“The year is beneficial”, this was the prediction of the Eurasian Experts’ Club for the current year both from global perspective and the perspective of Armenia’s economic development. It is based on official numbers, the analyses and predictions of various international organizations. The Eurasian Experts’ Club has summarized the economy of Armenia in 2017, from June to May, in the context of membership in Eurasian Economic Union. The club conducts these summaries for already the second time in half-semester and annual terms. This year promises positive development forasmuch as the prices of oil and raw materials have stabilized, which enables the Russian Federation and other partners of the Republic of Armenia to have daring development programs.
The coordinator of the Eurasian Experts’ Club, “Integration and Development” NGO president Aram Safaryan does not consider the announcement of Russian Central Bank president implying that the RF has entered a new phase of development a coincidence.
“This means that in 2017, pursuant to the optimistic predictions of international credit organizations, the RF will have 1-2 GDP growth, that number will increase year by year giving an opportunity throughout the upcoming 2-3 years to undertake serious development programs”, says Mr. Safaryan adding that this is an optimistic program in which the economists and political economists of Russia have started to believe. “As regards our country, this is already the second year we record export increase in terms of 5 months. This is a very important indicator inasmuch as the export of ready-made products will characterize the overall plot of our economy and the possibility of the growth of our living standards. Today we see that the increase of ready-made products to the RF double grows. I insist that for the growth of RF ready-made products we still have place and if we are able to satisfy the technical, phytosanitary and other requirements during the forthcoming years – 2018, 2019, 2020, which are not insurmountable that much for the Armenian entrepreneur, then the growth of our ready-made product will be continuous”, tells Mr. Safaryan, adding that the European sanctions on RF will continue until 2018, no predictions are in place constituting that the sanction war between Russia and Europe will cease until 2020s. And it signifies that in the East and South, Russia’s partners – Turkey, China, Iran, etc, which are the main importers of the RF food and products of wide consumption, will enlarge the scales of their production trying to find their place in Russian market. “Our economy is a very modest one, but manifesting prudence and agility, using the experience of working with Russian partners, the EEU membership and other circumstances in the course of the previous 2 years, we were able to find a very stable place in the markets of the RF of the European parts”, informs our interviewee, adding that there is nothing to be happy about all of this, it is simply necessary to us for progressive economic development, which entails up to 7% economic growth within the EEU.
“The total optimistic background is in place, everything depends upon how our banking, administrative-commanding system, the organization, the cooperation with Russian state machine, etc, will be, which will allow us to make the privileges written on the paper actual ones. The tension in international markets increases forasmuch as the competition grows. 50 countries negotiate with EEU to create a free trade zone. We are EEU member, our GDP portion amounts to 0,1. President Putin has announced lately that he invites the EEU member countries to use the system of RF’s state purchases. RF state purchase system estimates to 300 billion USD. 0,1% of it amounts to 300 million dollars. If we get our 0,1%, we will have a growth of 300 millions in our economy. But for that we need to work. We are blamed for making optimistic predictions, which do not come to life and I put the question another way, whether our administrative, business and banking environment does what it can for the improvement of economy and people’s condition, and does not receive a result.”
Simultaneously, Aram Safaryan thinks that we should seriously think of protecting, guaranteeing and providing the interests of our people working in RF and EEU market and this should be one of the important directions of our foreign policy: “Starting from driving license to the fulfillment of packages, signing agreements and providing social packages.” He states the scale of the transfers significantly grows and as the RF economy develops, the labor force demand will increase. Consequently, according to him, the number of the people leaving the country for temporary work will increase and not only to the RF, but also to Kazakhstan, as until 2015 – the collapse of Kazakh currency, Armenia has had 40.000 labor force in Kazakhstan annually. Aram Safaryan thinks that they should pay a special attention to the fact that the volume of agricultural and recyclable products grow and it gives hope that for those fields we can include serious investments from Russia. “Samvel Karapetyan has created an investment company with 300 million USD capital. This is the money which our economy did not receive from July to November and because of investment hunger, the positive indicators of GDP collapsed. If this year that volume of investments is provided, during the upcoming years Armenia becomes an attractive field for investments, we can seriously speak of 7% economic growth, providing 30-35% export.”