Roger Robinson Doesn’t Understand “Armenian Puzzle”


YEREVAN, August 3 (Noyan Tapan). Extensive cooperation of state
structures in the sphere of competition is important, since the
economic growth may decline under the unfavorable competition
environment. Roger Robinson, Director of the Armenian Office of the
World Bank, said about it during the August 3 conference entitled
“Competition Problems in Armenia and Intrastate Cooperation”.

According to Mr. Robinson, researches conducted by the World Bank over
the past four years showed that Armenian businessmen assess the
business environment regulation quality as quite low. Thus, in 2000,
71.5% of responded businessmen considered this to be a problem, in
2001 – 55.5%, in 2002 – 50%, and in 2003 – 60.3%. It is noteworthy
that, in parallel with this, an unprecedented economic growth and
export increase was registered in the country during these years.

R. Robinson called the formed situation the “Armenian puzzle”, which
he is unable to comprehend. According to William E. Cowachek, chief
legal adviser of the US Federal Trade Commission, macro-economic
indices registered during the recent years show that the economic
situation in Armenia is improving. He said that although the State
Committee on Economic Competition Protection was established only
three years ago, Armenia has achieved a noticeable success in this
sphere. He pointed out that the development of the institutional
structures and increasing cooperation between them is of importance in
the sphere of competition. He also noted that it is necessary to
ensure the correct application of the law regulating the competition
and to create a relevant information basis.

According to Hrair Aramian, a member of the Commission, American
specialists visited Armenia with the purpose of sharing their
experience in this sphere.

They will present the mechanisms of cooperation between the intrastate
structures that have been successfully used in the US and the EU
countries. It was also noted that Armenia joined the International
Competition Network whose membership includes more than eighty
countries. The conference was organized by the Trade Law and Economic
Regulation Program of USAID and was aimed at discussing measures to
promote competition in the various spheres of the economy.