Armenia’s Strategic Challenges to Socio-Economic Development
Armenia gets very little joining the Customs Union while losing sovereignity of economic policy, economist Vahagn Ghazaryan said at the discussion on “Armenia’s Strategic Challenges to Socio-Economic Development” initiated by the “Partnership for Open Society”.

Ghazaryan noted that the EU territory is 5 times smaller than the CU but the part it has in the world economy is 6 times bigger. The speaker stressed that 70 percent of the customs duties at the Customs Union are higher than in Armenia. Increasing the customs duties will make the importation of goods produced not in the CU more complicated.

Economist, expert Anna Makaryan mentioned that during the nine months of the current year the export in Armenia was the same as last year, however, there had been an increase in the textile production. Makaryan found it hard to say if the increase can be kept stable, as the most part of the production is exported to European countries.

Head of the Department of Trade and Markets Regulation Gagik Kocharyan is convinced that Armenia will not use the European market after joining the Customs Union, as mostly mineral production is exported to Europe, and no country will decline it.

Expert, economist Artak Manukyan claimed that the EU experts had substantially contributed to the process of reforming Armenian state procurement system and member countries of the CU yield to Armenia in legislation.

“Russia exports oil, gas and corruption. We are acceding to that system”, political scientist Stepan Grigoryan thinks.

Gagik Kocharyan asserted Armenia does not decline cooperation with the EU. There are about ten customs unions in the world, where, he thinks, circulation of members countries and investments grow.

NA deputy Khachatur Qoqobelyan remarked that supporters of the CU do not realize that it is against the state sovereignty of Armenia. The RA Constitution does not suggest any structure beyond national that can commit decisions to the RA state structures. However there is an economic committee the decisions of which are obligatory for the three countries of the CU.

Chair of the Gyumri Journalists’ Club Asparez Levon Barseghyan is sure that the choice between the EU and CU puts the country under the danger of losing its sovereignty.

Moderator of the discussion, executive director of “Open Society Foundations-Armenia” Larisa Minasyan commented there is an emerging process of “bankruptcy” of the democratic institutions. 

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