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 Thursday, May 18 2017 13:09

Naira Badalyan

Armenia is intended to continue the cooperation with IMF and WB within the framework of implementation of new program reforms

Armenia is intended to continue the cooperation with IMF and WB within the framework of implementation of new program reforms

ArmInfo

Armenia is intended to continue tight cooperation with International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) within the purpose of implementation of programs on economu reforms and social aspects. This was stated in the interview to ArmInfo by Vardan Aramyan, who accentuated that the close cooperation between Armenia and IMF and WB has a permanent and ongoing character, the programs are pretty various and are aimed at reforms in many sectors.  According to the Minister, in the case of IMF this is the 3-4 year agenda under the framework of EFF and EFC.

The current  project support  of IMF under EFF in Armenia will be completed in  June this year. But Armenian Government hopes that the cooperation with the fund will not stop. The willing to cooperate might not be described by  restricted financial resources of the country or by the wish to refill currency reserve of Central Bank:  from this point of view Armenia is in a  good condition. According to Aramyan, the key moment  of expected agenda on  cooperation is securing of reforms conducted to be consequent.  At the same time, in 2017 This Country Partnership Strategy three year  program of Armenian coioperation with  World bank will also finish in 2017.  According to the Minister of Finance, Armenia hopes for further support in this aspect also. " We will ask to prolong the program for one  year more, because  the portfolio proposed for Armenia is not utilized fully yet," the Minister stated.

Meanwhile, the Senior Economist of WB Armenia Office Gohar Gyulumyan earlier informed  that currently the World Bank does not have plans to provide budet support lending before the approval of the new  Country Partnership Strategy by the WB Board of Directors in May/June 2018. She noted that the project of the new strategic program for Armenia, which will define reasonability and need of using various credit instruments will be ready in May 2017 at best and hopefully will be approved by the Board of Directors in June. Answering to ArmInfo's correspondent's question Gyulumyan noted that there is no schedule of providing new loans to Armenia and suggested not worrying about that as budgetary loans are being provided to the country not only from the World Bank but also the Eurasian Development Bank, Asian Development Bank and other international donors. "We hope that there will be no force- majeure situation in Armenia and the country will not seriously deviate from macroeconomic scenario and there will be no need for urgent help from the WB", she said.  At the same time the economist considered satisfactory the results of the implementation of loan programs in Armenia: "All the legislative amendments and planned events including the new Tax Code should ensure higher incomes for Armenia", the representative of WB stated. Meanwhile, the new Tax Code has sparked large discussions and discontent by the business community which considered the document as regressive and not assisting the goals of economy development. Armenia had to adopt the Code as a precondition for receiving regular tranche from IMF.  In overall Armenia,which became member of WB in 1992 and member of International Development Association in 1993, has received $2.3 bln.  At this background it should be recalled that Armenia's aggregate state debt will reach 54.6% of GDP by the end of the year. Already in 2017, according to the forecasts of Armenia's Finance Ministry the figure will reach 56.1%. In the structure of the government debt the main lenders to Armenia are International Development Association -38.8% of the debt and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development-15.8%, which are parts of the World Bank.  To recall, the World Bank basing on the data for Jan-Oct sharply downgraded GDP forecast for Armenia to zero. Earlier in January the bank forecasted 2.2% GDP growth, 2.5% in March. On June 17 WB Country Manager for Armenia Laura Bailey stated that the bank forecasts 1.9% growth of economy for the country.  In the latest official document of WB the forecast on Armenia's GDP was 3.1%.

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