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Economists Predict No Growth in Armenia’s Economy in 2016

The economy of Armenia has no prospects for growth in 2016, economist Vahagn Khachatryan said in a press conference Tuesday, December 22. The issue, he noted, is not as much economic as political, since Armenia's authorities should show the political will to create an equally favourable անդ competitive environment for everyone.

 “Current [Armenian] authorities need a society that would not fight, where all would obey and no one would be concerned with politics or economy,” Khachatryan said.

Vilen Khachatryan, another of discussion participants, stated that the economy of Armenia had been gradually regressing.  Most recent statistics data, he added, have shown that as of November, 2015, Armenia's international reserves have decreased by USD 1 billion 550 million from USD 1 billion 700 million. 

This “difficult economic situation,” as stated by Vilen Khachatryan, is caused first of all by the inadequate effectiveness of the country's banking system which does little to promote economic growth: “Banks finance the economy with high interest rates. No business can survive with these rates.”

He added that Armenia has to reduce its economic dependence on the outside world: “How can you sit and wait for others to send you money to improve your economy? Economic growth should not be based on remittances.”

Commenting on Armenia's membership into the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), the economist reminded that EEU had promised to ensure economic growth in Armenia; as a result, however, Armenia has been ensuring growth for Russia: “Armenia has reduced export levels to Russia: exports fell from 20% to 10%, while imports from Russia have risen to 30%.”

Armenia's state debt, the economists stressed, has also been trending upwards, while the numerous international loans do not lead to a noticeable economic growth.