Reconstruction and Development Agency of Armenia

Saturday 20 January, 2018
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High-tech Development


Introduction: Armenia

Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. During World War I in the western portion of Armenia, Ottoman Turkey instituted a policy of genocide that resulted in an estimated 1,5 million Armenian deaths. The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920. Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also a significant portion of Azerbaijan proper. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution. Turkey closed the common border with Armenia in 1994 because of the Armenian separatists' control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas, further hampering Armenian economic growth. However, in 2009 senior Armenian leaders began pursuing rapprochement with Turkey, which could result in the border reopening.


Geography: Armenia

Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey

Geographic coordinates:
40 00 N, 45 00 E

total: 29,743 sq km
country comparison to the world: 142
land: 28,203 sq km
water: 1,540 sq km

Land boundaries:
total: 1,254 km
border countries: Azerbaijan-proper 566 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 221 km, Georgia 164 km, Iran 35 km, Turkey 268 km

highland continental, hot summers, cold winters

Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Araks River valley

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Debed River 400 m
highest point: Aragats 4,090 m

Natural resources:
small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, bauxite

Land use:
arable land: 16.78%
permanent crops: 2.01%
other: 81.21% (2005)

Irrigated land:
2,860 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards:
occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts

Geography - note:
landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range

People: Armenia

2,967,004 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137

Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.2% (male 289,119/female 252,150)
15-64 years: 71.1% (male 986,764/female 1,123,708)
65 years and over: 10.6% (male 122,996/female 192,267) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 31.9 years
male: 29.1 years
female: 34.7 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.03% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205

Birth rate:
12.65 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161

Death rate:
8.39 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97

Net migration rate:
-4.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159

urban population: 64% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: -0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.141 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 20.21 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 104
male: 24.97 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.68 years
country comparison to the world: 118
male: 69.06 years
female: 76.81 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.36 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201

noun: Armenian(s)
adjective: Armenian

Ethnic groups:
Armenian 97.9%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.3%, Russian 0.5%, other 0.3% (2001 census)

Armenian Apostolic 94.7%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (monotheist with elements of nature worship) 1.3%

Armenian 97.7%, Yezidi 1%, Russian 0.9%, other 0.4% (2001 census)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.4%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.2% (2001 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2006)

Education expenditures:
3.2% of GDP (2001)
country comparison to the world: 139

Government: Armenia

Coat of arms
Coat of arms

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Armenia
conventional short form: Armenia
local long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun
local short form: Hayastan

Government type:

name: Yerevan
geographic coordinates: 40 10 N, 44 30 E
time difference: UTC+4
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

21 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 21 September (1991)


adopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995; amendments adopted through a nationwide referendum 27 November 2005

Legal system:
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

18 years of age; universal

Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange; the color red recalls the blood shed for liberty, blue the Armenian skies as well as hope, and orange the land and the courage of the workers who farm it

Economy: Armenia

Economy - overview:
After several years of double-digit economic growth, Armenia is facing a severe economic recession with GDP declining at least 15% in 2009, despite large loans from multilateral institutions. Sharp declines in the construction sector and workers' remittances, particularly from Russia, are the main reasons for the downturn. Under the old Soviet central planning system, Armenia developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics, in exchange for raw materials and energy. Armenia has since switched to small-scale agriculture and away from the large agroindustrial complexes of the Soviet era. Armenia has managed to reduce poverty, slash inflation, stabilize its currency, and privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia had made progress in implementing some economic reforms, including privatization, price reforms, and prudent fiscal policies, but geographic isolation, a narrow export base, and pervasive monopolies in important business sectors have made Armenia particularly vulnerable to the sharp deterioration in the global economy and the economic downturn in Russia. The conflict with Azerbaijan over the ethnic Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh contributed to a severe economic decline in the early 1990s and Armenia's borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan remain closed. Armenia is particularly dependent on Russian commercial and governmental support and most key Armenian infrastructure is Russian-owned and/or managed, especially in the energy sector. The electricity distribution system was privatized in 2002 and bought by Russia's RAO-UES in 2005. Construction of a pipeline to deliver natural gas from Iran to Armenia was completed in December 2008 but it is unlikely significant quantities of gas will flow through it until the Yerevan Thermal Power Plant renovation is completed in 2010. Armenia has some mineral deposits (copper, gold, bauxite). Pig iron, unwrought copper, and other nonferrous metals are Armenia's highest valued exports. Armenia's severe trade imbalance has been offset somewhat by international aid, remittances from Armenians working abroad, and foreign direct investment. Armenia joined the WTO in January 2003. The government made some improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures have been ineffective and the current economic downturn has led to a sharp drop in tax revenue and forced the government to accept large loan packages from Russia, the IMF, and other international financial institutions. Armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms in order to regain economic growth and improve economic competitiveness and employment opportunities, especially given its economic isolation from two of its nearest neighbors, Turkey and Azerbaijan

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$16.24 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
$18.97 billion (2008 est.)
$17.76 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$8.714 billion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
-14.4% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 210
6.8% (2008 est.)
13.8% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$5,500 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
$6,400 (2008 est.)
$6,000 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 22.5%
industry: 43.5%
services: 34.1% (2009 est.)

Labor force:
1.481 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 46.2%
industry: 15.6%
services: 38.2% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate:
7.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66

Population below poverty line:
26.5% (2006 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
38.4% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7

revenues: $1.923 billion
expenditures: $2.484 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.4% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
9% (2008 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
NA% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 58
7.25% (2 December 2008)
note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy instrument of the Armenian National Bank

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
18.76% (31 December 2009 )
country comparison to the world: 34
17.05% (31 December 2008 )

Stock of money:
$1.359 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 103
$1.507 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:
$1.98 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 100
$1.256 billion (31 December 2007)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 111
$176 million (31 December 2008)
$105 million (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:
fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock

diamond-processing, metal-cutting machine tools, forging-pressing machines, electric motors, tires, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk fabric, chemicals, trucks, instruments, microelectronics, jewelry manufacturing, software development, food processing, brandy

Industrial production growth rate:
-12% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150

Current account balance:
-$1.321 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
-$1.355 billion (2008 est.)

$714 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159
$1.124 billion (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:
pig iron, unwrought copper, nonferrous metals, diamonds, mineral products, foodstuffs, energy

Exports - partners:
Germany 16.47%, Russia 15.45%, US 9.64%, Bulgaria 8.6%, Georgia 7.57%, Netherlands 7.48%, Belgium 6.71%, Canada 4.91% (2009)

$2.72 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
$3.763 billion (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:
natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds

Imports - partners:
Russia 24.02%, China 8.72%, Ukraine 6.15%, Turkey 5.39%, Germany 5.36%, Iran 4.07% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$2.003 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
$1.407 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$4.47 billion (30 June 2009)
country comparison to the world: 106
$3.449 billion (31 December 2008)

Communications: Armenia

Telephones - main lines in use:
650,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 91

Telephones - mobile cellular:
2.336 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 120

Telephone system:
general assessment: telecommunications investments have made major inroads in modernizing and upgrading the outdated telecommunications network inherited from the Soviet era; now 100% privately owned and undergoing modernization and expansion; mobile-cellular services monopoly terminated in late 2004 and a second provider began operations in mid-2005, third - in the fall of 2009
domestic: reliable modern fixed-line and mobile-cellular services are available across Yerevan in major cities and towns; significant but ever-shrinking gaps remain in mobile-cellular coverage in rural areas
international: country code - 374; Yerevan is connected to the Trans-Asia-Europe fiber-optic cable through Iran; additional international service is available by microwave radio relay and landline connections to the other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, through the Moscow international switch, and by satellite to the rest of the world; satellite earth stations - 3 (2007)

Broadcast media:
2 public television networks operating alongside more than 40 privately-owned television stations that provide local to near nationwide coverage; major Russian broadcast stations are widely available; subscription cable TV services are available in most regions; Public Radio of Armenia is a national, state-run broadcast network that operates alongside about 20 privately-owned radio stations; several major international broadcasters are available (2008)

Internet country code:

Internet hosts:
65,279 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 84

Internet users:
191,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 138

Transportation: Armenia

11 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 153

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 10
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

gas 2,233 km (2009)

total: 845 km
country comparison to the world: 99
broad gauge: 845 km 1.520-m gauge (818 km electrified)
note: some lines are out of service (2008)

total: 8,888 km
country comparison to the world: 138
paved: 7,079 km (includes 1,561 km of expressways)
unpaved: 1,809 km (2008)

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