October 28, 2011

YEREVAN, October 28. / ARKA /. Armenia has set a difficult but
worthy goal of making its railways to comply with best international
standards, Armenian prime minister Tigran Sarkisian said today when
speaking at the 55-th meeting of CIS Railways Transport Council.

He said over the last nine months of 2011 Armenian economy expanded
by 5%, which he attributed to the dynamics of trade in Armenia's
partner countries and to the economic policy of the government. He
said economic growth has a direct impact on trade between Armenia
and its trading partners.

Tigran Sarkisian said the country's foreign trade in the first
eight months of this year rose by 25%, with exports growing by 30%
and imports by 17%.

According to updated official statistics, Armenia's foreign trade in
September this year amounted to $525.3 million, or 195.4 billion drams,
having increased by 26.7% from a year earlier. Exports in September
this year amounted to $142.9 million (53.2 billion drams), an increase
of 48.4% over the same period in 2010, and imports to $382.4 million
(142.2 billion drams), an increase of 20.1%.

"Obviously, this growth was reflected in the growth of rail freight
services, as for some types of commodities there is no alternatives,
" Sarkisian said, noting that as the economy recovers the number of
passengers using railway is also increasing.

The Russian-owned South Caucasus Railways company, operating Armenia's
railroads, transported 2.370.1 million metric tons of cargo in the
first nine months of 2011, by 8.3% more than in the same time span
in 2010.

The total volume of passenger transportation in the first eight
months compared to the same period in 2010 decreased by 1.2% to 20.1
million people.

Armenian Railways was handed over to the South Caucasus Railways on
February 13, 2008 for 30-year concession management with a right to
prolong the management term for other 10 years.

From: Baghdasarian