Wednesday, October 18 2017 18:10
Naira Badalian

Head of Armenian Ministry of Economy does not agree with forecasts of UN Population Fund on further reduction of population

Head of Armenian Ministry of Economy does not agree with forecasts of  UN Population Fund on further reduction of population

ArmInfo. The head of the  Ministry of Economy of Armenia Suren Karayan does not agree with the  forecasts of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) on the further reduction  of the country's population. "At least in the line of economic  development, I can say that the growth tendencies we recorded  indicate the opposite: the activation of the economy will contribute  to the growth of the living standards of the population of Armenia,  which in turn will lead to demographic growth and will stimulate  migration to the RA," said Suren Karayan October 18 at a meeting with  journalists. According to UNFPA, at the current pace of development -  economic and demographic - the population of the republic will  continue to decline, reaching from the current 3 million (according  to statistical data) to 2.5 million by 2035.

According to Suren Karayan, today, based on the fixed indicators, it  is possible to state with certainty that the economic policy of the  Armenian government fully justified itself. "That vision of economic  development, which was announced exactly one year ago, is justified  and realizable," he said.

As the head of the Ministry of Economy pointed out, when developing  economic policy the main emphasis was placed on the formation of the  exporting economy. "The results that were recorded during 8 months of  2017, in particular, 21.1% growth in exports of goods, suggest that  by the results of this year the share of exports of goods and  services in GDP will be increased from 33% in 2016 year to 37-38%. In  the coming years we expect to bring the figure to 40-45%," the  minister said. In general, in January-August this year, exports  amounted to $ 1383.2 million, compared with the same period in 2016,  recording growth of $ 246.3 million, or 21%. Exports to CIS countries  grew by 33%, the EU by 32.6%, an unprecedented growth in exports  recorded the Iranian direction - by 11.2%, while exports to the UAE  increased 2.2 times.

According to the Minister, for the first half-year Armenia recorded  GDP growth at the level of 5.9%.  Double-digit growth was recorded in  the spheres of industry, trade and services. In general, progressive  growth is registered in the industrial sector, GDP growth here was  7.7%, and in the spheres of trade and services - 8.1%. In particular,  the main locomotive of economic growth was the sphere of industry  with a 12.4% growth, output in the manufacturing industry increased  by 16.4%.

In January-July of 2017, the production of beverages, including  brandy, wine - by 35.3%, textile products - by 47.4%, clothes -  24.4%, pharmaceuticals - 17.6%, also registered impressive growth.  Electric appliances - in 2,6 times, and also jewels of 40,3%.  According to the results of the first half of 2017, in the  manufacturing industry, a significant increase in labor productivity  was registered - about 20%. "Among the industries the most inclusive  growth can be provided by the manufacturing industry," the minister  said.

The budget of Armenia in 2017 provides for GDP growth at the level of  3.2%. However, recently, taking into account the positive trends and  based on the forecasts of the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance  raised forecasts for economic growth for 2017 to 4.3%, against last  year's 0.2% against the forecast 2.9% growth. The year 2018,  according to the draft budget, the Armenian government promises to  close already with GDP growth at 4.5%. Meanwhile, IMF experts  forecast the growth of Armenia's GDP in 2017 by 3.5% with a slowdown  in 2018 to 2.9%. Experts of the World Bank believe that the prospects  for economic growth and poverty reduction in Armenia are  significantly uncertain. In their opinion, risks remain in the  country, related both to the internal situation and external factors.  As such, the forthcoming presidential elections are scheduled for  April 2018 and the formation of a new government, as well as possible  new Western sanctions against Russia. An unclear situation remains  about the nuclear deal with Iran. These risks justify caution in  forecasting economic growth in the coming years.

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