Zimbabwe
Madagascar
Democratic Republic of Congo
Armenia
Guinea
Guinea
Sierra Leone
Ukraine
Nicaragua
Jamaica
Burundi
Venezuela
Eritrea
Kyrgyzstan
Liberia
Swaziland
Ghana
Nicaragua
Madagascar
Iran
Though Georgia and Azerbaijan were on neither list for better comparisons, more comprehensive world lists give a slightly different picture. This is the case for the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation’s 2010 Economy Ranking. In this list of 183 countries, Armenia, at 48, ranks above Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, and even Turkey.

Transparency International was referenced in the Forbes article through its Global Corruption Perception Index. This citation’s relevance is founded within the claim that suffering economies often face the issue of internal corruption. Ironically enough, Forbes did not specifically mention Armenian corruption factors, despite its 2.6 score.

Corruption Perceptions Index Results: Transparency International (1-10 scale, 10 = least corruption)

Armenia
Azerbaijan
Georgia
Turkey
Iran
Russia
2.4
2.6
3.8
4.4
2.2
2.1
For Armenia, the factor of corruption is being surveyed and measured through different outlets. Here is Life In Transition: Country Assessments section for more information on Armenia by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Such progress is evidenced when in April Armenia was commended by the International Monetary Funds (IMF) Executive Board for ‘continued implementation of sound policies’ for previous awarded monies that had ‘helped underpin a steady recovery from the global financial crisis.’ These words of encouragement came while announcing a disbursement of aid whose sum totaled close to US$60 million. Click here for full article.
As early as October 2010 the IMF had reported an economic growth in Armenia of at least 4% despite it having high imports, which in large part was attributed to an economic upturn in Russian. (Click here for full article.)
In the end, such information surrounding the Armenian struggle for stability, however disheartening, does come with reassuring predictions if one digs a bit deeper. While organizations such as CRRC and its international counterparts readily work to improve the Armenian situation, the move towards better yearend results in the future will be slow, but rest assured steady.

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