YEREVAN, October 17. / ARKA /. Vazgen Safarian, the chairman of the Union of Domestic Commodity Producers, has reiterated today that industry should become the priority of the Armenian economy. Speaking at another news conference, he said "sustainable economic development is based on macro-economic stability, in which industry and industrial policy play a large role."
To ground that Armenia’s industry is not advancing actively he went back to 1988 when he said the industrial production accounted for 67.5% of the republic’s GDP; now this figure has slashed to 17-19%.
According to him, the most important of the industries, which require special attention is engineering, the development of which may be prompted by production of ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy. "The ferrous metal industry is the bread of Armenian industry,” he said.
Safarian said that during the Soviet period ferrous metals were imported to Armenia from Russia and Ukraine, but today Armenia has the potential for the development of this industry, provided that corresponding enterprises are built.
Safarian said construction of copper smelters and flotation plants will stimulate the development of industry and allow exporting refined back copper instead of ore, which contains a certain percentage of precious metals, including platinum, gold and silver.
"Last year, the Alaverdi copper smelter exported 8,876 tons of crude black copper, which contained quite a lot of gold," he said. Among other sectors that need to be developed, Safarian mentioned chemical industry, stressing the importance of synthetic rubber production.
"Every year, we can produce 30,000 tons of rubber; the price per ton today is now $ 5,500", he said. According to Safarian, Armenia should develop also as jewelry and pharmaceuticals.
Gagik Makarian, the chairman of the National Union of Employers of Armenia, said first of all small and medium businesses should be encouraged which would give a boost to industrial progress. In his opinion, creation of a competitive environment and fighting corruption would contribute to it.
According to the ministry of economy, Armenia’s industrial output in the first eight months of 2012 increased by 13.2% compared to the same period last year to 698.4 billion drams. Some 197 billion drams worth output was sold to other countries. Exports to former Soviet republics surged by nearly 60 percent to 46.6 billion drams. Exports to other countries increased by 2.8% to 150.5 billion drams. ($ 1 - 407.66 drams). -0-