ADB President visited Armenia, expanding Partnership
The commitment of the Government to increase transparency in market orientation and governance will contribute to strengthening Armenia's economy's confidence in the right path, says Nacao.
YEREVAN, 2018 On June 13, the President of the Asian Development Bank (TAE) Mr Tacikhiko Nakao met with RA President Armen Sargsyan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan. He also had meetings with Finance Minister Atom Janjughazyan and Agriculture Minister Artur Khachatryan. Within his two-day visit, which, by the way, is his first visit to Armenia, Mr Nacio reaffirmed ADB's readiness to continue the partnership with Armenia.
Mr Nakao congratulated Mr Pashinyan, who recently assumed the office of the Prime Minister, underlining the mandate given by Mr Pashinyan to promote the higher level of competition in the economy and the strengthening of public confidence in public expenditure efficiency. "The commitment of the Government to increase transparency in market orientation and governance will contribute to strengthening Armenia's economy's confidence in the right path," Mr Nacao said.
Mr Nacao praised the impressive economic stability of Armenia in recent years, despite unfavourable external conditions. Economic growth in 2017 reached 7.5 percent, and in the first quarter of 2018 - 9.6 percent, rapidly shifting from 0.2 percent in 2016. Government's commitment to maintaining macroeconomic stability and successful efforts have led to the stabilization of the external public debt / GDP ratio. "Effective macroeconomic management, smart investment in infrastructure and government commitment to eradicate corruption will serve as a basis for further growth in favour of all residents of Armenia," he said.
The ADB-Armenia Partnership Strategy 2019-2023 will be consistent with the goals of Armenia, the expansion of ties in the region, increasing the efficiency of public services and increasing the share of private investments in a competitive economy. ADB's private sector funding already accounts for about fifty percent of new loans, which indicates that partnerships are rapidly developing to address the needs of the country's average income.
Mr Nakao said, "With its strategic position on the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Armenia will have an important role in the global economy. ADB will support Armenia to pursue its development priorities through transformation programs in economic corridors, urban transport and energy, as well as expand ADB's support for education and health. "
ADB will support Armenia's competitiveness through acceleration of the North-South Road Corridor Program, as well as expanding its support for improving the quality of education and health services through the sectoral development program. ADB will also enhance the support provided to the private sector by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, especially export-oriented companies.
During his visit, Mr Nacao visited a number of ADB-supported programs. He visited the greenhouse facilities of Spayka, outside Yerevan, which received USD 32.5 million non-sovereign credit this year. As a result of expanding the production of vegetables for Russia and the United Arab Emirates, more than 275 full-time jobs will be created. Most Armenian exporters use ADB financing to upgrade their travel time and expenses, which contributes to the growth of Armenian producers' revenues.
Mr Nacaio also visited the school N 68 after Mushegh Mkhoyan, which will be reconstructed within the framework of the Seismic Safety Improvement Program in 2019. The USD 88.5 million project is financed by ADB's results-based loan, that is, finances are provided on the basis of controlled and proven results. Under the program, 46 schools are being built, six schools are under construction, and another 12 will start their work in 2019. Innovative projects are used to increase efficiency, reduce current costs, and create a modern educational environment.
After joining the ADB in 2005, Armenia received over USD 1.5 billion in loans, grants, and technical assistance, including USD 1.1 billion for the public sector and USD 400 million in non-sovereign loans.
The Manila-based ADB's goal is to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. ADB was established in 1966 and owns 67 members, of which 48 are from the region. In 2017, the ADB's operations totalled USD 32.2 billion, including USD 11.9 billion in co-financing.