FILE PHOTO: The Fitch Ratings logo is seen at their offices at Canary Wharf financial district in London,Britain, March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

In recent months, Armenia’s economy has shown signs of improvement in almost all spheres: economic vitality, trade, construction, inflow of foreign remittances, increase in the number of tourists with large percentages, reduction of public debt, and other economic developments.

The international rating organization “Fitch” recently held Armenia’s solvency grade at B+, which means that the country can borrow from foreign lenders at lower interest rates. The organization now predicts 6.4% economic growth for Armenia, instead of the previous 1.3%. “Fitch” analysts attribute this improvement to the sanctions against Russia, which caused a significant number of citizens of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus to come to Armenia.

According to data released by the Central Bank, in the first five months of this year, citizens received 1 billion 272 million dollars from abroad through the Armenian banking system. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the increase was 70 percent.

The data published by the RA Statistical Committee has shown that the country’s economic vitality index increased by 13.1 percent in January-July, compared to the same period of the previous year.

Tourism that was adversely affected by the pandemic has also recorded progress. In August alone, 260,000 tourists visited Armenia, 63% of whom arrived through the Zvartnots airport.

According to other noteworthy data, the volume of industrial products increased by 7 percent in January-July of this year compared to the same period of the previous year. The volume of construction in January-July 2022 increased by 13.6 percent compared to the same time last year. In terms of trade turnover, in the first 7 months of 2022 compared to the same period of 2021, the increase was 12.5 percent. The volume of services provided in Armenia in January-July of this year has increased by 27.5 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

The only adverse indicator is the increase in consumer goods prices, which rose by 6.3 percent. However, this is not unique to Armenia. Almost all countries around the world are facing the same problems, which is the direct consequence of the pandemic and the Russia-Ukrainian war.

Fortunately, senior citizens and retirees of Armenia will benefit from these economic improvements. During one of the last sessions of the government, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that, since quite good economic indicators were recorded and tax revenues were exceeded by more than 70 billion drams (about 150 million dollars), it was decided to implement the increase in pensions starting from September 1, 2022, that was initially planned for January 1, 2023. The government also announced that the ridiculously low salaries paid to teachers and tutors cannot be tolerated and the process of tripling them has started.

Previously, it was announced about raising wages and allocating additional money for each newborn child.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also announced that the government has received another 6.8 percent of the Zangezur copper factory as a donation, increasing the state’s share to 21.875 percent.

All these developments are the result, not only of external factors but also of the economic policies adopted by the state, the breaking of monopolies, and especially clean governance. Thanks to all these the economic improvements are benefiting the people, instead of going to the personal pockets of the high-ranking officials as was the case in the past.

Corruption has not completely disappeared in Armenia, but it has ceased having a systemic nature, from which the country and its citizens will benefit in small yet promising steps.

K. KHODANIAN
“MASSIS

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