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Innovative integration of "North-South" strategic prerequisites and obstacles
Material posted: Publication date: 06-09-2016

In the Caucasus carried out two geo-economic, transport-communication project: "North-South" and "East-West" (the project "silk road"). In the framework of transport corridor "East-West" Azerbaijan has a key role, while Armenia was virtually excluded from the project. In this project, the tandem of Georgia-Azerbaijan is a strategically. In the phase of completion is the construction of the railway Baku-Tbilisi-Akhalkalaki-Kars. There is no reason to believe that in the foreseeable future, will open railway of Iran-Julfa (Nakhichevan)-Yerevan-Gyumri-Kars. Railway components of the project "North-South" today is not closed. However is in the implementation phase plot Astara (Azerbaijan)-Astara (Iran)-Rasht-Qazvin railway project Russia-Azerbaijan-Iran, where Azerbaijan is of key importance. Railway Russia-Abkhazia-Georgia-Armenia-Nakhichevan-Iran closed in two stages and there is no reason to believe that in the foreseeable future, this railway will open. In the implementation phase is highway Iran-Armenia-Georgia (with branches in Poti and Batumi). This highway includes Armenia in the integration project of Iran and the EU. However, there is no reason to believe that in the foreseeable future Magistral – supposed – to be continued in Russia. This fact has the potential of generating latent tensions between Armenia and Russia. Thus, Armenia is excluded from land transport projects of the EAEU and Azerbaijan, with a key role in both transportation and communication projects, will increase its geopolitical value in the strategies of the allies of Armenia – Russia and Iran.

Policy wording

To compensate for the economic imbalance of the main roles of the three Transcaucasian republics need to expand the content of the concept of integration, "North-South" so that in the new context, Armenia would gain a key role.

For the feasibility of a new integration policy must meet the following criteria. It should be in tune:

  • Global trends and challenges
  • The strategic objectives of the EEU
  • The development strategies of Georgia, which is now "not fit" in the integration project "North-South".


Implementation strategy the above policy may be the initiation of innovative integration project Russia-Georgia-Armenia-Iran.

Prerequisites feasibility of the strategy

  • The strategy corresponds to the three above mentioned criteria. It should be emphasized conformity to the development strategies of Georgia, which, in the absence of any alternatives, are forced to fit into the Turkish-Azerbaijani context, which causes dissatisfaction as the broader public Orthodox Christian nation and its intellectuals as "old", "new", which is degrading the status of a country that supports transit road and living on the road rent and Western aid.
  • Armenia is a member of the EAEU.
  • Armenia has a preferential trade regime GSP+, which means more than 6 thousand items of goods of Armenian origin will be exported to the EU at zero or reduced customs duties.
  • In higher governing bodies of the EAEU are aware of the critical importance of innovative development, realization of actions in this direction.
  • The lifting of sanctions against Iran.
  • Bilateral aspiration of the EEU and Iran to cooperate.
  • The possibility of widening the constructive relations with Georgia, which is very important both for Russia and Georgia (inflexible position of Georgia to a large extent the result of too much dependence on the West).
  • The specific prerequisite is significant accumulated experience in Scientific-educational Foundation "Noravank" in promoting the recovery of scientific-technological potential of Armenia.
  • Obviously, to start the implementation of the strategy, the necessary preliminary comparative evaluation of the potential of innovative development of Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran. The following is an attempt of such evaluation.

Analysis tool

As a tool for this preliminary assessment used the Global innovation index (Global Innovation Index). The index was developed by the European school of business administration and world intellectual property organization. Used data Report for 2015.2 structure of the Global innovation index is shown in Figure 1. The index has a four-tiered structure. The upper level consists of index two sub-indices –the innovation inputs sub-index, which assesses the status and level of factors that determine the development of innovations and the innovation sub-index results, which evaluate the results of innovative activities (on the picture in green rectangles).

Innovative efficiency is the ratio of the output sub-index innovation sub-index scores on the innovation inputs.

The second level consists of the seven component five of which are used to calculate the sub-index, innovation inputs, and two sub-index of innovative results (component name, see the chart).

The third level represent subcomponents that are used to calculate the components. Each component is evaluated in three sub-components (subcomponent names, see the figure). A total of 21 sub-component.

The fourth tier is indicators are used to assess the subcomponents. There are a total of 79 indicators. Indicators are chosen from a variety of sources, including from the world Bank data Bank, indices of quality of governance the world Bank Institute indexes of Doing Business, UN data, data from various international polls, etc. In the figure, the indicators are not represented3.

The main results of the analysis

Data analysis the first three levels of the Global innovation index. Considered relevant indicators for Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Iran and Azerbaijan. Obtained the following main results.

  • At all four levels of the index the leader is Russia. She is in first place in three of the four indicators of the first level, four of the seven indicators of the second level, eight of the 21 indicators third level indicators and 39 of the 79 indicators (table 1).
  • Second and third place is shared by Armenia and Georgia. Armenia is the first place one indicator on the first level (Georgia – 0), 2 indicators at the second level (Georgia – 1), five indicators at the third level (Georgia – 4) and 13 indicators (Georgia – 14).
  • Iran with a large enough gap in fourth place and is ahead of Azerbaijan.

A review of the content of the indicators of the first level and ranks countries according to these indicators (table 2) leads to the conclusion:

  • All countries improved their rank positions compared with 2014. this means that in innovation there is competition.
  • Armenia is the leader in terms of innovative efficiency, i.e. in Armenia investments in the factors of innovation development lead to the greatest impact. This is the main competitive advantage of Armenia.
  • Armenia on all indicators ahead of Iran, i.e., adequate policy is the Armenian-Iranian relations in the sphere of innovations has a chance of attracting the Iranian capital to Armenia.

A review of the content of the indicators of the second level and ranks countries according to these indicators (table 3) clarifies the findings:

  • It turns out that Armenia is leading in the component of creative resultsand component results of knowledge and technology leads Russia and Armenia in second place.
  • Armenia and Georgia are competing for leadership for the components of Institutions and the Level of development of markets. The first component leader for Armenia and Georgia.
  • Russia leads in the components of Human capital and research, and component Infrastructure. These components on the second place Iran.

Further steps

It is obvious that for the development of specific strategies and actions necessary to conduct a meaningful comparative analysis of the situation in Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran at the level of indicators with the involvement of other relevant information.

For starters, innovative integration strategy is also necessary:

  • Search of partners in Russia, Georgia and Iran, capable of promoting the innovative integration of these four countries.
  • Forming a database (the extended "Business directory") innovative enterprises of small and medium business4 and innovative ideas of Armenia, which Armenia will participate in innovative integration.
  • Formation with the help of partners such databases in Russia, Georgia and Iran.
  • Assistance in Armenia the formation of the specialized state, business and associative structures concerned in the marketing of innovative integration.
  • Identification in Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran clusters of innovative integration, evaluation capacity development experts in innovation), the scope and contents of their impact on the economy.

1 In the article "the foreseeable future" used in the sense of stationary forecasts of political and economic processes that exclude scenarios geopolitical force majeure, can radically change the geopolitical orientation of the six republics of the Caucasus.

2 The Global Innovation Index 2015,

3 They are available in the Report The Global Innovation Index 2015.

4 As shown by the experience of study in Armenia, this potential is much greater than it might seem after the devastating 90s and a reverse in the intellectual-professional-2000s. Cm. A research programme to improve the demographic situation in Armenia: Demography, development strategy and technology. (Second study group). The Ministry of labour and social Affairs, UNFPA, Scientific and educational Fund "Noravank", Yerevan, 2014, 217 p. (manuscript, in Armenian).

Samvel Manukyan


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