YEREVAN, September 25. /ARKA/. Tatul Manaseryan, an economist and the head of Alternative think tank, told journalists on Wednesday that the flow of investments into Armenia’s economy dwindled this year and the country’s exports shrank.
“I would like to point out unattractiveness of the domestic market as one of factors,” he said. “There are no incentives for internal investments in Armenia, i.e. no favorable environment has been created here to attract local businessmen’s money.”
If things remain unchanged, he said, their money will continue streaming out of the country.
Speaking about exports, Manaseryan recalled that mining industry products dominate Armenia’s export.
“We are weak in processing industry, and this problem is connected with introduction of new technologies,” Manaseryan said adding that temporary exemption of small and medium enterprises importing advanced technologies worth over AMD 300 million from VAT would foster their development.
Among unusual approaches in supporting small and mid-scale businesses, Manaseryan singled out direct participation of the government in business projects, which contracted this year, compared with two previous years.
“We think that not only businessmen should ask the government for support to business projects, but the government itself, ministries and agencies, should take steps toward the business community, SMEs and should find those competitive businesses needing support,” he said.
The expert said that they can not only provide financial assistance to businesses, but also contribute to solution of their organizational, marketing and other problems.
Armenian economy ministry says SMEs’ share in the country’s GDP was 43% in 2012, as in 2011.
According to official statistical reports, Armenia’s exports totaled $952.2 million in Jan-Aug 2013 – 8.9% year-on-year growth.
The country’s foreign trade turnover grew 2.8% in Jan-Aug 2013, compared with the same period a year before, to $3656.5 million.
Aggregate investments into the real sector of Armenia’s economy made for six months of this year not through banking system and without government administration amounted to $293 million – 34.7% year-on-year decline. ----0----