Armenian government approves economic response program

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YEREVAN, February 4. /ARKA/. The Armenian government has approved today an economic response program and a preliminary action plan.

Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan said the program deals with the 9th and 10th points of a roadmap, published by the Prime Minister on November 18. Point 9 deals with overcoming the coronavirus pandemic and eliminating its consequences, and point 10 deals with restoring the economic activity environment.

According to Avinyan, the economic response program indicates the priorities, goals and a list of measures, which the government will have to take until the end of the first quarter of 2021.

“It is obvious that the coronavirus crisis and the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, in addition to health and safety issues, have also become a source of economic shocks. According to statistics, the economic decline in Armenia in 2020 is estimated at 7-8%,”Avinyan said.

He noted that thanks to certain economic measures, the government managed to somewhat contain higher risks.
According to him, it is necessary to implement targeted measures in a short time and apply specific tools to form positive expectations in the future.

The program focuses on three priorities – accelerating the recovery of economic activity, ensuring a trusting business and consumer environment and shaping a short-term economic agenda. There are 12 targeted actions and 14 assistance programs.

In his words, the government has to create conditions for the cultivation and processing of new agricultural crops with high added value, such as industrial hemp, as well as help renew a number of construction programs, including “District 33,” “Kond,” “Old Yerevan” and others.

“Agriculture is one of those rare industries where there was 1.4% growth in 2020. We have increased our assistance programs 1.7-fold in 2020 and hope that this sector will grow in 2021 as well. The volume of subsidies to agriculture will not change,” Avinyan said.

He said the ban on imports of Turkish goods is expected to give a fresh push to domestic production

For his part, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attached importance to the productive and targeted implementation of the plans to start commercial cannabis cultivation. He said also more attention should be paid to the mining sector and an audit of agricultural assistance programs must be conducted.

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