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July 18, 2006

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Colin Alberts

Anyway. One of these days I'd like to try the trains. Pure curiosity...Something tells me it won't be like riding the old 20th Century Limited in terms of creature comforts and cleanliness. But no matter, roughing it is sometimes fun. It might be nice someday if some travel writer could ride the rails from Berlin to Basra via Ukraine, Russia and the Caucasus--maybe I'll get around to that, if borders ever become a bit less problematic...

Noel Maurer

Sweet Mary and Joseph. What are trade costs like? No rail links, crappy road links to Georgia. Is that road overloaded, or does Armenia just not trade a whole lot?

Another question: what's the real exchange rate like? I don't mean the statistics, that I can look up. (And don't always trust.) I mean your personal experience: if trade costs are really high, then the relative price of nontradables should be really low, which would mean that Armenia should feel like a really inexpensive place to live compared to the other countries you've been to recently.

Doug M.

No rail links, crappy road links to Georgia.

Not quite. Crappy road link to Iran, mediocre road links to Georgia, and one mediocre rail link to georgia.


Is that road overloaded, or does Armenia just not trade a whole lot?

Both. Nobody's sure how much damage the closed borders are doing, but estimates run up to 25% of GDP.

f trade costs are really high, then the relative price of nontradables should be really low, which would mean that Armenia should feel like a really inexpensive place to live compared to the other countries you've been to recently.

Ah hah hah hah.

Here we open the file that I've tentatively labelled, "Armenia -- WTF?" The macroeconomics of this country are deeply freaky.

But that deserves a post of its own, or several.


Doug M.

Noel Maurer

I eagerly await it, Doug.

Francis "Crime Dog" Burdett

Now we're talkin'. Here's some more of that high power geopolitical analysis we HDTD readers pay so dearly for. Value for money kids, value for money

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