YEREVAN—Speaking to members of parliament on Wednesday, Armenia’s newly-appointed prime minister Karen Karapetyan acknowledged the “grave” state of Armenia’s economy and proposed that his new government would tackle that challenge through systemic changes that will be rolled out in two stages.
“There will not be quick changes within the first stage, but there will be the measures that we will implement in the near future. For the second stage we need time to decide which direction to pursue,” Karapetyan said.
“We will undertake concrete steps aimed at mitigating social concerns and improving the business environment. But we must understand that we have no magic wand. If we want to make changes in our economy, we must make real and structural changes,” Karapetyan said.
He added that it would be impossible to initiate economic reforms in Armenia without fighting the shadow economy.
“The Armenian economy has no chance of being reformed without a fight against shadow economy. Time will tell how effectively we will be able to do that. We will try to do that and are determined to do that since there is no alternative to that. We cannot develop our economy by making changes in the taxation procedure every time,” explained the prime minister.
In discussing monopolies, Karapetyan said that he opposes them if they are created through “administrative resources,” but explained that monopolies that are formed through a natural set of circumstances, as in if certain companies outperform their competition and gain an upper hand in the market, then they aren’t necessarily “bad.” He explained that the latter scenario is more common in a country like Armenia.
The prime minister said that his plan envisions the applications of laws and ruled equitably, saying that he disagrees that currently such practices do not exist in Armenia.
He added that he would appoint “qualified” individuals to posts in his new cabinet, which is to be formed in coming days. He also added the some current ministers would be relieved of their duties.