ArmInfo. The export share in Armenia's GDP can be brought up to 40-45% within 5 years, if annually to increase the export volume by $ 700-800 million, said Vazgen Safaryan, Chairman of the Union of Industrialists and Manufacturers of Armenia (UIMA), on July 7, at a press conference commenting on the presidential decree in the parliament on the government program from May.
He noted that by the end of 2016 the volume of Armenia's foreign trade exceeded $ 5 billion, of which $ 1.7 billion fell on export supplies, and $ 3.2 billion - for imports. At the same time, according to him, 40% of the Armenian export falls on the mining industry and 40% - on the food industry and beverages, the most part of which goes to the Russian market.
Speaking about the prospects for increasing export supplies in 2017, the expert noted: "Yes, last year we managed to supply over 130 thousand tons of agricultural products to Russia, increasing exports in this segment by almost 53%. This is certainly a positive trend. However, here the main role was played by the seasonal factor, thanks to which the year was successful. And if we take into account the not so stable development of the Russian economy and the fluctuation of copper prices in international markets, we see a serious problem in ensuring the indicators that the President previously stated," he explained.
As the most promising opportunities for Armenia, Safaryan noted the cooperation and activation of ties with Iran in view of the desire of the Iranian partners to integrate into the EEU. In this regard, he noted that Iran, like Armenia, sets itself similar tasks in terms of ensuring economic development. "In 2016, Iran's GDP grew by 1% year on year to $ 377 billion (against $ 374 billion a year earlier), while per capita GDP was $ 4.6 thousand, while Armenia's figure is $ 3.5 thousand. We can say that the social situation of Armenia and Iran is practically the same," he said. In this regard, the expert stressed that Armenia should carry out serious work in the direction of developing economic relations with Iran, in particular, in the establishment of joint ventures in the Free Trade Zone on the border in Meghri with the aim of conducting export supplies to the Eurasian market.
According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, Armenia's GDP increased by 0.2% per annum in 2016 to 5.068 trillion AMD ($ 10.5 billion). The foreign trade turnover in 2016 increased by 7.4% to $ 5.1 billion, with exports growing by 20% to $ 1.8 billion, and imports - by 1.6% to $ 3.3 billion. Moreover, Russia retains leadership among partners in the volume of foreign trade with providing mutual trade in $ 1.4 billion with an annual growth of 15.1%. With Iran, the volume of mutual trade amounted to $ 238.8 million, with an annual decline of 14.7%, with a decline in exports and imports - by 8.4% and 17.3% respectively.