Wednesday, October 4 2017 20:55
Alina Hovhannisyan

The Lithuanian diplomat: "The foreign trade turnover between Lithuania and Armenia is still a one-way game"

ArmInfo. Armenia has a wide range of goods that can be of interest to Lithuanian consumers. This opinion was expressed by the plenipotentiary minister in the Lithuanian Embassy in Armenia Saulius Valainis on the margins of the Armenian-Lithuanian intergovernmental commission in an interview with ArmInfo on 4 October.

In particular, he said that 80% of the Armenian export comes from cognac and wine. Whereas, in his opinion, the products of the food industry of Armenia could find their place in the Lithuanian consumer markets.

At the same time, he stressed that the statistical data of the republics differ dramatically. "Our figures are somehow greater, both for exports and for imports. It turns out that our exports are 15 times higher," he said. In this regard, the Minister noted that in January-July 2017 Lithuania exported goods to Armenia by about 15 million euros, while supplies from Armenia to Lithuania slightly exceeded 1 million euros.  S.Valainis stressed that the Lithuanian side is extremely interested in the dynamic bilateral progress of trade relations between the republics. "Fur from Lithuania goes full, but returns almost empty. While this is a game in one gate," he stressed.

The Lithuanian diplomat also pointed out the tourism industry as priority directions for the development of cooperation. "The figures on the visits of Lithuanian tourists to Armenia are so insignificant that there is not even any statistics regarding the frequency of arrivals of our citizens to Armenia," he said. In general, the Minister explained this by the absence of direct flights. However, it is important for the promotion of mutual tourist visits, in his opinion, is the more active work of Armenian tourism companies. In this context, he called on the representatives of the Armenian tourist industry to work on the creation of tour packages that envisage trips to the region. "Our tour operators offer tours to the Baltic region, which is more attractive for tourists. You can also work on such a scheme by creating a tour package, including flight by inexpensive Wizz Air flights to Kutaisi in Georgia, then tourists could come by bus to Armenia," he explained.

In the course of the Armenian-Lithuanian intergovernmental commission, the parties signed three protocols defining further directions for the development of cooperation. In particular, a protocol was signed on the development of relations in the sphere of labor and social protection (between the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Republic of Lithuania), sports and physical education (RA Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania) and in the sphere of agriculture within the framework of the Action Plan for 2018-2019. (Ministry of Agriculture of Armenia and Lithuania).

During the meeting, the parties discussed prospects for cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including the trade and economic sector, scientific, technical, humanitarian, etc.

According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, the foreign trade turnover between Armenia and Lithuania in January-August 2017 amounted to $ 4.9 million, with an annual growth of 18.1%, with an increase in imports of 72.4% to $ 3.7 million and a decline in exports of 40.6% up to $ 1.2 million. In January-July 2017, according to the data of the RA Ministry of Economic Development and Investments, Armenia increased export of wine to Lithuania by 2.4 times, canned fruit, nuts and berries by 2.3 times, canned vegetables without vinegar - 4.7 times, cigarettes - 2 times, alcoholic beverages - 17.7%. From Lithuania, mainly cotton textiles, oil and oil products, telephones and women's clothing were imported.

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