EFSD: Armenian growth is driven largely by exports

17.11.2017 17:42
EFSD: Armenian growth is driven largely by exports

YEREVAN, November 17. /ARKA/. The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) commends Armenia for the positive effect from a set of reforms carried out by its government, Alisher Mirzoyev, a senior official at the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD) in charge of financial loans, said in an exclusive interview to ARKA news agency.

"In the first half of 2017, Armenian GDP grew by 5.9% compared to 3.5% growth in the same period in 2016. In the first 9 months of 2017 the economic activity index accelerated to 5.1% compared to 1.6% for that period in 2016," he noted.

Mirzoyev said also Armenia’s economic growth since 2014 has been largely driven by exports. Thus, according to the National Statistical Service, exports in January-September of 2017 increased by 19.1% from the year before to $1.5 billion. Exports to several former Soviet republics, making the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) grew by 25.2% to $360.8 million, exports to EU countries surged by 33.8% to $462.9 million, and to other countries it grew by 8.8% to $722.9 million.

He said this year Armenia's GDP growth has also been supported by the recovering domestic demand, which increased by 6.8% on the back of growing remittances and loans provided to the private sector against the backdrop of a significant reduction in budget deficit and current account.

He said the reforms supported by Eurasian Fund for Strategic Development and other donors, including the World Bank and the IMF, allowed Armenia to improve government performance and business sector indicators, contributing also to the economic recovery processes and strengthening the opportunities for sustainable economic growth.

Mirzoyev suggested that in the long term the growth of the economy could be limited by the deterioration of the external economic situation and internal problems.

"Next year we expect a much more moderate increase in the inflow of remittances from Russia compared to this year. In addition, the still existing barriers to competition in the domestic market limit the potential for sufficient growth in investment in fixed assets," said Mirzoyev.

The Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development has provided $490 million to Armenia so far, including $300 million as a budget support, $150 million for the construction of the North-South highway and $40 million for irrigation projects.

The Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development was established by Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan in 2009. The fund is run by the Eurasian Development Bank, which was established by Russia and Kazakhstan in January 2006 for supporting its member countries’ market economies, contributing to their sustainable growth and making economic and trade ties among these countries. --0----

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