Wednesday, January 25 2017 11:26
Naira Badalian

Dmitry Medvedev: Russia is Armenia`s key foreign economic partner

ArmInfo. Russia is Armenia's key  foreign economic partner, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said when  addressing the mass media following his meeting Armenian Prime  Minister Karen Karapetyan on January 24. 

The press office of the Armenian Government quotes Medvedev as  saying, "The meetings with our Armenian friends were constructive,  saturated and friendly as always. This attitude of mind is just what  helps us solve different problems, especially as this year we are  marking 25 years of diplomatic relations between our States while  friendship between our peoples can be measured by centuries.

As you may know, Russia is Armenia's key foreign economic partner.  Its share amounts to 25% of Armenia's foreign trade, and despite the  complicated global setting, as we mentioned with my colleague, the  indicators of bilateral trade turnover prove quite encouraging. Last  year this figure was above USD 1 billion, but what matters most is  that the turnover has been on the rise despite the fall in the prices  of hydrocarbon fuel and specific goods supplied by our countries.

Another fact to mention is that food imports from of Armenian  significantly increased last year due to Armenia's accession to the  Eurasian Economic Union, which reflects our common drive for  integration.

As to agriculture, I wish to note that a great development potential  exists in this sphere not only in terms of bilateral purchases of  products or agricultural techniques, but also in terms of creating  joint ventures. There are a number of projects, among others  featuring greenhouse farms and processed fruits and vegetables, which  have access to Russian trade networks. We have a huge market, and I  feel we need to focus on this vector in the near future.

We have explored other opportunities as well, including cooperation  in investment; we discussed the idea of establishing a special fund  to this end. We agreed to instruct the respective agencies to analyze  the possibility of forming such a fund aimed at investment  cooperation, and of course looking for financing sources.

We have built a level and easy-to-understand playing field for both  Armenian and Russian businesses in the framework of the Eurasian  Economic Union. We hope to have fewer customs and bureaucratic  procedures so that we could strive to make our markets more open.

Indeed, there are some other directions: the interregional  cooperation program for the coming 5 years and a memorandum of  cooperation between the Russian Ministry of Industry and the Armenian  Ministry of Economic Development and Investment were signed today.  These are instruments, based on which we can build up economic  cooperation for the coming years.

Of course, humanitarian cooperation and the strengthening of direct  contacts between our citizens are of key importance, too. Here  everything is all right, but anyway we have agreed that Russian  citizens shall henceforth be able to visit Armenia with their  internal passports, and a relevant document was signed to that  effect. This will help strengthen cooperation in the humanitarian  field.  While our countries entertain comprehensive economic  relations and Russia is Armenia's leading partner, there is a  benchmark that can be developed practically from zero. This is very  important for our future relations. I wish to reiterate my gratitude  to Karen Karapetyan and other Armenian friends for joint work."

According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, in Jan-Nov  2016 Armenia's foreign trade turnover with Russia amounted to $1  224,5 mln (up 14.8%). Armenia's exports to Russia grew by 54% to  $337.3 mln, while Russia's imports to Armenia rose by 4.7% to $887.2  mln. The accumulated Russian investments in Armenia's economy have  amounted to $2.7 bln. 

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