About Armenia

 

Geographical data


Armenia is located in the Southern Caucasus. It occupies 29,800 km2. Armenia borders on Georgia in the north, Azerbaijan – in the east, Turkey – in the west and Iran – in the south.

 

Armenia is a mountainous country, the average altitude of which is 1800 m above the mean sea level. Its climate is sharp continental (it is very hot in summer and very cold in winter), humidity is very low.

 

The capital of Armenia is Yerevan (with approximately 1 million of population), Gyumri and Vanadzor are the other two largest cities.

 

Demographic data


According to the official data the population of Armenia is about 3.031 million. More than 95% of the population of the Republic of Armenia are Armenians. The rest 5% are mostly Russians, Yezidis, Kurds, Assyrians, Greeks and Ukrainians. Of the general population the urban population comprises around 63%.

 

94% of Armenians are Christians, the overwhelming majority of which belong to Armenian Apostolic Church.

 

Political system


After 70 years within the Soviet Union, Armenia proclaimed its independence on the 21st of September 1991. 

 

The Republic of Armenia has its Constitution, which establishes the following political structure. The President of the country is elected by the general, equal and direct election right for 5-year period. The President of the Republic of Armenia on the basis of the distribution of the seats in the National Assembly and consultations held with the parliamentary factions, appoints as Prime Minister the person enjoying confidence of the majority of the Deputies and in some cases the person enjoying confidence of the maximum number of the Deputies; and with the suggestion of the Prime Minister appoints the ministers forming the government. The last presidential elections took place in February 2013. The amendments to the Constitution, which were adopted by the referendum in November 2005, introduced a certain balance between the powers in favour of the Prime Minister and the National Assembly (Parliament).

 

The incumbent President of the Republic of Armenia is Serzh Sargsyan.

 

The Legislative power is exercised by the National Assembly, which is comprised of 131 members of parliament being elected once every five years in general, equal and direct elections. The representatives of the National Assembly represent various political parties.

 

The Judicial power is exercised by the three-leveled court system and by the Constitutional Court (only for matters of constitutional justice).

 

Armenia has established diplomatic relations with more than 180 countries worldwide. Armenia is a member of the United Nations Organization (UNO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), The World Bank (WB), European Bank for 

 

Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Council of Europe, OSCE and since February 2003 to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Armenia is also a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In October 1994 Armenia signed a limited military cooperation agreement with NATO and participates in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).

 

Court system


The court system in Armenia consists of the Courts of First Instance (Courts of General Instance and Administrative Court), Courts of Appeal and the Court of Cassation. Courts of General Instance have jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases and the Administrative Court – only over administrative cases. Decisions from First Instance Courts may be appealed to the Courts of Appeal, and from there to the Court of Cassation. In case all the judicial remedies are exhausted and a final court act is available it is possible to file an application to the RA Constitutional Court challenging the constitutionality of a legal provision applied upon the court act.

 

Moreover, after all domestic remedies have been exhausted (according to the generally recognized rules of international law), an application may be filed to the European Court of Human Rights within a period of six months from the date on which the final decision was taken, alleging that the state violates their rights under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Rome, 1950). 

 

As an alternative to litigation, the RA legislation allows for third party arbitration, even international upon the written agreement of the parties. Unlike the judgments rendered by foreign competent courts which may be enforceable in the Republic of Armenia only upon the international agreement between the states concerned on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, a final arbitration award rendered by a foreign arbitration tribunal will be recognized and enforced by the courts of the Republic of Armenia in accordance with the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York, 1958) to which the Republic of Armenia is a signatory, subject to the conditions and limitations of the said Convention.

 

Economic situation


Despite the transitional period the economy of Armenia is underway to improvement. In 2011 GDP growth of 4.7% and in 2012 GDP growth of 7.2% were recorded, in contrast to the GDP decrease of 14.4% in 2009. The economic growth is stimulated mostly by the development of internal consumption, services and construction fields and is mainly recorded due to the incomes earned by business migrants. This currency flow from the Diaspora provides for the development of trade and construction fields, as well as stimulates export and private consumption. It should be noted that a certain progress was observed with the privatization program; specifically by the end of 2000, 90% of small enterprises and 80% of average and large enterprises were privatized and such process still continues. Armenia stands out for a number of advantages such as inexpensive labour force, high technologies, developing and rather liberal banking legislation, etc.

 

Some figures and data about Armenia

 

Currency denomination

Armenian Dram* (AMD)

GDP (2012)

3,981.5 billion AMD

GDP per capita (2012)

1,313.6 thousand AMD

 

 

Key fields of activity in GDP (2012)

- Industry: 1,120,475.8 million AMD (12% increase over 2011)

- Agriculture: 840,414.7 million AMD (5.7% increase over 2011)

- Services: 972,593.3 million AMD (10.8% increase over 2011)

- Construction: 469.668.9 million AMD (7% decrease over 2011)

- Retail Trade Turnover: 1,378,022.2 million AMD (5.8% increase over 2011)

External trade turnover (2012)

 

-     Export

-     Import

5,694.9 million USD (3.9% increase over 2011)

 

1,428.1 million USD (7% increase)

4,266.8 million USD (2.9% increase)

 

 

 

Major trade partners

 

Export countries:

EU27, Russia, Iran, USA, Georgia, China, Canada, Switzerland, Ukraine, Turkmenistan;

 

Import countries:

EU27, Russia, China, Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, USA, Japan, South Korea and Switzerland.

Inflation (2012)

2.6%

Average monthly nominal wage (2012)

121,342 AMD

Unemployment rate (2012)

18.4%

Average longevity

74.2 (men 70.7 years – women 77.5 years)

Literacy

100%

Human development index (according to the UNDP classification)

 Rank 87 (High Human Development)

Socially unsecured population

 approximately 20%, no official data is available 

Number of tourists in Armenia (2012)

 843,330 people (11.2% increase over 2011)


*Average exchange rate in 2012 - 1 USD = 401.8 AMD; 1 EUR = 516.4 AMD

 

 

 

 

 

Source: www.armstat.am; http://hdr.undp.org