The messenger logo

Armenian expert concerned about crisis

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, December 30
The Rector of the Russian-Armenian State University, Armen Darbinian, thinks that Armenia is not undertaking serious and effective measures to combat the effects of the world economic crisis in the country and therefore its negative influence will continue in Armenia for a long period.

Darbinian stated that in its first years of independence Armenia was conducting a policy of substituting imports with a large local production of consumer goods. The next step should therefore have been the stimulation of export production, but this did not happen and the country continued producing non-export compatible products.

The country’s economic growth was determined by external factors mainly, individual transfers into the country reaching the huge total of USD 2-5 billion. Consequently the negative balance between export and import has reached USD 3 billion.

Discussing the prospects of the development of the country, Darbinian stated that the measures which were intended to stabilize democracy and create a market compatible environment have failed. Now the main direction of the country’s development should be determined: either we guarantee a democratic market economy or impose an authoritarian market economy. He added that even the second option can bring some positive results, as the example of Kazakhstan showed.

Armenia’s former Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian, commenting on the current situation in Armenia, has stated that 10% economic growth in Armenia was a success but due to the world crisis the most optimistic current prognosis suggests growth could be 5% next year, whereas a more pessimistic prognosis shows 2% decrease. Oskanian does not exclude cutting the budget sometime in the middle of 2009. One of the leaders of the Dashnak Tsutsun Party, Armen Rustamian, is against developing the Armenian economy by opening the Armenia-Turkey and Armenia-Azerbaijan borders at the expense of giving up Karabakh.