Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
by Gayane Isahakyan
By joining the Customs Union, Armenia will be able to additionally increase its GDP by 4-4.5% per annum within the next two years, Yevgeny Vinokurov, Head of the Center for Integration Studies at the Eaurasian Development Bank (EDB), said during a Moscow-Yerevan video conference on Wednesday.
"First of all, Russia will remove the duty on gas exports, and the economic effect for Armenia will be 140 mln USD per annum. Secondly, Russia will revise the customs duties for the transit of Russian raw diamonds (6.5%)", said Vinokurov.
He also expects positive dynamics in money transfers of labor migrants. In 2012 the labor migrants transferred 1.7 bln USD to Armenia, of which 1.4 bln USD was from Russia. "Within the Customs Union, Russian investments in Armenia's economy will considerably grow", said Vinokurov. According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, Russiass share in foreign investments in Armenian economy was over 40%. Afterwards, however, it dropped to 20%. The Central Bank of Armenia says that in 2012 the inflow of private commercial transfers of individuals via the banking system of Armenia totaled $1.687 bln (up 9% versus 2011). The inflow of Russian investments to Armenia grew by 11.6% in 2012.
The National Statistical Service of Armenia says that in 2012 Armenia's GDP amounted to $9.9 bln (up 7.2% versus 2011). GDP per capita made up $3283. In 2012 the inflow of foreign investments to Armenia dropped by 7.9% to $751.8 mln. Russia's investments in Armenia dropped by 68.8% to $122.7 mln.
To recall, on September 3 Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan announced Armenia's decision to join the Customs Union and contribute to formation of the Eurasian economic union. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed Russia's willingness to contribute to Armenia's accession to the Customs Union in every possible way.