YEREVAN, February 22. / ARKA /. Armenia’s industrial output in 2012 surged by almost 9 percent from 2011 to 1.120.4 trillion drams, said Vazgen Safarian, chairman of the Association of Domestic Manufacturers.
"This is a positive trend, but we expect serious investments this year, especially in the mining industry,’ he said at a news conference urging the government to push for the construction of a copper smelting in southern town of Kajaran,. According to his estimates, it will cost $1.5 billion, which may come both from foreign and o local investors.
Safarian praised also the government-created strategy to boost export-oriented industries.
"It will create a situation that will radically change the structure of our economy and give it a new impetus. The fact that trade and services account for a fairly large percentage of GDP is not normal for our country, which once had an industry accounting for 67 percent of its Gross Domestic Product, " he said, adding that today it is somewhere near 20 %.
The export-oriented strategy commissioned by the World Bank was developed by a group of experts with the assistance of the ministry of economy and adopted by the government on December 15, 2011. It focuses on building an advanced industrial system, aimed at boosting exports, which in turn is supposed to stimulate production of high quality products meeting international standards, to help Armenian companies win new foreign markets and create new jobs. The strategy specifies what the government seeks to achieve by 2020. More specifically, exports are supposed to double by 2015 and reach $3 billion by 2020. To implement this strategy the government will set up Industrial Council to be chaired by the prime minister of Armenia, as well as establish sub-councils to coordinate projects in 11 chosen sectors. -0-