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Armenia's Economic Pulse

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  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


    Armenia is considering the introduction of a three-year ban on fishing in Lake Sevan to save the lake’s diminishing fish population.

    Unrestrained fishing and water drainage from the lake has depleted Sevan’s salmon and trout population, according to Boris Gabrielian, the director of Armenia’s Hydrology and Ichthyology Institute. The lake’s salmon population has shrunk by almost six times since 1980, the Kavkazsky Uzel news website quoted Gabrielian as saying on March 22.

    A Soviet-era irrigation plan has also supposedly damaged the lake’s ecosystem. One of the world’s largest high-altitude lakes, Lake Sevan contains 34 billion cubic meters of water.

    Authorities plan to introduce tighter licensing rules for fishing, as well as enforce fishing quotas. Vladimir Movsisian, the head of an ad hoc government committee to help Sevan, said that a three-year fishing embargo would allow fish to spawn and enable the fry reach maturity, Kavkazsky Uzel reported.


    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

      Originally posted by ninetoyadome View Post

      Armenia is considering the introduction of a three-year ban on fishing in Lake Sevan to save the lake’s diminishing fish population.

      Unrestrained fishing and water drainage from the lake has depleted Sevan’s salmon and trout population, according to Boris Gabrielian, the director of Armenia’s Hydrology and Ichthyology Institute. The lake’s salmon population has shrunk by almost six times since 1980, the Kavkazsky Uzel news website quoted Gabrielian as saying on March 22.

      A Soviet-era irrigation plan has also supposedly damaged the lake’s ecosystem. One of the world’s largest high-altitude lakes, Lake Sevan contains 34 billion cubic meters of water.

      Authorities plan to introduce tighter licensing rules for fishing, as well as enforce fishing quotas. Vladimir Movsisian, the head of an ad hoc government committee to help Sevan, said that a three-year fishing embargo would allow fish to spawn and enable the fry reach maturity, Kavkazsky Uzel reported.
      I guess i will have to fish it some other time then hehe.
      Hayastan or Bust.


      • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


        29.03.2010 11:48 GMT+04:00

        /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Extending the geography of its flights, Armavia
        Air Company presented Yerevan-Tel-Aviv-Yerevan flight on March 28.

        According to Mikhail Baghdassarov, the company President, the regular
        flight will allow promoting contacts between the two countries and
        will rather ease Armenian citizens' trips to Israel. At the same
        time, Mikhail Baghdassarov expressed hope that Armenia's cultural
        and historical spots will be of keen interest for Israelis.

        Edgar Karapetyan, the company's Commercial Director, noted that the
        flights will be conducted twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays,
        by A320 and A319 aircrafts. The tickets will cost 350 euros in
        both directions. The flight will last up to 2 hours, which will
        significantly save passengers' time, as previously they had to fly
        from Tbilisi.

        Armavia's first plane left Yerevan for Tel-Aviv with more than 60
        passengers on board, the Company's press office reported.

        Armavia Company is Armenia's national air carrier, which fully complies
        with the international requirements of IATA. Currently, Armavia
        conducts over 340 flights per month to 35 destinations in 20 countries.
        Hayastan or Bust.


        • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

          1101 N. Pacific Avenue # 204
          Glendale, CA 91202
          Tel: 818.241.8900
          Fax: 818.241.6900

          March 27, 2010

          UAF's 155th Airlift Delivers $4.7 Million of Aid to Armenia

          Glendale, CA - The United Armenian Fund's 155th airlift arrived in Yerevan
          on March 27, delivering $4.7 million of humanitarian assistance.

          For this flight, the UAF itself collected $4 million of medicines and
          medical supplies donated by various charities, including AmeriCares ($3.8
          million), Catholic Medical Mission Board ($240,000), and Health Partners
          International of Canada ($45,000).

          Other organizations which contributed goods for this airlift were: The
          Armenian EyeCare Project ($300,000), Armenian Technology Group ($70,000),
          Armenian Relief Society-Western Region ($59,000), Fund for Armenian Relief
          ($33,000), St. Vartanantz Apostolic Church ($26,000), Dr. Samuel Malayan
          ($25,000), and Bay Area Friends of Armenia ($22,000).

          Also contributing supplies to this airlift were Armenia Fund USA ($17,000),
          Armenian Missionary Association of America ($15,000), American University of
          Armenia ($13,000), Eastern Prelacy ($12,000), Fletcher School of Law
          ($11,000), Vartan Gregorian ($11,000), Dr. Hagop Hovaguimian ($9,000), and
          Dr. Viken Garabedian ($9,000).

          Since its inception in 1989, the UAF has sent $588 million of humanitarian
          assistance to Armenia on board 155 airlifts and 1,783 sea containers.

          The UAF is the collective effort of the Armenian Catholic Eparchy, Armenian
          General Benevolent Union, Armenian Missionary Association of America,
          Armenian Relief Society, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, Prelacy
          of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, and The Lincy Foundation.

          For more information, contact the UAF office at 1101 North Pacific Avenue,
          Suite 204, Glendale, CA 91202 or call (818) 241-8900.
          Hayastan or Bust.


          • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


            2010-03-30 15:12:00

            ArmInfo's interview with Hakob Hakobyan, Head of the Parliamentary
            Commission for Social Affairs

            Mr. Hakobyan, what are the possible risks of the pension system reform?

            First, the state budget will envisage as much funds for the pensions
            as the additional accumulative funds will collect, in particular, 5%
            of the salary of the citizens permanently working in Armenia will
            be transferred to the fund. A similar amount will be provided to
            the pension fund by the state budget every month. Here are the risks
            connected with the reform: first, if we do not guarantee return and
            profitability of the amount, we will cause damage to our citizens
            proving budgetary funds without guarantees. If we guarantee safety
            of those amounts, in 5 or 10 years the budget will prove to be under
            additional burden of liabilities, which is dangerous for the country.

            In the first case, there is a risk of damaging the government
            reputation among the population, whereas in the second case, the
            country is endangered.

            How will the new system fight shady employment?

            One of the ways to fight shady employment is to change the current
            pension system based on the basic pension plus working period and to
            allocate pensions basing on the amount charged from the salary. If
            a citizen agrees with his employer to "cut" his salary to reduce the
            5% transfer to the accumulative fund, the government will naturally
            provide less to his pension account. One of the positive sides of
            the bill is creation of mechanisms that will make citizens declare
            their salary.

            The problem is in the lack of public confidence in the government,
            isn't it?

            The package of relevant bills is currently under discussion. The
            principles have not been specified yet. After the first discussion,
            both the government and the parliament have arrived at a conclusion
            that the package must be guaranteed not to infringe public interests.

            What makes the government refuse the current pension system?

            The size of pension of the citizens should be conditioned by the
            taxes paid by them over their working activity. As we know, the
            present system does not take into account the salary size. It is
            illogical in some sense, as the paid taxes, which condition the size
            of pension, should be the result of the work of citizens. The working
            experience was the only way of settlement, but this principle is not
            so much effective because of several impartial reasons. If payments
            of citizens are not returned in the form of pension, naturally,
            citizens will not be interested in making social payments.

            Will the pension age grow given the ageing of the population?

            No such issue is currently discussed. Increasing of the pension age is
            connected not only with increasing in the number of old citizens. The
            mechanism of determining the pension age is more complicate and cannot
            depend just on the ageing of the population. The problem is settled
            through comparison of the physical and mental abilities of people.

            How efficiently is the social system of Armenia protected against
            misappropriations by officials?

            Undoubtedly, there are drawbacks today to be promptly eliminated.

            According to the Sustainable Development Program, which replaced the
            Strategic Poverty Reduction Program, 85 % of the families registered
            in the allowances system rate are among the extremely poor ones. The
            authorities should perform a great work to overcome this poverty
            level. These problems cannot be solved at once, and it is necessary
            to find the right ways. The government developed a sustainable
            development program to be able to eliminate the drawbacks in the
            system and conduct a targeted social policy.

            How to prevent outflow of employable population from Armenia not to
            lose the participants in the new pension system?

            Last year the government undertook unprecedented measures of support
            to small and medium-sized business through lending, which will lead
            to creation of new jobs. Those and other measures will create an
            effective mechanism of preventing outflow of labor force from Armenia.

            Indeed, the country cannot interfere into internal affairs of another
            country. For instance, we cannot prevent toughening of conditions of
            migration flow in Russia. However, the government is able and must
            take measures to prevent outflow of employable population.

            How tangible are such measures, in particular, lending to SMEs?

            It is difficult to make any assessment now, since capital invested in
            the market does not bring fruits at once. I think that the 8 billion
            drams growth of tax revenues for Jan-Feb 2010 was a good indicator
            of the efficient of the government measures.

            But SME lending became possible at the expense of increasing the
            country's foreign debt...

            Armenia's foreign dept totals 46% of GDP. It is a significant amount,
            indeed, but not dangerous. I think that if the Armenian government
            manages to use the loans that help creating jobs and increasing tax
            revenues reasonably, the country's solvency will considerably grow.

            The opposition constantly criticizes the government for the growing
            foreign debt. What are the real opportunities of its service?

            The opposition, as a political force, expresses its attitude to
            the ongoing processes in the country, any action of the country's
            leadership may become an object of criticism. Healthy criticism
            ensuring the balance of forces is a normal phenomenon in all countries
            Hayastan or Bust.


            • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


              April 8, 2010

              Armenian economy has already started recovering, Armenian Finance
              Minister Tigran Davtyan said Wednesday in National Assembly.

              "Armenia has already stabilized its economy and is now embarking on
              recovery. This process will take certain time from us," he said.

              The minister said that a precipitous fall in macroeconomic indicators,
              high social tension and economic difficulties are main characteristics
              of any crisis.

              Davtyan thinks that Armenia has already come out of the crisis and
              the national economy started growing this year.

              He said that the country reached the peak of the crisis in July 2009,
              but in August stabilization began.

              The minister said that signs of recovery are already visible, and
              year-on-year growth of economic indicators was seen yet in January

              According to National Statistical Service of Armenia, 18.5% economic
              decline was recorded in the country in Jan-July 2009, and GDP was
              amounted to AMD 1417.1 billion ($3789.6 million).

              GDP reduced 18.4% in Jan-Aug 2009 to AMD 1761.9 billion ($4987.1

              Davtyan said that recovery of the economy is a time-consuming process,
              which needs great efforts.

              "I think we need one or one and a half year to reach pre-crisis
              indicators," he said. Armenia recorded 3.1% year-on-year economic
              growth in Jan-Feb 2010. GDP amounted to AMD 321650 million in
              current prices and index deflator was recorded at 110.6%. ($1 =
              AMD 401.20).
              Hayastan or Bust.


              • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


                2010-04-08 13:50:00

                ArmInfo. The Government of Armenia is toughening fiscal control over
                big business to make it more transparent, Armenian Prime Minister
                Tigran Sargsyan told the government on Thursday.

                He said that on April 1 the Finance Ministry published the list of
                285 big taxpayers in Armenia having over 1 billion drams turnover
                for 2009. "This list is yet to be specified on the basis of the
                submitted reports and some companies may found themselves out of
                the list and another ones may be included in it," Tigran Sargsyan
                said. The government is often criticized for insufficient control
                over big companies. "I accept this criticism. It is a big evil for
                every state to have big companies that avoid taxes, shaking the basis
                of the country and hinder development of SMEs," he said. He recalled
                that the president of Armenia had repeatedly charged the ministries
                of finance, economy and the government staff to enhance analysis to
                reveal the companies underpaying taxes.

                "We have been trying to hire human resources able to make such
                analysis, but the work carried out is unfortunately not satisfactory
                yet. The Finance Ministry is to publish the results of its surveys
                within a year i.e. to present comparison of the indicators of big
                taxpayers for 2008 and 2009," the prime minister said. "We are
                concerned with the fact that the main burden was laid on the SMEs
                in the crisis year and not on the big business and we must dispel
                all the doubts on big companies," T. Sargsyan said. Publication of
                reports will make it possible for the public to control over the
                government's work and get information on fulfillment of commitments
                to the government by big companies. "We have still much to do in this
                area as well," the prime minister said. In addition, he said, a bill
                of amendments to the Law On Taxes is currently in the parliament. The
                bill stipulates that information received from a third party may
                also be used to make objective assessment of the tax liabilities of
                big companies. "I think that the bill must be approved without any
                delay," Tigran Sargsyan said. He explained that indirect information
                implies data on electricity and water consumption, communal payments
                that are compared with the gross volume of production at big companies.

                Tigran Sargsyan said that the most effective instrument for assessment
                of big companies is to make them transparent and the government is
                implementing a relevant strategy. "In addition, commissions on ethics
                are set up to make it possible for the government to control over
                activity of parliamentarians and ministers not to allow them directly
                run business. This is what we need. The possibilities of the Finance
                Ministry in this area must be increased," the prime minister said.
                Hayastan or Bust.


                • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


                  2010-04-09 15:43:00

                  ArmInfo. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is dissatisfied with
                  the economic reform rates in Armenia, IMF Resident Representative in
                  Armenia Guillermo Tolosa told media on Friday.

                  Unfortunately, he said, the rates of reforms in some sectors of
                  economy carried out by the government are lower than were expected
                  given the IMF's support to the government. He said that tax collection
                  is still low in Armenia and there is need for better reforms in the
                  tax administration. G. Tolosa believes that control over big business
                  should be toughened. He said the IMF shares the concern of the Armenian
                  Prime Minsiter who has recently said that tax burden is laid on small
                  and medium-sized enterprises rather than big companies.
                  Hayastan or Bust.


                  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                    Russian-Armenian innovation center to be opened in Yerevan on April 15

                    2010-04-09 16:12:00

                    ArmInfo. The Russian-Armenian innovation center will be opened in
                    Yerevan on April 15, Head of the Armenian Office of the Federal Agency
                    for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Abroad and International Humanitarian
                    Cooperation, Viktor Krivopuskov, told journalists, Friday.

                    According to him, the representatives of large Russian technological
                    companies will attend the ribbon- cutting ceremony of the center. The
                    center will allow Armenian scientists to sell their inventions and
                    patents in the market more effectively. "Our colleagues from the
                    Armenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will confirm that they
                    receive a lot of patents for registration", he said and added that
                    Armenia's task is to make innovators launch them not only in Armenia
                    and even CIS, but also other countries. "Nobody will deny that at
                    present innovations are one of the most valuable resources for any
                    country",- said Krivopuskov.

                    To recall, the center is to become the first joint center for
                    innovation cooperation within the frames of the Interstate target
                    program on innovation cooperation of CIS until 2020. According to the
                    members of the working group for elaboration of the Interstate target
                    program on innovation cooperation of CIS, the program will allow CIS
                    countries to enhance labor efficiency 2.5 times by 2020, reduce GDP
                    energy intensity by 70%, increase expenditures on science by 3% of
                    GDP, and those on education - by 6% of GDP. The priority spheres of
                    development are energy, machine building, aerospace industry,
                    transport, communication, agriculture, biotechnologies and medicine.
                    Hayastan or Bust.


                    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                      5.5% GDP growth registered in Armenia in 2010 first quarter
                      April 20, 2010 - 15:19 AMT 10:19 GMT

                      PanARMENIAN.Net - According to updated statistical data, Armenia’s GDP was 5.5% higher in January-March 2010 as compared with the same period of 2009.

                      The RA National Statistical Service reported that GDP amounted to AMD568.1 billion. At the same time, the country’s GDP increased by 43.1% in March as compared with February.

                      Besides, consumer prices were 8.4% higher in the first quarter of 2010 as compared with the same period of last year. Inflation rate reached 8.4% in March 2010.

                      The 2010 Armenian national budget envisages 1.2% economic growth and 4±1.5% inflation.

                      Quo vadis?
                      17:14 / 04/19/2010

                      By Albert Khachatryan

                      After the Government’s economic policy resulted in an ignominious failure, Armenian high-ranking officials have “taken heart of grace” and are now issuing optimistic forecasts one after another. The reason for their enthusiasm is the GDP growth registered early this year, which to a great extent was accounted for by a major increase in industrial output.

                      Indeed, industrial output showed an increase of as much as 9.4% (!) this January-February as compared with the corresponding period last year. The progress is really impressive, with a 7.8% decline in the Armenian industry in 2009 considered.

                      The minerals industry, with its share in the total industrial output being 19.2%, (8.3% last January-February) registered a 45.9% increase. No doubt, that was the immediate result of the positive changes on the world ferromolybdenum market. So we would greatly exaggerate if we put the progress down to the economic policy implemented in the country.

                      The processing industry is an undisputed leader in the Armenian industrial sector, with its share being 56.4% this January-February. The processing industry registered a 9.2% increase in output and seems to have overcome last year’s stagnation and be making up the leeway. This is, however, at first blush.

                      In the processing industry the greatest progress was achieved by the enterprises that are closely cooperating with the extractive industry. Specifically, the output of hard nonmetallic minerals showed a 98% increase (its share in the Armenian industry being 4.2%); the output of base metals showed a 6.7% increase (16.2%), etc..

                      As regards the food industry, its figures leave to be desired. This January-February as compared with last January-February, the food output showed a 0.1% decrease, output of beverages a 2.7% decrease, and tobacco output a decrease of as much as 12.9%.

                      As regards beverages, the output of vodka, the most popular hard drink in Armenia, showed a 60.5% decrease. This fact could only be welcomed if the consumption of the “demon drink” reduced as much. But such significant progress can hardly be achieved in one year. So we can be sure that Armenian citizens go on drinking and smoking — to an extent imported drinks and baccy.

                      If continue, the aforementioned market trends threaten the Armenian market with import domination and a worse situation in the import substitution industries. Last year’s USD revaluation against the AMD was expected to improve the situation in the industries, which, however, did not happen.

                      The Armenian light industry is in a similar deplorable state. This January-February the symbolic textiles output showed a 48.8% decrease, and the clothing output a 21.7% decrease. So the USD revaluation did not even stabilize the situation in this industry. So we should not be euphoric about the industrial production index in Armenia. As we have mentioned above, a better situation in the raw-materials industry mainly accounts for the better index.

                      As regard the processing industry, of interest is the following fact: this January- February as many metal-cutting machine tools were produced in Armenia as last January-February – one machine tool in two months! So what diversification of production, and related export, can we dream of if the Armenian industry is only based on ferromolybdenum, copper concentrate, aluminum foil and brandy?


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