2013-01-01 13:29:52 - Caucasus Business Forecast Report Q1 2013 - a new country guide report on companiesandmarkets.com
The Azerbaijani government is increasingly demonstrating its resolve to address the long-standing dispute over the breakaway Nagorno- Karabakh region, which is controlled by Armenia. With presidential elections approaching in late 2013, changing the status quo over the long-standing dispute will remain a key policy priority, meaning that regional tensions could rapidly escalate into a full-blown war.
The surprise election of the opposition Georgian Dream movement in Georgia´s parliamentary election on October 1 marks the biggest turning point in the country´s political landscape since the 2003 Rose Revolution. This will significantly boost Georgia´s international standing as a democracy in the former Soviet space, while substantially improving the country´s chances to thaw its relationship with Russia.
That said, we do not anticipate a radical
departure from the policies previously pursued by President Mikheil Saakashvili.
Major Forecast Changes
We have raised our longer-term growth projections for Armenia´s economy in line with our general outlook on the country´s external accounts. Real GDP growth will peak at 5.1% in 2018.
Key Risk To Outlook
Concerns over tensions with neighbouring Armenia over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region are growing and we see diplomatic efforts to prevent a further escalation of the conflict increasingly being exhausted. Indeed, we now believe that the risk of an escalation towards a full-scale military confrontation is at its highest since the two countries signed a ceasefire in 1994. This would have devastating consequences for both the Azerbaijani and Armenian economy for years to come.
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