The Government forecasts the economic growth in 2014 will amount to 3.6-4.1%. The State Statistical department will present the final data in the early 2015. The Eurasian Development Bank estimates Armenia’s economic growth within 3.3% while the International Monetary Fund hopes for a growth of 2.6% in Armenia. The state budget for 2014 specifies an economic growth of 5.2% in Armenia.
On December 25 the Media Center held a panel discussion on the Armenian economy in 2014. The panelists included: Vardan Ayvazyan, MP- Chairman of Standing Committee on Economic Affairs; Garegin Melkonyan, First Deputy Minister at Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia; Tatul Manaseryan, Doctor of Economics, head of the Alternative Research Center; Vardan Bostandjyan, economist, Doctor of Economics; and Gagik Makaryan, Head of the Employers’ Union.
The panelists pointed out several factors accounting for the slow growth of economy in 2014: unfavorable conditions in foreign markets, especially in the EU, economic turmoil in Russia caused by falling oil prices and international sanctions against Russia, and objective and subjective reasons inside Armenia. As a result, the rates of investments, transfer payments and export have dropped.
The ups and downs of the Armenian economy, Tatul Manaseryan believes, must be viewed within the international context. “There was not a devaluation of the dram but revaluation of the US dollar. It makes a great difference.” Manaseryan added that there is little trust in the unified activities of the scientific and business sectors.
Vardan Bostandjyan called on his colleagues to be realists. “There are 940 thousand poor people now in Armenia. So, how can I say that everything is fine,” said Bostandjyan, “In this regard the previous year was a year of uncertainty both for economy and non-economy.”
The state authorities, Gagik Makaryan believes, failed to properly and rapidly respond to the December devaluation of the dram. “Recent amendments in the legislation enhance family business, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. Now it is crucial and can prevent emigration,” said Makaryan.
Armenia, Vardan Ayvazyan said, must develop strategies to attract more investments, and “investments flow where there is an easy regime.”
“Serious shifts in the international resource markets cannot but affect the local Armenian market. With a trade deficit amounting to 2.5 billion US dollars, processes in foreign markets cannot but impact Armenia. It is impossible that Armenia would not suffer a crisis,” said Ayvazyan.
Garegin Melkonyan said that along with the membership in the Eurasian Economic Union, Armenia efficiently cooperates with the European Union to develop the future cooperation framework. As an output of the negotiations with the Brussels, Melkonyan believes, we will have a new document with the EU in the early 2015.