Some 35% of Armenian business community support government ban on Turkish imports

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YEREVAN, May 31. /ARKA/. About 35% of Armenian entrepreneurs believe that the ban on imports of Turkish goods has not created problems for their companies, Petros Petoyan, co-owner and director of imr, said on Monday, presenting the findings of a national business survey conducted to find out the priorities of the business community.

Armenian government’s ban on import of Turkish goods imposed during the recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh, came into force on January 1, 2021. On October 21, almost a month after Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey and Middle East mercenaries, attacked Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian government imposed the six-month ban on imports of Turkish goods.

The Armenian government said at that time that the measure was a retaliation to the Turkish authorities’ provocative calls, supply of arms to Azerbaijan and deployment of mercenaries from the Middle East to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, which undermined the stability in the region, including the international efforts to find a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“The survey showed that Armenian business entities look at the ban as a measure giving them more opportunities and positive aspects rather than obstacles and a negative impact on their businesses,” Petoyan said.

According to him, the companies believe that the embargo was correct, but from a business point of view, preparatory work should have been carried out with manufacturing companies, including the textile sector, which had imported raw materials from Turkey and faced serious problems as a result of the ban.

Petoyan noted that the ban has become a serious obstacle for them, and they want to receive government assistance or at least consultations on the import of similar raw materials from other markets.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg; in general the companies have faced quite serious problems,” Petoyan said.

According to him, about 1% of respondents believe that as a result, prices in the Armenian market has become more affordable, 16% believe that it has resulted in inflation, 7% believe that the move has dealt a serious blow to the development of the Armenian economy and 52% consider the ban as a great opportunity for enhancing domestic potential.

The national business survey on the priorities of the business community was commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Armenia and conducted in February-March 2021 embracing 400 entrepreneurs from both Yerevan and the regions of the country.

According to government data, Armenia imported $268 million worth of Turkish-manufactured products in 2019 and $178 million worth of Turkish goods in January-October 2020, 15% down year on year. More precisely, $69.4 million worth clothing, $10.3 million worth citrus fruit, $35.2 million worth cars, equipment and mechanisms (electric heaters, refrigerators, etc.), $24.3 million worth oil and oil products, $23.6 million worth chemicals and $21.6 million worth base metals.
There are no diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia: official Ankara closed the border in 1993 out of solidarity with Azerbaijan. Turkey also overreacts to international recognition of the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Empire. -0-

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