Friday, August 31 2018 13:51

Tavadyan: The key task for Armenia is to achieve a ratio of exports of goods and services to GDP of 50%

Tavadyan: The key task for Armenia is to achieve a ratio of exports of goods and services to GDP of 50%

ArmInfo. The key goal for Armenia is to achieve a ratio of exports of products and services to GDP of 50%, where finished products should prevail. This was announced today at a press conference by the head of the Center for Economic member of the Eurasian Expert Club Ashot Tavadyan, presenting his research "Armenia's economy in the first half of 2018 in the context of membership in the EAEU".

 

The expert stressed that Armenia's economic indicators in 2017-2018 record stable growth. So, in 2017, exports for the first time exceeded $ 2 billion, amounting to $ 2.2 billion. In fact, in 2017, a significant increase in exports was registered by 25%. In the first half of the year, Armenia exported $ 1.132 million, which is 20.6% more than the same period of the first half of 2017. During the same period, exports to the EAEU countries increased by 28.5%. With the membership in the EAEU in Armenia for two years, exports grew by about 50%, which, according to the expert, is the most important factor in the growth of the country's competitiveness after joining the EAEU. At the same time, Tavadyan stressed that the first priority for Armenia is further diversification of exports. "It is necessary to use all the capabilities of the EAEU to overcome the $ 3 billion export of products," he said.

 

For the first half of 2018, GDP in comparison with the same indicator of the previous year increased by 12.9%, amounting to 4.456 billion dollars.

 

In the first half of the year, exports to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries (65.2%), wood products (40.2%), textiles and textile products (82.5%), exports to the markets of the EAEU in the first half of 2018, in comparison with the same indicator of the previous year , on finished food products (20%).

 

In the first half of 2018. exports to Russia increased by 27.5%, while finished products in this indicator has a fairly significant share. "The key role in the growth of exports is played by its structure.The main prospect for the growth in exports of finished goods, which has a high percentage of added value - is Russia." The possibilities of the EAEU for a significant increase in exports to other countries of the unified energy system should be used." said the expert, stressing that direct investments from Russia make up about 40% of all investments in the Armenian economy.

 

The attendance of Armenia for the first half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017 increased by 14%, and tourism - by 10.2%. In the first half of 2018 686 thousand tourists visited Armenia. The significant growth of tourists, according to Tavadyan, is not only the result of the membership of the EAEU, which actually promotes the free movement of citizens of the EAEU member countries, but also the opportunity to visit Armenia from Russia by internal passports.

 

In the first half of 2018, the inflow of money transfers to Armenia totaled $ 692 million, an increase of 4.9%. Basically, Armenia receives transfers from Russia. In 2017, transfers from Russia amounted to 63%, from the United States - 14%, from Ukraine - 5.5%.  Traditionally, the direction of labor migration is also Russia.

 

The expert noted that the EAEU created additional opportunities for obtaining concessional loans. And, first of all, to strengthen the defense capacity of the Republic of Armenia. "In contrast to a number of loans from international organizations from Russia, strictly targeted loans have been received, two concessional loans of $ 300 million are directly aimed at strengthening the defense capacity of our country, and the effectiveness of these loans is undeniable." Armenia also received a targeted loan of $ 270 million and $ 30 million from Russia as a grant necessary to extend the life of the nuclear power plant, "he stressed.

 

He also stressed the importance of developing anti-corruption programs and their clear implementation, solving customs problems, liberalizing and coordinating energy prices in the EAEU. "For the stable and interconnected growth of the economies of the EAEU countries, the solution of these tasks is the first priority," he said.

 

At the same time, Tavadyan noted that the growth of the Armenian economy, including export of finished goods, did not actually affect the indicators on which the population primarily oriented. We are talking about salaries and pensions, prices for basic necessities, unemployment, real interest rates, migration rates.  With the cost of the consumer basket of 51 thousand drams, the minimum wage of 55 thousand drams and the basic pension of 16 thousand drams remain unchanged from 2015. Unjustifiably high, he said, there are also bank interest rates, which does not promote implementation especially in the sphere of medium and small businesses and has a negative impact on the unemployment rate.

 

According to Tavadyan, the macroeconomic indicators are mainly provided due to conditions created by the Unified Energy System: from the removal of customs duties, simplification of procedures to the reduction of gas prices for Armenia. "Coordination of the monetary and fiscal policy of Armenia is especially important now, and without the development of an antimonopoly and anti-corruption specific program, it will be impossible to ensure the real development of the economy and fully use the opportunities of the integration processes of the EAEU," he concluded.

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