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Armenia's Economic Pulse

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  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

    Armenia’s gross international reserves grew by 5% in Q3 to $1.625.5 billion

    YEREVAN, November 26. /ARKA/. At the end of the third quarter Armenia’s gross international reserves stood at approximately $1.625.5 billion, having grown by 5.1% from the end of the previous quarter when they were worth $1.545.7 billion, the Central Bank of Armenia said.

    In July Armenia’s gross international reserves increased by 10%, while in August and September they fell by 3.3% and 1.2% respectively.

    Armenia’s Special Drawing Right (SDR) at the IMF at the end of the reporting period stood at approximately $409,100, down from $996,000 at the beginning of third quarter.
    <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>


    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


      YEREVAN, November 27. /ARKA/. Armenian minister of agriculture Sergo
      Karapetyan said today Russia's decision to impose import sanctions on
      Turkey and cancel major investment projects over the downed Russian
      Su-24 fighter jet in Syria may open up new opportunities for Armenia
      to increase exports of agricultural goods to Russia.

      The ministry said Karapetyan discussed this issue with David Ghazaryan,
      the director of Spayka company, one of the largest exporters of
      Armenian agricultural products.

      "As we know, Russia has decided to limit the imports of Turkish
      agricultural products. This is creating new opportunities for Armenian
      producers in terms of increasing the volume of exports to the Russian
      market. Because of upcoming New Year holidays the demand for the
      products is also increasing, and this is why we need to develop short-
      and long-term programs to increase production and exports,' Karapetyan
      is quoted as saying in a press release.

      According to Karapetyan, Armenian agricultural products, which are
      of higher quality than Turkish products, could not compete with the
      latter because of higher cost. He said Armenia can increase exports
      of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as meat products.

      According to the National Statistical Service, Armenia's export in
      the first 9 months of 2015 declined by 0.9% from the year before to
      $1.095.6 billion. Exports from Armenia to Russia in the reporting
      period decreased by 27.8% to $158.5 million. -0-
      Hayastan or Bust.


      • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


        YEREVAN, November 30. /ARKA/. Armenia's capital city Yerevan is
        rated by Russian tourism service as one of the top ten most
        popular cities for spending New Year holidays with children. Other
        cities are Tallinn (Estonia), Minsk (Belarus), Riga (Latvia), Prague
        (the Czech Republic), Helsinki (Finland), Berlin (Germany), Rome
        (Italy), Vienna (Austria) and Vilnius (Lithuania).

        The cheapest countries for traveling with children are Belarus
        (2,200 rubles per day for accommodation), Armenia (2,500 rubles)
        and China (2,700 rubles). Prague offers the longest city tour -
        one week on average.

        The top three most popular beach destinations for spending New Year
        holidays with children are Phuket (Thailand), Bali (Indonesia) and
        Dubai (UAE). The longest New Year vacation with children- 10 days
        are booked for Thailand.

        The rating is compiled based on reservation of hotels and apartments
        by independent travelers with children from December 26, 2015 to
        January 10, 2016. -0-
        Hayastan or Bust.


        • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

          Foreign investments in Armenian economy grow 36.6% to AMD 141.5 billion

          YEREVAN, December 1. /ARKA/. About AMD 141.5 billion has been invested in Armenia's economy from abroad not through banks and without state administration over the first nine months of this year – 36.6% more than was invested in the same period a year earlier, the National Statistical Service of Armenia reports.

          Direct foreign investments in Armenia's economy totaled AMD 125.1 billion in Jan-Sep 2015 against AMD 107.17 in the same period a year before.

          According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, Switzerland was the biggest investor in Armenia’s economy at the mentioned period of this year. Its investments in Armenia’s real sector amounted to about AMD 44.6 billion and its direct investments AMD 41.6 billion.

          Germany and Luxemburg were second and third largest inventors in Armenia’s economy in Jan-Sept 2015 – they invested AMD 29.7 billion and AMD 28.1 billion respectively.

          Very big deal
          Direct foreign investment decreased 2009-2013, and increased only slightly last year
          <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>


          • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

            Eurasian Stabilization Fund Extends $300-Million Loan to Armenia

            YEREVAN (ARKA) — The Eurasian Stabilization Fund’s board has decided to extend a $300-million loan to Armenia, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told journalists in Yerevan on Tuesday.

            On November 4, 2015, the Armenian government and the Eurasian Development Bank signed a $300-million loan agreement.

            These financial resources are intended for neutralization of possible short-term and mid-term risks in implementing foreign exchange policy and for ensuring as fast economic growth as possible.

            The loan is to be provided for 20 year with a ten-year grace period at a 2% annual interest rate.

            “Today some loan agreements were discussed and it was decided to extend a budget-supporting loan to Armenia,” the minister said. “The first tranche will amount to $100 million.”

            Siluanov said that the board also upheld a number of investment projects for irrigation systems and construction of a water reservoir with a credit line of $40 million.

            It was decided to continue investment financing of infrastructural projects not only in Armenia, but also in Belarus and Tajikistan.

            The Russian minister said that the Eurasian Stabilization Fund’s board will continue considering these issues with taking into account specification structural measures in these countries. It will also continue providing financial assistance after their implementation.

            “Such an approach is an effective instrument for supporting reforms in these countries economies,” he said.

            Armenian Finance Minister Gagik Khachatryan, on his side, said the stabilization financial resources to be provided to Armenia will be used for intended purpose.

            He also stressed the importance of the ESF-approved project of construction of a water reservoir in Mastara for development of the country’s agriculture.

            The Eurasian Stabilization Fund will lend another $40 million to Armenia for modernization of irrigation infrastructures. The total budget of this five-year project amounts to $50 million, of which $10 million will be provided by the Armenian government.

            The loan is to be provided for 20 years with a ten-year grace period at a 2% annual interest rate. The project will be launched in 2016.

            The Eurasian Stabilization Fund (earlier Eurasian Anti-Crisis Fund) was established by Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan in 2009.

            The fund is run by the Eurasian Development Bank, which was established by Russia and Kazakhstan in January 2006 for supporting its member countries’ market economies, contributing to their sustainable growth and making economic and trade ties among these countries.


            • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

              Russia, Iran eye gas swap deal for deliveries to Armenia: Gazprom

              The Russian energy giant Gazprom is in talks with Iran over gas exchange operations for gas supplies to Armenia, CEO Alexey Miller said, Sputnik News reports.

              On Tuesday, Miller met Georgian Energy Minister Kakhaber Kaladze for negotiations.

              “Yes, we did discuss this issue, currently we are working on the issues of exchange operations with our Iranian colleagues,” Miller said, when answering a question whether he and Kaladze discussed supplies of gas to Armenia from Iran.

              At the moment, the Russian gas is supplied to Armenia via Georgia.

              In November, Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh said Tehran was already in talks with Moscow on oil and gas swaps agreement.


              • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                Here is a interesting article.
                The implications are very important as this sets a precedent of nonpayment of debt.
                Hayastan or Bust.


                • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


                  YEREVAN, December 9. /ARKA/. Armenia's ministry of transport and
                  communications signed today an agreement with Chinese CinoHydro
                  Corporation on construction of a section of North-South Transport
                  Corridor. The section is stretching from Lanjik community to Armenia's
                  second largest town of Gyumri. The cost of this section is estimated
                  at 74 million euros, the ministry said in statement today.

                  The Chinese company is to build this 27.5 km-long section as part of
                  the 3rd tranche of the investment program.

                  The section's construction will be financed by a loan from the European
                  Investment Bank, a European Commission grant and Armenian government's
                  co-financing. The construction is to kick off in 2016 March and end
                  in 3 years.

                  Under the agreement, the Chinese company will use locally-manufactured
                  building materials. Some 70% of labor force will be Armenian workers,
                  the ministry said.

                  The goal of North-South Transport Corridor project is to upgrade
                  Armenia's main corridor road as part of a broader thrust to improve
                  connectivity, and boost trade, growth and livelihood opportunities
                  in the Caucasus and Central Asia sub-regions.

                  Funds are being released by the Asian Development Bank periodically
                  through a multitranche financing facility. The transport corridor
                  will stretch from the southern Armenian town of Meghri, on the border
                  with Iran, to Bavra in the north on the border with Georgia. The
                  North-South transport corridor will enable Armenia to mitigate the
                  effects of the blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey.

                  Currently the construction of the road is underway from Artashat
                  to Ashtarak and from Ashtarak to Talin. The ministry plans also the
                  implementation of separate smaller projects at various sections of the
                  road in order to end the construction both in southern and northern
                  directions by 2019.-0-

                  Hayastan or Bust.


                  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


                    YEREVAN, December 17. /ARKA/. Deputy transport and communications
                    minister Artur Arakelyan said today that Armenia and China are
                    discussing possible financing schemes for the construction of a
                    railway link from Armenia to Iran.

                    He said both countries have been looking into ways of intensifying
                    bilateral relations and boosting trade, discussing also China's
                    possible participation in the construction of the railway that would
                    allow direct delivery of goods from China to Armenia.

                    He said the importance of diversification of cargo transportation
                    routes is recognized both by the governments of Armenia and Iran.

                    According to the deputy minister, the railway project was discussed
                    with the Chinese side that expressed interest in its implementation.

                    He said work is underway to develop a financing scheme for the project,
                    estimated to cost $3-$4 billion.

                    The Armenian government upheld the 300-kilometer railway construction
                    project on August 7, 2014. The project implies construction of
                    64 bridges of total extent of 19.4 kilometers, 60 tunnels (102.3
                    kilometers) and 27 stations as part of the infrastructure. The
                    construction is expected to be completed in 2022. Annual freight
                    traffic will be 25 million tons.

                    The project of the railroad has been developed by China's CCCC
                    International, and Chinese banks have expressed willingness to finance
                    60% of the project.

                    According to Armenian National Statistical Service (NSS), the trade
                    with Iran in the first 9 months of 2015 dropped by 4.4% from the year
                    earlier to $104.4 million.-0-

                    Hayastan or Bust.


                    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                      Mo Money, Mo Problems


                      WB approves US$55 million loan for Armenia’s Local Economy Development Project

                      The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today a US$55 million loan for the Local Economy and Infrastructure Development Project (LEIDP) for Armenia to improve infrastructure services and institutional capacity for increased tourism contribution to the local economy in five selected regions of the country. Developing a rich variety of tourism destinations across the country in a sustainable way is part of the Government’s vision of improving the maintenance of Armenia’s natural and cultural heritage while also stimulating regional economic activity.

                      The World Bank helped the Government in 2014 to assess the regional development disparities and opportunities and prepared a Tourism Strategy for the country’s South Corridor. The analysis has identified opportunities for regional development by studying the profile of each region (marz) in Armenia and identifying key policy and investment needs in the most competitive sectors that drive private sector-led growth and job creation, most notably tourism, agro-tourism and agri-business. It also recommended an integrated approach to development of tourism corridors and circuits for diversifying and improving Armenia’s tourism products, which could increase spending and deliver a more robust tourism-led local economic development.

                      “As demonstrated around the world, with careful strategic planning and relatively modest public investments, tourism activities can be nurtured into a critical source of economic and employment growth at the local level,” says Laura E. Bailey, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia. ”I would like to highlight that one of the major strengths of the proposed project is that it motivates the communities to preserve their unique Armenian cultural heritage and helps benefit from integrating tourism in wider local economic development.”

                      With over 4000 historical monuments throughout the country dating from pre-historic to Hellenistic and early Christian eras – three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Armenia is often referred to as an open air museum. The Project activities are expected to benefit the residents, tourists and enterprises in three marzes in the south – Ararat, Vayots Dzor and Syunik, and two marzes in the north – Kotayk and Lori.

                      More specifically, the first component – Heritage Hub Regeneration and Tourism Circuit Development – will finance urban regeneration activities in the old towns of Goris and Meghri, and in the heritage villages Areni, Tatev and Tandzatap. This includes restoration of public infrastructure, building facades and roofs, public spaces, museums, access roads, water and sanitation, drainage and street lighting.

                      This component will also finance an integrated approach to cultural heritage preservation and improved site management plans of the most attractive cultural and natural heritage sites located along the main tourism circuit in Armenia: Garni (Temple and Gorge), Geghard Monastery, Dvin Museum, Khor Virap Monastery, Areni marketplace and cave, Mozrov cave, Zorats Qarer (Karahunge/Stonehendge), Khndzoresk and the two UNESCO Sites of Haghpat and Sanahin.

                      “In addition to the expected growth in the tourism sector and of under-developed areas, this project will enable public infrastructure to attract private investments. It will attract private entities in Project areas that demonstrate interest and capacity to invest in tourism or agribusiness through participating in rehabilitation of complementary public infrastructure to ensure the viability of their investments,” says Ahmed Eiweida, World Bank Task Team Leader of the Project.

                      The second – Institutional Development component – will increase the institutional capacity and performance of the Development Foundation of Armenia (DFA), the Ministry of Economy (MoE), responsible for overall coordination and policy support of the Project, the Historical and Culture Heritage Protection Agency (HCHPA), and the Armenia Territorial Development Fund (ATDF), as the implementing entity, to carry out tourism related activities at the various levels in a sustainable manner.

                      The first year investment program will capture numerous activities for improvements at Khor Virap Tourism Facility; Garni Gorge with rehabilitation of 1.6 km road leading from Garni Temple to the Stone Symphony monument, located in Azat River Gorge; Zorats Qarer (Stonehenge) Tourism Facility with improvement of the road leading to the monument.

                      Total financing of this project is US$68 million, of which US$13 million will be the Government’s contribution. The World Bank will provide a US$55 million IBRD loan of variable spread with a 14.5-year grace period and the total repayment term of 25 years.