Armenia Forecasts Continued Economic Growth

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenian Trade and Economic Development Minister Karen Chshmaritian said yesterday Armenia’s industrial sector will wrap up the year with a growth of 7-8 percent.

He said the biggest contribution was being made by the mining industry. He added that the sector will continue to grow next year–after the Armenal foil plant is reopened.

A big part of the economic growth is due to foreign investmen’s in Armenia–which may amount to $400 million this year. Last year $305 million in foreign investmen’s were made in Armenia. The biggest investmen’s are coming from Greece–Germany–Russia–the US–and Argentina. The Armenian mining industry received a bulk of the investment–followed by the telecommunication sector.

To encourage further economic growth–next year’s budget will allocate 350 million Armenian drams ($778,000) for investment in small and medium-sized Armenian businesses.

Addressing a conference for entrepreneurs in Yerevan–Chshmaritian said the National Center for Small and Medium-Sized Entrepreneurship will soon open up a branch in Armenia’s second largest city of Gyumri.

He also said a closer interaction between this sector and high technology would give a strong impetus to economic development.

Antal Szabo–a UN regional expert on small and medium-sized business (UNECE) said the government should continue its current policies in order to achieve serious economic progress.

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