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Armenia's Economic Pulse

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  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

    Originally posted by Artashes View Post
    Although I can't understand what's being said, I see an --- OPEN PIT MINE ----.
    That's enough to raise the "red flag" warning.
    No matter where these mines operate, the vaste majority pollute and contaminate the emmediate surroundings to toxic levels.
    Extreme concern and vigilance is the first step.
    Second step is to somehow amass or access the authority do have meaningful oversight.

    The list of forbidden films in Armenia now include “Armenia’s broken Backbone” documentary.
    It is barred from the main Universities.
    The documentary is about the destruction of our nature to profit the few.
    Needles to say, the few includes the country's top officials.

    Where the cows are grazing, used to be a storage pool for the tailings.
    Now a thin layer of soil covers the poisonous base.
    The growing grass contain high level of heavy metals which pass on to the cows and humans.

    The rivers and water table is similarly and irreversibly contaminated.

    Sadly the list goes on ...

    The next posting, an expert describes how unwisely our mining resources are utilized.
    Our non metallic mining recourses apparently are vast.

    As an example of the incompetence and corruption (??) he states that Robert Kocharyan as prime minister
    sold a limestone mine in the Ararat valley with deposits of more than 350 million ton to an American mining company for $1.4m.
    The value of limestone is put at $250 per ton. You can calculate the rest.

    It goes on and on ....
    Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
    Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
    Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests


    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

      well that sucks....the close by residents should flood the courts with lawsuits. that will control the pollution IF they win in the courts.
      B0zkurt Hunter


      • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

        Originally posted by Eddo211 View Post
        well that sucks....the close by residents should flood the courts with lawsuits. that will control the pollution IF they win in the courts.
        The government officials act both proprietors and licensing authority, granting themselves favourable concessions so they can say everything is done is legally.

        The governor of the Marz (county) has a lot of power in granting concessions.
        He is not elected but appointed by the President.
        I do not believe the Parliament has any say.
        In any event the Parliament is dominated by the Republicans so will support all officials actions.

        The only people fighting this are the environmentalists who often seen as fringe elements and troublemakers.
        Last edited by londontsi; 07-23-2014, 11:27 PM.
        Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
        Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
        Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests


        • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

          Originally posted by londontsi View Post
          The government officials act both proprietors and licensing authority, granting themselves favourable concessions so they can say everything is done is legally.

          The governor of the Marz (county) has a lot of power in granting concessions.
          He is not elected but appointed by the President.
          I do not believe the Parliament has any say.
          In any event the Parliament is dominated by the Republicans so will support all officials actions.

          The only people fighting this are the environmentalists who often seen as fringe elements and troublemakers.
          ------- the only people fighting this are invironmentalists who often are seen as fringe elements and troublemakers -------
          That could easily be a discription of the USA scene on invironmental protection.
          No matter how many voices are raised in ligitimate concern for the terrible mining practices of USA , they are marginalized to ineffectivness.
          Also the same big players get land to do their dirty mining at penneys per acre.
          Really quite similar to the terrible behavior of Armenia on this account.
          What a sham, what a shame.


          • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

            Armenia is once again regional leader according to ''Global Innovation
            Index 2014''

            17:42 28/07/2014 >> SOCIETY

            In the Global Innovation Index 2014, which ranks countries according
            to the level of development of innovative technologies, Armenia is on
            the 65th place while Azerbaijan hasn't even been included among the
            first 100 countries. The details of the ranking can be found

            It must be noted that Armenia, as it was in the previous year, is the
            leader of the region.

            This year among the top ten countries in the list are Switzerland,
            Great Britain, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands. The last countries
            on the list are Guinea, Myanmar, Yemen, Togo and Sudan.

            Out of 143 countries included in the research Azerbaijan ranks the
            101st, Georgia - 74th, Kazakhstan - 79th, Belarus - 58th, Kyrgyzstan -
            112th, Uzbekistan - 128th, Tajikistan - 137th. Armenia's regional
            neighbors Turkey and Iran are ranked the 54th and 120th respectively.

            The annual analytical report "Global Innovation Index" is co-published
            by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property
            Organization (WIPO, an agency of the United Nations, UN). The research
            has been carried out since 2007.

            Hayastan or Bust.


            • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

              Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
              Armenia is once again regional leader according to ''Global Innovation
              Index 2014''

              Armenia's regional neighbors Turkey and Iran are ranked the 54th and 120th respectively.
              This cant be right.....Iran should be one of the top countries listed since they have done alot of innovations under severe sanctions compared to Turkey that can't even make their tanks work right.
              No way Iran is behind Turkey.
              B0zkurt Hunter


              • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                Click image for larger version

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                Here is a chart i made of the economies of the three countries in our region.
                Hayastan or Bust.


                • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                  July 30 2014

                  Will Sanctions on Russia Hurt Armenia?

                  July 30, 2014 - 9:52am, by Giorgi Lomsadze

                  As international sanctions pile up against Russia, Armenia, a country
                  literally powered by the Russian economy, expects to get hit, too.

                  Armenian officials and economy-wonks are not certain about the size
                  and scope of the impact, but they are positive there is going to be
                  one. Russia is Armenia's single largest investor, export-outlet and
                  energy supplier, so the lateral effects of the sanctions could be
                  potentially felt in all those directions. "At this stage it is hard
                  to make expert conclusions. Even the Russian experts do not yet have
                  precise calculations," Economy Minister Karen Chshmatirian was quoted
                  as saying by Regnum news agency.

                  The latest round of US sanctions targeted, among others, Russia's VTB
                  Bank, which happens to be the largest private lender in Armenia. "The
                  measures taken by the US Government to restrict VTB's access to the
                  capital market do not impact the bank's operational performance and
                  creditworthiness," asserted VTB, which is majority-owned by the
                  Russian government. Bloomberg, however, reported that major
                  international lenders to the VTB Group already have put on hold a
                  $1.5-billion loan to the bank.

                  Another target of the sanctions, Gazprombank, also has a presence in
                  Armenia. It is owned by Russia's state energy giant Gazprom, which
                  essentially is the sole supplier of natural gas to Armenia.

                  Armenia was also pinning investment hopes on the Russian state oil
                  corporation Rosneft, another sanctions-target which had plans to
                  purchase Armenia's Nairit, a large rubber-manufacturer. Armenian Prime
                  Minister Hovik Abrahamian did not rule out that these plans may fall
                  through, though, since the sanctions may put Rosneft out of the
                  investment mood.

                  Vaagn Khachatrian, an expert on the Armenian economy and member of the
                  opposition Armenian National Congress, said in comments to news
                  service that he expects Russian investment to become scarce and
                  lending more expensive.

                  The assessments vary about the depth of the impact, but, for now, no
                  official word on cold feet about the Customs Union; a membership-move
                  that would further tie Armenia to Russia's economy.

                  Hayastan or Bust.


                  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                    July 30 2014

                    In Russia's Orbit, Searching The Sleepy Economy Of Armenia

                    by Aleksei Boyarskii (2014-07-29)

                    YEREVAN -- There used to be trains that connected Moscow and Armenia's
                    capital of Yerevan. But for different reasons, mostly an array of
                    regional tensions in former Soviet republics, Armenia is no longer
                    connected to Russia by rail.

                    To get to Yerevan from Moscow, you can either drive for 48 hours
                    through the North Caucasus and Georgia, or you can take a flight of
                    less than three hours. I chose the latter.

                    The entire time I was in Armenia, I was struck by how calm it was. The
                    country has the lowest crime rate among all of the former Soviet
                    states, and has a per-capita crime rate nine times lower than
                    Russia's. What's more, 90% of the criminal activity in the country
                    happens in Yerevan, the capital. But that is Armenia's best statistic.
                    In terms of its economy, Forbes ranked Armenia the second-worst
                    economy in the world in 2011.

                    Indeed when people learned that I'd come here to write about Armenia's
                    economy, the response I got over and over again was something like,
                    "Wait, you are trying to write about something that doesn't exist."

                    According to the 2012 census, Armenia has 3.2 million residents, 3
                    million of whom live in the country permanently. But according to the
                    economist and former Yerevan Mayor Vahagn Khachatryan, Armenia has
                    closer to 2.2 to 2.5 million residents. "Our GDP is around $10
                    billion," Khachatryan says. "Private transfers -- remittances sent back
                    from Armenians working abroad -- make up $1.8 billion per year. That
                    sum doesn't take into account the money that is brought back in cash.
                    If you count the cash transfers, I think it would add up to $2.5
                    billion per year." He estimates that 90% of that money is coming from

                    This total dependency on Russia is about more than remittances.
                    Russian companies own 100% of Armenia's electrical grid, and the
                    majority of the power plants. All of the gas pipelines, including the
                    one that comes from Iran, are owned by Russia. Of Armenia's three
                    mobile phone companies, two are Russian and the third is French. In
                    the banking sector, 21 of the 25 banks active in Armenia are

                    Gold, cognac and high-tech

                    Have you ever heard that Armenia is an international center for
                    xxxelry manufacturing? People tell me that 7% of the world's famous
                    xxxelers are Armenian. I'm not so sure about the world leadership bit,
                    but it's true that after mining for copper and molybdenum, xxxelry
                    production is the second most important industry in the country.

                    Yerevan's gold market is in a building that used to house the city's
                    public baths. It has nine floors: The first two are shops, the others
                    are xxxelry workshops. There are 800 shops and up to 6,000 salespeople
                    and xxxelers. Everything sold in the building is also made there. I
                    see gold bullion with the stamp of Swiss banks that is going to be
                    melted down for xxxelry. The xxxelers also melt down gold that people
                    sell in the xxxelry shops downstairs. You can buy knock-offs of Rolex
                    and Tissot watches, made to order within 24 hours.

                    Agriculture is the Armenian economy's third-largest industry. Most of
                    the income in agriculture comes from making cognac. Yerevan's most
                    important tourist sites are two famous cognac factories next to each
                    other: Ararat and Noi. Both factories formerly made the famous
                    "Ararat" cognac, but now only one company has the rights to that
                    brand. That company's stocks have long been owned by Pernod Ricard, a
                    French company.

                    In addition to "Ararat," Armenia has another 27 cognac producers.
                    Shakhnazaryan, one of the newer cognac producers, has a factory
                    located near Yerevan in the city of Yeghvard. The company's owner,
                    Samvel Shakhnazaryan, had lived in Ukraine for years before returning
                    to Armenia eight years ago. At first he sold liquor, then he decided
                    to get into cognac production. The factory opened, from nothing, in
                    2010, and in 2014 it is expected to sell four million bottles.

                    Shakhnazaryan says that 95% of the sales go to Russia. I noticed,
                    though, that although the company has only been around for four years,
                    its oldest cognac is aged 15 years.

                    "Does that mean that you buy other people's cognac to resell?" I asked
                    the older head of wine production. "Here in Armenia, there is no
                    'other.' It's all ours," he responded. In fact, they do think there is
                    no such thing as "fake" Armenian cognac. As long as it is made from
                    local grapes, it is genuine.

                    Lastly, in fourth place in Armenia's economy is the IT sector. It
                    makes sense for a small, mountainous country without many natural
                    resources to orient itself towards intellectual products. In Yerevan,
                    the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies holds classes in digital
                    technology, web development and game development, among other
                    subjects, for children from 12 to 18 years old. The classes are open
                    to all and are completely free, and in total around 5,500 kids take
                    classes there twice a week.

                    PicsArt, a photo editor for mobile devices, is located on the
                    building's second floor. The company is American, but its founder is
                    from Armenia and all of the operations are in Yerevan. It's still a
                    start-up, but it's gaining traction, and now has 45 million active
                    users per month.

                    Looking at Ararat

                    Armenia is poised to join the Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and
                    Kazakhstan, but people here feel trepidation about joining its former
                    Soviet States. "Until last September, when we were told that we would
                    be joining the Customs Union, Armenia was preparing to join the
                    European Union, along with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine," says Vahagn

                    In 2013, Armenia exported $334.5 million worth of goods to Russia,
                    $8.6 million to Belarus and $7.3 million to Kazakhstan. The total GDP
                    of the Customs Union countries is 230 times larger than Armenia's GDP,
                    and the per capita GDP is 3.5 times higher. Theoretically that could
                    help Armenia's economy. Armenia's economy can expect more investments
                    and more exports due to joining the Customs Union, and it will also
                    likely add jobs.

                    But there are also clear disadvantages. First of all, it will be in a
                    different camp from Georgia, which is joining the EU, and that could
                    complicate trade and transit. In addition, the Customs Union will
                    cause a large number of imported goods to become more expensive --
                    everything from food to cars. Most experts say Armenia's decision to
                    join the Customs Union is a tribute to history, not based on economic

                    For Armenia, Mount Ararat is everything. It is the famous cognac
                    brand, the legendary soccer team, the name of the hotel I stayed in.
                    The snow-covered peak is easily visible from Yerevan, but the mountain
                    itself is in Turkey. The loss of Ararat, as well as memories of the
                    genocide of Armenians living in Turkey in 1915, still influences

                    Turkey is so close that on the road through Ararat's valleys my mobile
                    phone switched to a Turkish mobile network. "Do you see over there, on
                    the other side of the Aras River (the border between Armenia and
                    Turkey), those bright lights?" our driver asked, pointing into the
                    darkness. "That is a NATO base." Which is why Russian military bases
                    in Armenia give the locals peace of mind.

                    In Armenia, no matter what you ask, you will get an answer that makes
                    reference to war with Turkey or to the genocide. "There are bells on
                    the historic gates to warn of the arrival of the Turks," someone might
                    say. Or, "this is a watch tower to look out for Turks," etc.
                    Azerbaijanis are also called "Turks," and Armenia's borders with both
                    Turkey and Azerbaijan are closed.

                    With its other neighbor, Iran, it has a normal relationship, but Iran
                    is also a Muslim country. With these sorts of neighbors, the small
                    country needs a strong ally. Historically, that strong ally has always
                    been Russia.

                    Hayastan or Bust.


                    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                      Minister Of Finance And Economy - Artsakh

                      Thu, Jul 24th, 2014

                      Impressive Economic Performance Since 1997

                      Spartak Tevosyan, Minister of Finance and Economy

                      Spartak Tevosyan, Minister of Finance and Economy, discusses Nagorno
                      Karabakh's impressive economic performance since 1997. He also notes
                      the republic's outstanding investment attractions.

                      European Times: Please give a brief overview of Nagorno Karabakh's
                      recent economic performance.

                      Spartak Tevosyan: The economy has been performing very well since
                      1997, averaging 10% growth per year. In 2013, the republic's GDP
                      totalled approximately EURO 310 million compared to EURO 35.6 million in 1997.
                      Per capita GDP is now close to EURO 2,091. In addition, the average salary
                      in 2013 was EURO 205.1whereas in 1997, it was EURO 24.7.

                      European Times: What is the tax system of Nagorno Karabakh?

                      Spartak Tevosyan: Nagorno Karabakh has a value-added tax of 20%, an
                      excise tax, an income tax for individuals at the rate of 21% of the
                      salary, and a profit tax of 10%. These taxes support the state budget,
                      which is 10 times bigger than it was in 1997. Around 24% of the budget
                      funds social programmes, 15.5% are for education, 6.3% for healthcare
                      and 3.5% for culture. During the global economic crisis, our citizens
                      did not suffer because the state financed social programmes. Our taxes
                      are low compared to other countries in the region.

                      European Times: Which sectors offer the most investment potential?

                      Spartak Tevosyan: In 2013, agriculture accounted for 14% of GDP,
                      industry 13.3% and construction 9.2%.

                      The mining sphere has developed significantly in Artsakh for the
                      recent years, becoming one of the most powerful subsectors of the
                      industry and providing 40-50% of the entire industrial product.
                      However, we have managed to provide the progressive development of
                      other subsectors of the industry as well, and in 2012-2013, the mining
                      sphere provided nearly 25% of the entire industrial product,
                      maintaining the production volumes.

                      We are strongly supporting the growth of the mining industry but we
                      are also promoting all industrial activities, including
                      food-processing, textiles and fabric production. In the energy sector,
                      hydropower has enormous potential. We have built eight small hydro
                      plants which provide over 70% of the country's energy needs. In 2013
                      we produced more than 190 million kWh. We welcome investors in the
                      energy sector. The construction sector is also a leading economic
                      driver and new systems for housing loans should stimulate the sector
                      further. Agriculture remains very important to the local economy, and
                      the tourism sector is growing rapidly. We are also promoting ICT and
                      the government has established the Artsakh Information-Technology
                      Centre as a first point of contact for ICT investors. The Artsakh
                      Investment Fund also supports investors.

                      European Times: What is your personal message to potential visitors
                      and investors?

                      Spartak Tevosyan: Our country is young but with an ancient history,
                      and in the last 20 years we have made impressive progress. We welcome
                      investors and are ready to assist them.
                      Hayastan or Bust.