Armenia needs to diversify its exports

27.10.2009 12:39
Armenia needs to diversify its exports

YEREVAN, October 27, /ARKA/. The global economic and financial crisis that hit virtually all countries although with differing severity, has affected the Armenian economy very hard, contrary to earlier forecasts of some experts. The double-digit economic growth, reported for several successive years, was replaced by a bigger double-digit GDP contraction.

For example, Armenian GDP grew by 13.2% in 2002, by 14% in 2003, by 10.5% in 2004, by 14% in 2005, by 13.4% in 2006 and by 13.7% in 2007. But the next year it contracted to 6.8%, while in the first nine months of 2009 the GDP collapsed by 18.3 percent. Reduced imports and exports have cut foreign trade.

According to a report of the State Revenue Committee, called ‘The Analysis of the Summarized Indices of the Monitoring of Biggest Taxpayers in Eight Months of 2009’, the volume of exports of 325 biggest companies in January-August totalled 120.2 billion Drams. Three companies, Zangezour Copper and Molybdenum Combine, RusAl foil producer and Pure Metal Plant accounted for 46.1 billion Drams of exports of the biggest companies. These three companies also accounted for 31.6% of the overall Armenian exports in Jan.-September, which totalled 146 billion Drams.

Having in mind that all three companies represent the country’s mining and metallurgical sector, it becomes clear why the global crisis and particularly, the fall of prices of non-ferrous metals at global markets have had such a sever impact on Armenian exports. These three companies reported a total of 60.8% fall (or 71.5 billion Drams) in their exports in Jan.-September, as a result Armenia’s overall export contracted by 31.6% or 67.4 billion Drams.

However, despite the crisis, the aggregate exports of other exporting companies grew by 4.1 billion Drams. This makes obvious that Armenia’s economy needs swift diversification. According to a Central Bank of Armenia forecast, Armenian exports will decline by 30-35% by yearend. This will be largely due to still low prices of metals and to a circumstance that the impact of devaluating Dram will be slower than it was predicted. As a result, the central Bank expects the real volume of exports and goods to decline by 8-11%, despite the anticipated growth of cooper and molybdenum exports.

The average exchange rate of Armenian national currency, Dram against USD was 353.29 per one USD in January-September, deprecating by 15,4% from a year before. ($1 – 384. 68 Drams). финансы -0-


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