Economy and tourism
The industrial entities of Armenia counted as flagship companies during the Soviet period. The break-up of the former Soviet Union, the Nagorno-Karabakh war and the energy crisis led both to the collapse of Armenian heavy industry and the economy. Since then there has been a big change in the economic structure. Investment comes principally from the Armenian diaspora. Supported by the IMF’s stability programme, the economy is currently slowly gaining strength. Today mining and agriculture are growing at a rate of 3%, but the Armenian economy has little diversity and is strongly hampered by cartels, bureaucracy and widespread corruption. The black market is flourishing. Because of this the economic growth has little impact. The real unemployment level likely lies at around 40%. After the “Velvet Revolution” of 2018 the new government declared war on the black-market system, yet it will take many years until there is real change. Tourism, with 1.2 million visitors per year, plays an increasingly important role in the economy.