Ministry of Economic Development and Investments Reports Annual Performance
Today, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan visited the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments to get acquainted with the activities and priorities completed in 2017, as well as the tasks set for 2018.
Minister of Economic Development and Investments Suren Karayan noted that in line with the Government’s 2017-2022 Program of Activities, the Ministry had the priority task of ensuring progressive rates of economic growth as compared to developed countries with an average annual GDP growth of about 5% and increasing the share of exports in GDP by 40-45%.
Presenting the key macroeconomic indicators, the Minister reported that the economic activity index rose by 7.7%, the volume of industrial production - 12.6%, while the processing industry grew by 15.7%. Minister Karayan advised that exports grew by 25.2%, services – 14.4%, and trade turnover - 26.9% in 2017. According to estimates, exports of goods and services will make about 37% of GDP in 2017. The Ministry has set itself the task of upgrading this figure to 39-40 percent in 2018. According to Suren Karayan, the growth of economic activity is 10.2% in 2018. The growth of industrial output - 13.9%, services - 15.2%, and exports - 45.2%.
It was noted that industry is expected to grow 20% in 2018. There are wide development opportunities in light industry. In particular, large orders have already been received from abroad. In 2017, 97.3 million dollar-worth clothing was produced, of which USD 80 million was exported. 30% growth is anticipated in the pharmaceutical industry.
Positive developments are expected in the diamond processing industry. Agreements have already been reached with Alrosa to increase the supply of raw materials. Over 30 percent growth is anticipated in this sphere. Cooperation in jewelry is planned with Iran, Turkmenistan and other countries.
The second stage of Meghry Free Economic Zone activities was said to have already started: intensive talks are underway with potential investors and operators. The Prime Minister emphasized that the FEZ boasts great development potential and, in this respect, continued efforts should be made to raise awareness of its terms and opportunities at various platforms. The Premier noted that the Ministry should be proactive in attracting potential investors to the Free Economic Zone.
Development trends can be observed in Alliance and Meridian free economic zones, which increased their exports by 70% in 2017, with 7 more operators engaged in them. To improve the business environment, regular meetings are being held between the responsible officials and the business community. Steps are taken to address the issues raised. Assistance is provided to entities facing administrative bottlenecks.
Laboratory testing hot lines are operational for business environment and market surveillance, tourism, quality infrastructure and products. The Premier was told that efforts are underway to draft a new strategy and a roadmap for developing innovation in Armenia, as well as for mapping the innovative ecosystem.
In the period under review, a new arbitrage laboratory and 2 metrology labs were established in 7 reference directions. Two more reference laboratories will be set up and the e-LAB electronic accreditation system introduced in 2018,.
Tourism grew by 18.7%, and the number of inbound visits reached 1.5 million in 2017. To expand the sector, 40 reform programs shall be implemented in 2018, including active propaganda efforts by making and circulating films about Armenia, organizing and holding festivals and so on.