ArmInfo. Working visit of Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan to Swiss Davos started with a meeting with representatives of Switzerland-Armenia Chamber of Commerce and Swiss businessmen in Zurich.
As the press service of the Armenian government told ArmInfo, Karapetyan expressed satisfaction with the fact that the trade turnover between Armenia and Switzerland in 2017 increased almost 3.5 times compared with the indicators of 2016. "My appeal to you today is simple and sincere - do business in Armenia, come and invest in Armenia, our country is a worthy place for investment and business. We initiated significant reforms in various fields, including public administration, customs and taxation and education, we are improving the business environment and climate, stimulating local enterprises and attracting foreign investments. We are improving the sphere of tourism and services. Of course, the results of 2017 are promising, in general, we are satisfied with the work done," the Armenian prime minister said.
At the same time, he stressed that in 2017 the Armenian government expects GDP growth of almost 7%. Karapetyan believes that this result was facilitated by a 12.3% growth recorded in the industrial sector (Jan- Nov 2017 to the same period in 2016), as well as 14.4% growth in trade volume and 14.2% in services. The head of the executive body stated that growth was recorded in other spheres. Having cited as an example foreign trade, he noted that in this sphere in dollar terms, by December 2017, record indicators from the day of independence of the Republic of Armenia were recorded. "And this is due to the fact that in January- November 2017, exports increased by 23.5% and imports by 28% by the same period of 2016. I think that we will have the highest growth rates in the region," the prime minister said. .
Touching on what areas to invest, Karapetyan pointed out agriculture, tourism, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, energy and mining, jewelry, watches. According to the head of the Armenian government, despite the fact that Armenia is a small country, the markets passing through it are much larger. "Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, we are bordered by Iran, which has 80 million people with which Armenia has good neighborly relations. "Not long ago, we founded the Free Economic Zone in Meghri with Iran, which in turn may interest those who want to study IRI from the outside, but in sufficient detail: To all this, 500 million people of the European Union are added, with which Armenia recently signed an agreement on a comprehensive and expanded partnership, in addition to the already existing GSP + preferential system. The availability of production and services in Armenia is available, therefore, the products produced in the country can be competitive in the EU," the head of the Armenian government said.
Informing that the Chairman of the National Council of Switzerland Dominique de Buman and a number of Swiss businessmen will visit Armenia in the foreseeable future, the prime minister noted that this is a good opportunity to get acquainted with the potential of our country on the spot. At the same time, he added that within the framework of the visit to Davos, he will hold a number of bilateral and multilateral meetings, which will represent the economic potential and opportunities of Armenia.
After the meeting, Karapetyan went to Davos, where he will take part in the World Economic Forum, which is held under the motto "Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World".
According to the estimations of the Central Bank of Armenia, GDP growth in 2017 will be 6.4%. The Government of the Republic of Armenia expects GDP growth by 5.5-6% by the end of 2017. The World Bank's revised forecast for January 2018 envisages an increase in GDP of Armenia in 2018 by 3.8% with an acceleration in 2019 to 4%, against the expected 3.7% growth in 2017. Fitch improved the GDP growth forecast for Armenia in 2017 to 4.3% from the previously projected 3.4%, and sees the possibility of accelerating growth by an average of 3.6% in 2018-2019. The budget of Armenia for 2017 laid the GDP growth of 3.2%, and in 2018 - GDP growth of 4.5%. According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, in Armenia, economic activity growth accelerated in January-November 2017 to 7.3% from last year's 0.6% in 11 months of 2016. Drivers of growth were trade, services and the industrial sector. Inflation in Armenia's consumer market in January-December 2017 was 2.6%, with annual inflation (by January- December 2016) of 1%.