Senior EBRD delegation visits Armenia

By Christopher  Booth

A high-level delegation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is in Armenia this week for consultations with the country’s leadership and key members of civil society on the Bank’s new three-year Country Strategy for Armenia.

Led by Jan Fischer, Vice-President, Operational Policies and Paul-Henri Forestier, Director, Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus, the EBRD team will meet the President of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsian; Prime Minister Tigran Sargsian; the Minister of Economy and EBRD Governor Tigran Davtyan; and other cabinet members.

The delegation will also hold discussions with representatives of various political parties, leading figures from the business world, staff of non-governmental organisations and think-tanks, as well as members of the diplomatic community and representatives of other international financial institutions.

The new country strategy for Armenia is expected to be approved in early 2012 for a three-year period (2012-15).

The EBRD delegation will take stock of the current state of the economic, political and social development of Armenia, discuss the country’s mid-term reform priorities and assess how the EBRD can assist Armenia in its transition to a market-based economy.

Among the areas for discussion will be support for small and medium-sized businesses in Armenia in the upcoming strategy period, especially in the agricultural and high value-added sectors. The development of the financial sector will remain a priority for the EBRD, as well as reforms in the municipal sector and addressing energy efficiency.

The EBRD began operations in Armenia in 1992. To date it has invested over €450 million in more than 100 projects.

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The EBRD, owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, is supporting the development of market economies and democracies in countries from central Europe to central Asia.