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World Bank Tells Armenia To End 'Oligopoly'

Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian (left) and World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala inaugurate the bank's new Yerevan office on October 17.
YEREVAN -- The World Bank's managing director has called for Armenia to end its "oligopoly," RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Talking to journalists in Yerevan after meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian, and local business and civil society representatives over the weekend, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said Armenia would not reach a higher level of development unless its leadership changes the "oligopolistic" structure of the national economy, bolsters the rule of law, and shows "zero tolerance" for corruption.

She discussed the current global economic downturn and the World Bank's assistance to Armenia in meetings with Armenian officials.

"Looking to the future, it is very clear that if Armenia is to come out of the crisis well and grow in the future, it has to confront some central challenges," Okonjo-Iweala said.