Interview-Press Conference with Bagrat Asatryan
On September 13, 2016, Karen Karapetyan was appointed Prime Minister by the decree of Serzh Sargsyan, becoming the 14th Prime Minister of the Third Republic of Armenia.

The appointment of Karen Karapetyan in the post of prime minister formed some positive expectations in the public due to his activism and his promises of making positive changes in the economy. The Government headed by Karen Karapetyan has been operating for a year, however, according to experts, there are no noticeable positive changes in the living standards of the citizens, and Karen Karapetyan's promises are not realized yet. One of the most remarkable promises of the 14th Prime Minister of Armenia was the involvement of investments into the economy. It is not clear yet whether the government has succeeded or is succeeding in investing $ 850 million in the economy. 

Bagrat Asatryan, Economist, Lecturer at Yerevan State University,Bagrat Asatryan summed up the year of government’s activities at Media Center on September 12. The speaker first of all expresses an opinion that the dispute between the Ministry of Economy and the National Statistical Service on the volume of investments is another proof that there is no single institutional and coordinated power in Armenia.

“There are groups of people, political, friendly, and other types that serve their group interests individually.”

According to Bagrat Asatryan, in the context of this logic, Karen Karapetyan's activity should also be considered.

“Sincere Conversation started with the society about the problems. One year later, is one of these problems solved? Definitely no.”

Speaking about investments, the speaker first emphasizes that there is a serious contradiction between the two state structures, the Ministry of Economy and the National Statistical Service. At the same time, Bagratyan mentions that the Ministry's statement on investments is ridiculous that in case of such numbers the Armenian citizen should be happy but they live a bit worse than in September 2016.

“There cannot be such a difference of numbers, it is absurd. We look at the statistics and understand that the reality is gray and unfortunate. We all know that Armenia's economy does not need money. There are no spheres in Armenia where investments can be made, Armenia is a closed country,” Bagrat Asatryan says, adding, “We are an economic environment that is deprived of an opportunity to develop. First of all, the government does not have such an objective.”

The economist notes that positive dynamics can also be observed.

“The index of economic activity in the first 7 months has doubled, compared to last year, also the progressive growth of the industry, the export growth rates are high, but this is not the best indicator that any government has provided.” However, this dynamics has had little impact on the living standards of the population and, according to the speaker, the best indicator of economic development is not the positive dynamics in some areas but the rates of emigration.

“From 2008 to 2017 January 1, about 390,000 people have left Armenia and have not returned. This is like a runaway phenomenon, and whenever we can prevent this phenomenon, we can talk about some success.”

To watch the video, follow the link.   

Derenik Malkhasyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

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