YEREVAN, February 6. / ARKA /. Armenia’s economy minister Vahram Avanesyan has downplayed today media reports claiming that Armenia’s forthcoming membership in the Russia-led Customs Union would skyrocket prices of many imported goods because of higher customs duties effective in the bloc.
Asked by Prime Minister Sargsyan to comment on these reports during a Cabinet session the minister said the highest inflation pressure as a result of Armenia's membership in the Customs Union would not exceed 1.5%.
"According to our studies, the results of which we presented six months ago, the maximum inflation pressure from Armenia’s membership in the Customs Union can reach 1.5%,” he said.
He said there is a group of products which Armenia intends to ask the Customs Union to remove from the list of exceptions. He said this circumstance is being used by some media to create a sensation. The minister said if his predictions did not come true, he would not resign ‘because it is not serious to resign because of incorrect predictions.’
The minister also said the government will not compensate for products for which the customs duty will increase.
Avanesyan said further that a possible increase of customs duties is one of the negative factors of Armenia's membership in the Customs Union, although it has also a number of advantages, in particular, it will get favorable conditions for access to the markets of the Customs Union.
He said other advantages are a reduction of export costs by 7-8 percent, which will spur up the export opportunities of Armenian companies and attraction of fresh investments. According to him, Armenia continues to be eligible to GSP + regime in trading with EU countries. -0-