For 15 years, The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation have been measuring countries' commitment to free-market capitalism in the "Index of Economic Freedom." The 2009 Index, published this week, provides strong evidence that the countries that maintain the freest economies do the best job of promoting prosperity for all citizens.

According to this index Armenia took 31st position in the world, and number one in CIS countries

The Government of Armenia has been able to carry out wide-ranging economic reforms that have resulted in steady growth since 1995. New sectors, such as precious stone processing and jewellery making, information and communication technology, and tourism have begun to supplement more traditional sectors such as agriculture in the economy.

Armenia has developed a varied and flexible economy, due to the transportation limitations caused by the economic blockade imposed by two of its neighbours, Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Armenia’s major exports are diamonds, mineral products and energy. Its main export partners are the EU, Russia, Israel, Iran, and the US.

Armenia’s major imported commodities are natural gases, petroleum products, tobacco products and foodstuff. The main imports partners of the country are Iran, Russia, Israel, Italy, Germany, France, US and UAE.

Armenia’s steady economic progress has earned it increasing support from international institutions. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well as other international financial institutions and foreign countries have extended considerable grants and loans, which have given the Republic a strong hand in improving its infrastructure and economic atmosphere.

In fact, Armenia’s GDP, which has experienced double-digit growth for the past 5 years (13,9% in 2005) and is expected to repeat this exploit in 2006, is one of the fastest-growing in the world. The government has also controlled inflation (only 0.6% in 2005) and substantially reduced its rates of poverty (from well over 55% in 1996 to 39% in 2004) and severe poverty (from 27.7% in 1996 to 7.2% in 2004). This impressive economic recovery has earned the country top marks from international organizations such as the World Bank and the IMF.

Armenia joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2003, further solidifying its position among the free markets of the world.

Source: the Web-site of the Armenian Embassy in Canada