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 Karina Melikyan
In Jan-June 2013 European and Russian investments in Armenia dropped by 60.4% and 4.6%, respectively, as compared with Jan-June 2012.
The National Statistical Service of Armenia reports that European foreign direct investments (FDI) were down 78.6% to $48.2, and Russian FDI fell by 14.3% to $32.8. More than half of these investments fell on telecommunications ($16 mln), almost $11 mln - on transportation, $4.6 mln - on power engineering, $3.5 mln - on production of base metals, and almost $1 mln - on wholesale and retail trade.
France reduced its FDI by 86% to $28.9 mln, Belgium - by 6.6% to $102.5 thsd, Luxemburg - by 63% to $4.2 mln. Total investments from Great Britain dropped by 41.9%, while FDI grew more than 100-fold to $5.1 mln, which was invested in mining industry. In the meantime, investments in production of beverages, metallurgy and airline service were zeroed. Among the EU countries, only Finland and Cyprus increased their investments (2.6-fold and 14-fold, respectively).
To note, over the past 5 years Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy and Hungary zeroed their investments in Armenia.
As compared with Jan-June 2012, Armenian-Russian trade turnover was down 2.4% to $597 mln due to the fact that imports fell by 7.6% to $453.4 mln and exports rose by 18.9% to $143.5 mln. Russia's share in Armenian exports made up 20.5%, and the share in imports - 23%.
The foreign trade turnover with the EU countries dropped by 0.9% to $779.2 mln: exports fell by 3% to $250.6 mln and imports rose by 0.2% to $528.6 mln. Armenia exported commodities mostly to Belgium (11.6% of exports), Bulgaria (9.7%), Germany (5.5%), the Netherlands (5%). The biggest importers to Armenia were Germany (6%), Italy (4%), Romania (2.6%), Belgium (1.9%), Bulgaria (1.8%), as well as Austria and France (1.4% each).
To note, over Jan-June 2013 the total foreign trade turnover of Armenia amounted to $2.7 bln (up 0.8% versus Jan-June 2012). Exports totaled $699.7 mln (up 9.9%), and imports amounted to $2 bln (down 2.1%).