Country Profile: Armenia
Capital and largest cityYerevan
Area29, 800 sq km
Population3, 231, 900 (2008 est.)
Armenian is an Indo-European language spoken by the population of Armenia. It is also spoken in the communities within the Armenian diaspora, and uses its own script, the Armenian alphabet. There is a distinction between Eastern and Western dialects and these two categories can themselves be split into subdialects - none of which have clear distinguishing borders. Other distinct dialects include the Homshetsi dialect, and Lomavren language of the Bosha, which are categorised as belonging to the Armenian family.
Armenia is a member of the UN, the Council of Europe, WTO, Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as NATO's Partnership of Peace. It is an emerging democracy and is geographically situated to bridge Russian and Western influence. With a GDP of approximately $26 billion, the country's workforce is mostly divided between agriculture and service industries, producing chemicals, metals, machinery and processed food. It has small deposits of gold as a natural resource, and as well as other metals, and its main exports include diamonds, food and energy. Its main trading partners are Russia, Ukraine, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Iran, Israel, US and Georgia. Like other former Soviet countries, Armenia suffered the switch from centrally governed economy to market economy, and after its introduction, the currency of the dram underwent hyperinflation. Government reforms led to a stabilising of the economy, followed by a steady growth, and new sectors including tourism, jewellery making, information and communication technology are beginning to be developed.
Much of Armenia's energy is imported from Russia, for example gas and nuclear fuel. However, the country's main domestic fuel source is the renewable form of hydroelectric power.
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