Small & Medium Businesses Make Armenia More Immune To Crisis, Prime


July 31

Armenia has become more immune to the global financial and economic
crisis thanks to small-to-medium-scale businesses, RA Prime Minister
Tigran Sargsyan was quoted as saying on Thursday.

"The first-half 2009 results show that local small-and-medium-scale
businesses have contributed to the anti-crisis measures, taking into
account the funds they put into circulation and industrial output,"
Sargsyan said.

Citing a 16% economic downturn and a slowdown in the local industry,
the prime minister said the country posted a 1.22% upturn in power
consumption, with the electricity tariff rising 23.9% from April 1.

"This testifies to the positive impact of anti-crisis measures on
the country’s economy, with power consumption standing for economic
performance," Sargsyan added.

In his turn, RA Minister of Economy Nerses Yeritysan said
small-to-medium-scale businesses had had a positive impact on the
country’s economy in genera, boosting such sectors as information
technologies, tourism and services.

"Under theses circumstances, most of the large enterprises prefer the
niche of small-to-medium-scale businesses to be able to work more
effectively," Yeritsyan said, urging Armenia’s businesses to adopt
innovative methods.

According to the RA National Statistical Service (NSS), Armenia poste
d a 16.3% first-half year-on-year economic downturn, with GDP totaling
1,119.4bln drams ($3,216.2mln). At the same time, the country posted
a 39.7% GDP rise between May and June.

Armenia’s Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan previously forecast a 20%
economic downturn in the country by end-2009. According to IMF
forecasts, economic slowdown in Armenia is unlikely to exceed 10%,
with inflation being in the range of 3%. WB forecast an economic
decline of about 10% in Armenia by end-2009.