ArmInfo. The priority tasks of the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments, according to the Government's program for 2017-2022, is to ensure an average annual GDP growth of up to 5% through a significant increase in exports.
As the Economy Ministry press service told ArmInfo, the head of the department, Suren Karayan, announced this at a meeting headed by Prime Minister Karapetyan, on February 26, presenting the results of activities in 2017. According to him, it is also planned to increase the share of exports of goods to GDP by 40-45%.
Karayan reported that the indicators of economic activity grew by 7.7% in 2017. He added that according to his estimates, the volume of exports of goods and services in GDP in 2017 was about 37%. "The Ministry is tasked to bring these figures to 39-40% in 2018. Moreover, in general, 20% growth in industry is expected in 2018. There are ample opportunities in the light industry due to orders from abroad. We expect 30% growth in the pharmaceutical sector, serious progress is expected in the diamond cutting sector, and agreements to increase the volume of raw material supplies with Alrosa company is already reached, and it is expected to grow by more than 30% with Iran, Turkmenistan and a number of other countries," the Minister of Economy reported.
At the same time, he informed that the second stage of works around the FEZ project has already started, intensive negotiations with potential investors are underway. In this regard, the Prime Minister of Armenia stressed that there is a serious potential for development and it is necessary to continue active work on various sites on a detailed presentation of the created conditions and opportunities. According to the head of the Armenian government, the Ministry of Economy should be more proactive in attracting potential investors to the Meghri free zone.
At the meeting it was also reported that there are trends of development in other FEZ - Meridian and Alliance. So, in 2017, in this zones, exports grew by 70%, and the number of companies increased by 7. It was noted that in order to improve the business environment, regular meetings are held between those responsible for the spheres and the business community, measures are being taken to address the issues raised, and assistance is provided to economic entities facing administrative problems in dealing with government bodies.
The Prime Minister was also informed that work was started on the development of a new strategy for the development of innovations in Armenia.
In 2017 the tourist flow to the country increased by 18.7%, and the number of visitors reached 1.5 million people. In order to ensure the development of the sector in 2018, it is planned to implement 40 projects, including active advertising, distribution of Armenian films and videos, film festivals and much more.