Armenia’s IT competitiveness rating “plunges further”

Competitiveness indicators of the information technologies sector in Armenia worsened sharply this year, according to a global competitiveness survey, despite government’s bid to make the country a regional IT hub.

The Geneva-based World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) of 139 economies around the world, placed Armenia in the 98th slot based on its average competitiveness rating, registering a 1-point decline. Neighboring Azerbaijan and Georgia ranked 57th and 93rd respectively.

Intensity of local competition (136th place), state policy of purchasing technological products (134th place), presence of dominating (monopolistic) groups in the market (133rd place) and presence of local sources of share financing (131st place) were among indicators where Armenia scored especially poorly, Manuk Hergnian, Director of “Economy and Research” center which administered the report in Armenia, said in Yerevan as he presented the most significant findings.

Lowering for 8 points was registered in the sphere of innovations (down to the 116th place) year over year.

The IT sector in Armenia is declared a top economic priority by the current and previous Armenian governments.

The sector’s expansion continues to be seriously hampered by declining educational standards and the still inadequate quality of Internet connection in the country. Local IT executives say the Armenian authorities have not done enough to address these problems.

High cost of living and continuous rise of local currency’s (Armenian Dram) exchange rate is cited among problems faced by Armenian IT sector as it struggles to stop IT professionals from fleeing the country.

Read more on the subject  here, here and here.