ArmInfo. Minister of Economic Development and Investments of Armenia Suren Karayan considers that there are no monopolies in Armenia, except for natural ones, he stated about this at the press conference on the results of the year on December 28.
According to the Minister the monopolies existing in the country are regulated by the Public Services Regulation Commission. In the remaining fields according to Karayan there are companies that have dominant positions, which is caused by small scales of local economy. "I can confidently state today that the goods market is open and there are no restrictions for subjects operating in it. Import of bananas became a vivid example of this. There are no restrictions and monopolistic ideas. I ask to report me if any of such emerge", Karayan stated.
To note, the new government of Armenia presented its program in October, one of priorities of which is liquidation of artificial monopolies and fight against corruption. International donor organizations have repeatedly voiced the problems of monopolization of the market in their reports and evaluations of Armenian economic condition. Due to corruption in the country oligarchs and large officials own vast majority of imports, including import of bananas owned by former chief officer of court of the country. Today the new government avoids using "monopolies" and has replaced the term with "dominant position", however, the essence does not change if concepts are replaced. The program particularly envisages that the government intends to fight artificial monopolies and corruption. Within 3 months the government intends to criminalize "unlawful enrichment'' and in 6 months to introduce mechanisms guaranteeing execution of relevant laws. Within a 6-month term the government intends to develop anticorruption institutional system by revising the principles of forming the relevant council, increase accountability of anticorruption and law enforcement bodies, to increase number of those officials obliged to present declaration on incomes and property, to hold events aimed at regulating collision of interests and to set legal restrictions on cash deals. Within a year the government also intends to develop legislation envisaging tougher punishment for crimes against state service.