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IMF Lauds Armenian Economic Growth

Speaking on 21 July at a press conference following two days of talks in Yerevan with Armenian government officials, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director Agustin Carstens praised Armenia's continuing high rate of GDP growth and progress in reducing poverty, Noyan Tapan and RFE/RL's Armenian Service reported.

He noted that "very few countries...have achieved such important progress in such a short period of time," and said the IMF "stands ready to assist Armenia with policy and technical advice." GDP in Armenia grew on average by 11 percent in each of the past four years, and by a further 8 percent during the first six months of this year.

At the same time, Carstens pointed out that tax revenues still account for only a small proportion of GDP, and he implied that some individuals or companies liable for large tax payments seek to withhold them. He said an increase in tax revenues would permit the government to increase spending on health care, education, and infrastructure development.

(RFE/RL 22.vii.05)

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