Yerevan Hosts Largest Armenian-Chinese Event
YEREVAN, April 18, /ARKA/. Representatives of 22 Chinese companies arrived in Armenia last week to attend the largest Armenian-Chinese business forum. The event was organized by the Armenian Development Agency (ADA) and Armenian ministry of economy.
In an opening speech, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian described the forum as a remarkable event saying the business forum is the largest ever held Armenian-Chinese gathering. He said the event was a testimony of growing relations between the two countries.
The Armenian premier cited the latest statistics saying that bilateral trade rose to $436 million in 2010 nearly doubling from the previous year.
The Chinese government delegation was headed by Li Changchun, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), who stressed the necessity to intensify cooperation between the two countries and to remove investment barriers.
Agriculture ministry combating late frosts
The agriculture ministry’s combat against late frosts was among the most remarkable events last week.
The thing is that subzero temperature forecasted for April 13 night might strike hard at fruit gardens, especially apricot trees, and leave Armenia’s population without harvest.
Weather forecasters even predicted the exact time of the lowest temperature – between 03:00 and 05:00.
Agriculture Minister Sergo Karapetyan gave an extraordinary news conference and came up with a special televised address to farmers.
TV companies were airing emergency warnings. Farmers were receiving SMS messages. A hotline was opened.
Fortunately, it became clear on Thursday that there were no frosts in the country. Although subzero temperature was reported in some low-lying lands, but blooming trees survived this frost.
The Armenian economy is set to grow by 4.6 per cent this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest World Economic Outlook report, released last Monday in Washington. In 2012, the IMF expects growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) to drop to 4.3%.
The IMF report also predicts a 9.3% inflation growth for 2011 in Armenia saying it would ease to 5.5% in 2012.
The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) released its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2011, predicting 7% inflation for Armenia in 2011 and 5.5% inflation in 2012.
Due to strengthening domestic activity and fast-rising global commodity prices, inflation pressures will persist in 2011, though inflation is expected to come down from its 2010 high.
Armenia faced 9.4% inflation in 2010 instead of the 4% (±1.5%) inflation projected in the government budget.
The authors of the report think that monetary policy will be tightened in an effort to curb inflation.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a total of $17 million worth trade finance agreements with six banks in Armenia last week. The move is expected to further bolster the country's trade sector and help ensure sustainable economic growth in the Central Asian countries.
The Russian-managed South Caucasus Railways (SCR), operating Armenia’s railroads and the state-owned Georgian Railways Company, signed a cooperation and interaction agreement following a two-day meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia, on April 7-8.
The two sides also signed another document on electronic exchange of information about international cargo transportation, marketing research results and reciprocal free assistance in case of accidents.
The sides also agreed to run a daily train from Yerevan to Batumi, a popular tourist destination for Armenian holiday makers on the Black Sea coast, from June 15 to September 30.
South Caucasus Railways Chief Executive Director Shevket Shaidulin said the company would start operating an additional train on Tuesdays and Fridays.
He said that this train is intended for low-income people, and fares here would be 10-15% lower, but passengers would reach the destination in 19 hours. ---