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FEATURE STORY

Andrew Burns, World Bank Manager of Global Macroeconomics, addresses the economy during his visit to Armenia

May 14, 2013

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Andrew Burns reiterates the main messages of the Global Economic Prospects Report to for the ArmNews Channel.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Addressed the country’s economic situation and growth prospects.
  • Highlighted the need for a competitive economy and higher productivity.

May 14, 2013 – A month ago, Andrew Burns, World Bank Manager of Global Macroeconomics and lead author of the Global Economic Prospects Report delivered a public lecture at a private educational institution in Yerevan, highlighting that the risk of a serious economic downturn had diminished and that there was a chance that there could be an upward turn in the economy.

Key public figures, including representatives of the finance and economy ministries and the Central Bank, attended the lecture, which underlined the uncertainty around the global economic outlook and the need for the government to opt for structural reforms, enhancing productivity and seeking sustainable economic policies for the country.

Burns noted that to ensure higher productivity and sustainable growth in Armenia, it is essential for the government to ensure a long-term commitment towards those goals. The country ought to think of ways to increase the flexibility of government’s spending choices in order to cushion possible crises with counter-cyclical policies, he said. This would in part require implementing regulatory and infrastructural reforms to bolster the economy through its supply side.


" “Shifting the focus from the demand management towards the supply side policies, such as investment in education and infrastructure, improving regulations and governance in order to attract more foreign direct investments, and looking forward to global competitiveness over the mid-term will not yield the expected results if solutions are sought in isolation. On the other hand, it puts a lot of strain on the government, pushing to collaborate across sectors and agencies, which was never practiced before. "

Andrew Burns

World Bank Manager of Global Macroeconomics

Burns also met with the Harvard Alumni Club of Armenia, whose members were curious to hear about his views on the main economic prospects for the region.

Many were interested in how Armenia might score given the oil and gas dependent economy of Russia. “Benefitting from high oil prices, remittance flows have gone up by 30 percent, as the report states,” said Samson Avetian, managing director of an investment firm and the president of the club. “But we have to think long term,” he added, “We need to address the lack of internal and external competitiveness, if we want to have a sustainable economy.”

Burns was also featured as the guest of the week in a program on ArmNews Channel, where he reiterated the main messages of the report and said that while the worst of the economic crisis was behind the country, there still is a need to watch out for a weak growth prospects. He also underlined the need to consider building a stronger, more competitive economy that could withstand the test of time bound cycles.



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