Armenia - Politics, government, and taxation
Armenia is a parliamentary republic. The government consists of the executive branch, a legislative branch, and a judicial branch headed by the Supreme Court. The 3 main institutions of the executive branch are the chief of state, the head of government, and the cabinet. Since March 30, 1998, the chief of state has been President Robert Kocharian, elected by popular vote for a 5-year term and winning with a vote of 59 percent. Since November 3, 1999, the head of government has been Prime Minister Aram Sarkisyan. The president appoints the prime minister (usually the leader of the largest political party in the parliament) who in turn appoints the cabinet members. The legislative branch is the unicameral (one-chamber) National Assembly (Azgayin Zhoghov). The Assembly consists of 131 members who are elected for 4-year terms.
In 1999, the Armenian government's revenues were US$360 million, but its expenditures were US$566 million. In an effort to reduce its deficit, the government has cut spending and received aid from the World Bank. In 1999, the government spent US$75 million on military expenditures, or about 4 percent of GDP. Payments on
|Country||Newspapers||Radios||TV Sets a||Cable subscribers a||Mobile Phones a||Fax Machines a||Personal Computers a||Internet Hosts b||Internet Users b|
|a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.|
|b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( http://www.isc.org ) and are per 10,000 people.|
|SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.|
the debt are a major drain on the governmental resources. In 1999, the government spent US$108 million on payments on the debt.
Personal income taxes range from 0 to 30 percent depending on income, and corporate taxes also range up to 30 percent. Banks and insurance companies are charged a 45 percent tax rate.
In 1996, Armenia signed a trade agreement with the European Union (EU). The main benefit of this agreement has been increased foreign aid from the EU. The government has sought other trade agreements, but the ongoing conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has created uncertainty about the Armenian economy and prevented significant foreign investment.