Armenia Improves its Position by 6 Points in Latest Doing Business Report

Armenia has significantly improved its position in the latest Doing Business report published annually by the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank.
Armenia has moved up 6 points reaching the 55th slot among 183 countries covered by the report.
The Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations for local firms in 183 economies and selected cities at the subnational level and is considered an important indicator for driving foreign investments to a country.
With its improved ranking Armenia is in the 2nd best position behind only Georgia which occupies the 16th position. Azerbaijan is 66th, Turkey is 71st, Iran is 144th.
This year’s Doing Business report covers 11 indicator sets and 183 economies. The project has benefited from feedback from governments, academics, practitioners and reviewers. The goal is to provide an objective basis for understanding and improving the regulatory environment for business around the world.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. I strongly believe we can do much better than Georgia. Corruption is the only bottleneck we have today.
    I was trying to find out what were other differences between us and Georgia, and I did not find one.

  2. how about lower transportation costs, access to see, etc?

    1. nope, those are not defining criteria for Doing Business:
      this is why I consider corruption the only problem

      1. I didn’t mean in the report, I meant – generally speaking πŸ™‚ Even if we are on equal on everything else, transportation and access to markets will make Georgia more attractive

        1. generally speaking, we share absolutely the same problems in economy

    2. 1. On equal footing, we can not do better than Georgia, because of its access to the sea. I am glad someone talks about the sea and access to it. Of course, it is a fundamental problem for Armenia. Our ancestors lacked geopolitical thinking since they never created a sea power. Alas…
      2. Being a sea power is a requisite to becoming a global power. America is a super power (largely) because it is the only nation that controls the world oceans. It has access to and control of both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans – the two largest trading routes in the world. Further, its navy is the largest and most effective. Its navy can track, follow, slow down, stop, search or sink any ship anywhere anytime in the world seas. Prior to that it was a little nation called England (a tiny nation), which rose to become a sea power, and subsequently the world’s greatest power – the British empire (fully in 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, largely in 18th century). Singapore and Hong Kong are great examples of prosperity based on being a nation with access to the sea (there are legal and economic factors as well).
      3. Presently, Armenia is a landlocked country. It has not even solved its security problem from existential threat from Turkey. (Greece has such a problem as well). Georgia cannot be Armenia’s model in its geopolitical conduct (as evidenced by Mr. Saakashvilli’s miscalculations and misadventures), but it could be a road map in its judicial/legal/regulatory reforms, including eradication of corruption (mostly low and middle strata; getting to oligarchs is another sore issue). Actual corruption impedes economic growth. The perception of corruption makes it worse. Sometimes, perceptions are more important than reality. Armenia, lucky as it is, has both actual corruption and corresponding perception of corruption.
      4. Ideally, Switzerland should be a model for Armenia, but the first and foremost question should be the constitutional right to bear arms and military training of the population at large. I have argued this before, but I am not optimistic. Every Armenian should be able to have arms (handguns, rifles, machine guns). Once Armenia solves (partially) its security threats, then it can devote more resources to its economic development. When your population is armed (on individual level), most invaders think thrice before attacking you. Considering the bloody wars of Europe throughout its history, Switzerland always remained independent (what a remarkable achievement), because every citizen had arms, was trained to fight and was willing to fight. Napoleon could have occupied Switzerland, but it would cost him a lot (time, manpower, resources). Hitler could take control of Switzerland, but the costs were too high. So, they let it go.

      1. David, where do you get this information about Napoleon’s and Hitler’s plans related to Switzerland?:)

        1. armenia,
          Here is a quick rundown: (1) (a) look at the map of Europe. Maps tell a lot of good stories, but we were not taught to read maps, only books, (b) in 1930s German textbooks include part of Switzerland as Germany, (c) archival documents, (d) Germans had an express goal of unifying all Germans (see, Austria which is truly German, part of Check Republic, etc.). Why is German section of Switzerland so different from the aforementioned political entities? Answer: (a) it has mountains (like Armenia), (b) it has a population where every individual, I repeat, individual, had arms and was required to have arms (unlike Armenia). I further refer you to De Gaul aphorism.
          (2) For Napoleon, a quick remark. He had a very, very hard time crossing the Alps. The famous painting of majestic Bonaparte on the horse is a pure propaganda (which the Corsican was skillful in). (Sadly the military genius (on the land) as he was, he did not completely understand geopolitics, particularly he never had naval dominance and lost everything in the end. But I blame Louis XIV for that as well, which takes us to a different topic, hehehe). The hero of the French Revolution actually rode on a mule (what a shame, albeit Jewish kings rode mules too, just like Jesus ((the king of the Jews)) who entered Jerusalem on a mule). Imagine how hard it would be to pacify a nation of individuals armed and ready to to fight. That would be Swiss now and Armenians (hopefully).
          (3) Lastly, I refer you to the Second Amendment to the US constitution. A brilliant document written by brilliant men who set the foundations of a great nation. (I am a little biased, but still the facts are facts). πŸ™‚
          P.S. Hope that answered your question. Now I gotta work.

          1. It seems you know all the answers:)
            Wouldn’t it be easier to conquer Switzerland, as they did with all Europe, especially having Italy as alias entering Switzerland from South:) And having France, already occupied for entering Switzerland from West:)
            So you think basically Hitler left Switzerland untouched because … its mountainous?:)
            Then please tell me, why Hitler traded arms and oil from US via Swiss banks?:)

  3. The publication seeks the most free-market friendly as always.

    1. armenia,
      1. I know some answers. πŸ™‚ Hopefully, the most important ones. Further, it is not that “I” know the answer, you can know the answers too. it is what geopolitics dictates. It is what geopolitics forces states to make choices. Geography determines, to a large extent, what nation states do. There are secondary factors, but that will require me to write a book.
      2(a). “Wouldn’t it be…” is a hypothetical question. I engage in such hypothetical questions as intellectual pursuit, but first things first. Therefore, in the “wouldn’t it be” vs “what actually happened” equation, we go for the latter. In reality, Napoleon conquered the entire Europe, but did not conquer Switzerland. There must be a reason. Why? And it surely is not Bonaparte’s kindness and graciousness. In reality, Hitler conquered much of Europe (or had influence over it through its allies, Spain, Italy), but did not conquer Switzerland. Again, there must be a reason. Since 1300s no nation, I repeat, no nation has conquered Switzerland. Europe’s blood history of conquest let Switzerland untouched and independent? Why? Surely there was no oil and there were no banks in Switzerland in 1395, 1402, 1511 and 1617. The reason? It is called geopolitics. See the answers in my prior post.
      2(b) I suppose you are asking was it “possible” to occupy Switzerland. Yes, it was possible. Anything is possible. Therefore, the concept is meaningless. In the courtroom, “isn’t it possible….” is met with “its irrelevant” objection, and the objection is sustained. (I do it quite often, so take my word for it, hehe…) (Is it possible that a meteor will hit a 98 year old grandma passing the street? Yes it is. Anything is possible. So what?!?!.
      2(c) “Wouldn’t it be easier to occupy Switzerland…” – No. No. The operative word is “easier.” In other words, its a balance between easy and not easy (hard, tough, expensive, etc.). That’s the entire point. (Please read my prior post carefully.) It is a cost benefit analysis. It was not easier to occupy Switzerland, because it would cost: (a) a lot of manpower – dead or wounded, (b) a lot of money (ammunition, supplies, etc) to occupy or take control. Thereafter, it would cost more (not less) to maintain control over a country which has (a) mountains, (b) fully-armed and ready-to-fight able population. Stated differently, the occupant can occupy more countries (more territory, population, natural resources, etc.) with the same amount of blood and treasure.
      2(c)(i) Look at Afghanistan. Its a mountainous country and its not easy (that’s the word) to occupy and then control it. Ask the British empire, the (former) Soviet Union and, presently, the USA. Tough, tough, tough. Have you also noticed that there are no naval routes to Afghanistan? (wink).
      3. “So you think basically Hitler left Switzerland untouched because … its mountainous?” You missed the point. The first factor is the mountains. The second factor – a population where every person,e very individual, every individual, every John and (preferably Jane), (that’s the key) is armed (have weapons at homes).
      4. Why wouldn’t Hitler trade arms and oil through Swiss banks? He did what any rational state leader would do. If you can’t occupy, why not use to your advantage. Why wouldn’t Turkey (Iran, Russia, etc.) trade arms and oil through Armenia IF it suits both parties? Armenia is weak and poor, so it won’t happen presently. But before that, Armenia must have Swiss style army.
      4(a). The question implies “moralism.” Its dangerous to bring “moralism” (whatever that means) into geopolitics. Never do that.
      5. Look at NKR. It has mountains and competent, experienced, armed, victorious armed forces. So it is not easy for Azerbaijan to conquer it. Is it possible? Yes. But at what cost? 50,000 dead and 100,000 wounded and $40 billion and 300,000 casualties in the peaceful population surrounding the area? 100,000 dead and 300,000 wounded? ((I omit Russia’s power projection (and Iran’s, albeit minor role) in this equation)). IF NKR had 300,000 population and a constitutional right (even a requirement) that each person be armed, then Artsakh would be definitely independent, because no Caucasian Tartar (that’s Azeri) leader would dare to sacrifice 150,000 soldiers (that’s dead) and 300,000 wounded to occupy and/or control the territory (the casualties are a a rough estimate, but precise numbers can be calculated). For starters, it doesn’t have that much army to begin with.
      6. You should read maps! πŸ™‚ Along with history. And of course, ask good questions. (wink).
      P.S. Please print out and read my prior post and this post. Then let it simmer for 2-3 days. Then, read again. Carefully. Then put it aside for 5 days. Then read one last time. It will all come together. (This is not patronizing. I do this too, especially if the subject is “new,” “odd,” “makes no sense,” “contradicts what we were taught.”) Then, I am confident you will agree with my arguments. If not, then I failed my task. πŸ™‚
      P.P.S. If anyone at the Armenian ruling elite or the military brass reads this post, they can use my analysis for free, but should give credit to Observer (for the forum) and me (for my insight). (I don’t sound modest, do I? hehehe…)

      1. one thing is for sure you have lots of time, but you don’t use it properly:)
        I will follow your advice, and will print out your all comments and will learn them by heart.
        I think I reserve the right to advise something as well, although it is costly.
        now, whatever is advised below is what I actually did (not because I am an expert like you, just because it has always been interesting and coincided with my baseness travel):
        1. To understand why Switzerland was not engaged in any conflict for so many years, please try to find out why, how and when Confederation Helvetica was established.
        2. Please go to Switzerland and talk to their military historians.
        3. Please go to Germany, subscribe to Bonn City library and read the memories of Nazi generals about Switzerland. They have English translations.
        I understand that going there will be hard, as there are mountains:) so you can try to google out as well.
        I don’t know what gave you an impression that I do not read maps and I read only history? And how can one read history without looking at the maps?
        I don’t know why you consider it a “task” to prove that your arguments are correct. I agree with many things you say, you do not have to make an extra effort to prove anything.
        And finally, yes my friend, Alps are high, but Suvorov ruined this thesis in 1799.

        1. * business travel, not baseness πŸ™‚
          damn you, autocorrect

      2. If you want the Armenian ruling elite or military brass to read your comments, you will first need to translate them into Russian. As for Switzerland, its neutrality and ability to keep secrets (and refugees and money) has always been more useful and convenient for the rest of Europe than the territory itself. You really think it has to do with guns??

        1. Ani,
          1. Holland/Netherlands/Flanders accepted refugees and had money. A lot of money in 16th and 17th centuries. But it was invaded and/or occupied by Spain, Austria or France. Even its “ally” at times, England attacked it.
          2. Swiss accepted religious dissidents after the Reformation. Swiss did not have large amounts of money (banking/finance) until 1900s, since it was an agrarian country. But it was not occupied by major powers from 1200s until present. It was and is independent.
          3. Your argument defeats itself, since if Switzerland has money, then its a perfect reason to occupy it and steal the gold. “Hey, guys, Swiss have a lot of gold, let’s just take it.” Every king, despot, general thought about it, but chose to move on.
          4. “Neutrality” is a meaningless concept in military history. There is no such thing as “neutrality.” On paper it looks good, but that’s about it. IF neutrality is a defense, then any nation can declare itself “neutral” when attacked. The best neutrality is an armed militia/populace. The old Roman maxim is worth repeating: If you want peace, prepare for war.
          5. It doesn’t matter what “I think.” I use facts and logic. Every country in Europe has been invaded, occupied, ruined, pillaged, destroyed. Every one. Except Switzerland. Its mountains make invasion difficult for obvious reasons and defending easy. And you need a lot of soldiers to conquer a village or a town, where everyone is armed and shooting at you from every little house or hat. It is not cost effective. De Gaulle once said that France can at least “tear an arm” off an aggressor. Applying to present situation, Azerbaijan may (but it is not a foregone conclusion) occupy NKR, but if Artshakh tears off its arm, preferably two arms, then Baku will think twice before losing its arm(s) (and army). Its not good to be a victor without arms. Others can steal your prize, because you have no arms. (So you better have long legs to run, and run fast.)
          6. As recently as 2003, Swiss had an effective (its the key word) army of 400,000 with a population of 7,800,000. Russia cannot even get an effective fighting force of 700,000 and claims to have 1,200,000 military personnel with a population of 142,000,000. Ouch… I bet 50% of the Russian army is useless as effective fighting force. Useless. (It would be interesting to watch the Russian army fight the Turkish army in a conventional warfare, and the results are not clear. Russians are no match to either British or Americans.) (But in Borodino, under Suvorov, the poor Russians stood still, for hours and hours, instead of sitting or hiding, while the French artillery decimated them.)
          7. Territory (most of the time) is important asset in geopolitics. Armenia needs a bit more territory, especially towards Igdir and Araratian dasht. Having Kars would make Armenia so much secure, but now we are dreaming…That’s a big topic and I am sooo tempted to write a comprehensive essay about it. Department of Defense should be working on it!
          P.S. I may translate into Russian and Armenian, if someone really, really wants it.
          P.P.S. Indeed, I have “lots of time, but [I] don’t use it properly.” Yup. πŸ™‚ But it pains me to see the lack of serious discussion of geopolitical issues in Armenia. πŸ™ And I am not even a professional “politician, pundit or military,” just a passionate student of history. πŸ™‚

  4. tell that to the street vendors on streets of Yerevan who have been FORCED/PUSHED to remove themselves from the streets and not do street vending business anymore. lets hear what they have to say about all of this report meport bullsh**
    dont get me wrong ha, I’m glad to know we have been bumped UP on the list, but that doesn’t mean its true, that doesn’t mean our economy has increased and/or the poor working class vendors (such as those on streets of Yerevan) are receiving more money/general buisnes
    Observer is correct, we need lower costs across the board
    what $10k/yr would allow me to live like a “king” in Yerevan 10-12 yrs ago, is now 3-6mo. salary for the average middle class/borderline wealthy. it now costs the average middle class Yerevanci $20-25k to live comfortably with out luxury amenities (just basic normal tolerable living conditions and spend some money here & there, shopping mopping ev ayln, ayl ch’gitem urish inch).
    this report (and others like it) purposely ignores the fact that the RICH in are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer…EVERYWHERE. the banksters in every continent from Evropa to north america and beyond are purposely destructing economies, devaluing currencies, and forcing the general working class public into poverty/borderline poverty. if any of you watch alternative media such as RT (russia today) you will clearly see the reality of the world. Greece is now the biggest and most prime example of what will spread to its immediate neighboring countries (except for turGAY, as america will never allow NATO allied countries to suffer) and then rest of the world
    if near by countries such as Greece are falling into the toilet, Hayastan will suffer even more now that she does. unfortunately, we are dependent on other countries’ economies. lucky for us we will always have russia to fall back on, because I swear if we did not….our precious Hayreniq would be in a mass anarchy/chaos state of mind
    any way, thats my 2 cents in the jar
    care to debate?????

  5. unbelievable, DAVID & ARmenia are arguing about another country that has NOTHING to do with Hayastan. goes to show that those who claim to be ARmenian are always interested in otars than their own homeland. this is exactly WHY Hayastan will never succeed…interest in others before your own…mexq…shat mexq !!!!!
    you think others are discussing about Hayastan and ARcax????
    you think otars gives 2 shits about Hayastan and her geo-political position on this ball of dirt???
    instead of yapping/arguing about Swiss & hitler, you should be helping Hayastan

  6. off topic, but related to as why Hayastan wont ever get ahead
    I found an interesting video by Napastak
    for those of you who dont know Napatask, he is a paaaaarsiiiiiiiikaHaaaaaaay (trying to type it like they say it, always singing the our language instead of speaking it). the video is of Petros (aka: Napastak, a hayrenadardz from LA) catching the typical every day evil corrupt police of Hayastan on video, apres Napastak, this is best caught in the moment video I’ve seen yet
    however, whether its OWS (occupy wall street) protestors to catching the every day evil corruption of this world, nothing is changing, its still the same course, business as usual. putting the evil corrupts on video-tv-news or internet wont change anything, they will continue their course of buisness, because they know well that there is NO one there to stop physically stop them. who is higher then the police? (other than their masters of the universe banksters who pay them) the only way to STOP them is to physically REMOVE & REPLACE them with ourselves….bloody revolution anyone?

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