Shadow economy remains among Armenia’s pressing problems

Armenia needs to diversify export-oriented production, executive director of the Union of Armenian Manufacturers and Businessmen says.

Currently import to Armenia exceeds export by 20-25%, and this trend has been maintained for the past 5-6 years. At that, 80% of exported products from Armenia are represented by 15 goods, including output of the mining industry, brandy, gold, etc. As for import, 25 goods make around 50% of imported products to the country.

PanARMENIAN.Net - According to executive director of the Union of Armenian Manufacturers and Businessmen Gagik Makaryan, Armenia needs to diversify export-oriented production.

In April 2011, foreign trade volume in Armenia grossed USD 449,4 million, increasing by 19,1% compared with last year’s results. 2,9% turnover increase was reported in April 2011 against March indices. During the reporting period, export volume comprised USD 121 million, growing by 13,5% compared with 2010 results. Import volume grossed USD 116,6 million, dropping by 0,1%.

Around 10 export-oriented companies supplied with modern equipment already operate in Armenia, while their number is expected to reach 30-40 by the end of 2011.

After awarding of 8 companies by a medal of Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan for contribution to the country’s economy, Chairman of the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia Arsen Ghazaryan said “these companies’ contribution to growth in export volume will be significant, we just need to wait.”

According to him, while studying the companies’ activity the government paid attention to those, which made large-scale investments in 2010 and created new production capacities.

Gagik Makaryan believes there are two approaches to solve the problem: Armenia needs either to develop a concept of export development and create an echelon of export-oriented companies capable of sweeping foreign markets or improve the business environment, what is done by the government. “As a result, businesses will gain a potential for expanding their export opportunities,” he said.

There is another pressing problem: shadow economy. Although there are reforms held in the sphere of tax and customs administration, the business environment still lacks trust.

Victoria Araratyan / PanARMENIAN News
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