YEREVAN (Armenpress)-An expert from the United States Agency for International Development sent mixed signals about the health of Armenia’s economy Friday as he praised Armenia’s central bank while sounding an alarm over the country’s heavy dependence on remittance paymen’s from its large Diaspora.
According to Robert Singletar, The USAID financial sector development project coordinator, Armenia’s banking system is stable and continues to have a positive affect on the economy, but the large percentage of remittance paymen’s flowing into Armenia from abroad is a concern.
He said Armenia’s are still avoiding keeping their cash in banks and that is another concern, because it reveals that the majority of people do not trust the banking system.
Studies in Armenia’show that the volume of credits made available for the population in 2006 and 2007 increased by 83 percent, he said, explaining that some banks began offering credits on more favorable terms.
He also emphasized the government’s plan to make Armenia a regional financial center.
Armenia must first become a regional financial center and then gradually develop into an international center for finance, Executive Director of Ararat Bank Ashot Osipian said, adding that in order to attain this goal, Armenia’s financial market must be available and accessible to the outside world.
"Some international organizations are already showing interest towards Armenia’s financial market," he noted. "Our knowledge and introduced technologies allow us to be competitive, but in order to materialize this idea we have to do a great deal of hard work."