PM VIEWS STABLE MACROECONOMIC SITUATION IN ARMENIA AS ADVANTAGE AMID GLOBAL CRISIS

ARKA
March 2, 2009

MOSCOW, March 2. /ARKA/. On Friday, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran
Sargsyan, speaking at a meeting with a group of Armenian entrepreneurs
in Moscow, said the stable macroeconomic situation in Armenia is the
advantage the country enjoys amid the global crisis, ARKA News Agency
correspondent reports.

"The macroeconomic stability marks given by international agencies
remain high and forecasts positive", he said.

As another advantage, the premier pointed out the lessened outside
inflation pressure.

"Although our inflation was a little higher than planned, it was the
lowest indicator among CIS countries."

Among disadvantages, Sargsyan singled out shrunken export of raw
materials.

The reduction was due to precipitous fall in world prices for natural
resources

"Copper and molybdenum mines and five large enterprises face major
problems. They can hold out a few months thanks to the high profits
they have gained for recent tree years", the premier said.

Among outside disadvantages, he singled out tightened rules of import
and dwindling demand in partner countries.

He said that as a result, Armenia's export shrunk.

"Import rules are growing stricter because of the policy of
protectionism all countries pursue openly or covertly and tightened
customs rules and control over quality of productsE2, he said.

That is why Armenian PM called growing unemployment and deteriorating
lives of ordinary people, who heavily rely on outside transfers,
natural.

"Transfers from Russia make 70% of total transfers received in Armenia.

Now we see the flow of transfers dwindling."

Sargsyan also said with regret that construction in the country stalled
because of pessimistic forecasts, flows of private investments in
Armenian economy dwindled, payments under international deals are
delayed and crime rate run high and, as a result, corruption risks
rose.

Ruben Vardanyan, chairman of directorial board of Troyka Dialogue
Group; Garegin Tosunyan, president of Association of Russian Banks;
Eduard Baghdasaryan, director general of Neftegastroykomplekt; Stepan
Hakobyan, president of Stroyservice; Mikhail Ananyants, director
general of Nanoindustria Concern; Arsen Balayan, marketing director at
Russian BMW; Levon Voskanyan, head of Stroybusiness; Vahe Yengibaryan,
a member of Alfa Strakhovaniya Company's directorial board; Gagik
Zakharyan, president of Uniastrum Bank; Mushegh Mamikonyan, president
of Meat Union; Murad Muradyan, president of BAMO Group and Sergey
Kalenjyan, director of higher corporate management school affiliated
to Russian Government were among the meeting participants.