Potential 6-month ban on imports from Turkey won’t cause shortage of goods, inflation: deputy min.

 17:31,

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 17, ARMENPRESS. The potential temporary ban on imports of Turkish goods to Armenia won’t cause shortage of products or inflation, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Economy Varos Simonyan said.

“The volumes of imports from other countries will simply increase,” he said.

The ban, if adopted, is expected to be effective for a 6-month period starting from December 31, 2020.

Simonyan said the government will assist the businesses to start importing the same products from other markets.

“December 31 is the reasonable timeframe that will allow our businesses to reposition to other markets if they are currently importing only from Turkey. There are many alternative markets,” he said.

The Ministry of Economy of Armenia has drafted and introduced for public debates a bill that seeks to temporarily ban the imports of a number of Turkish products to Armenia, the Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee of the Armenian Parliament Babken Tunyan earlier said. 

The decision is based on Turkey’s overt support, including the transfer of jihadist militants, to Azerbaijan in its ongoing attacks on Artsakh and Armenia.

Since Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Eurasian Economic Commission will be notified as required by regulations.

According to the ministry of economy, although the ban on imports is an economic move, it also contains a security component.

“Not only is an economic sanction imposed against Turkey with this ban, but also in terms of security the financial flows from Armenian sources into Turkey’s state treasury are being suspended,” the ministry said, adding that it is also with these very resources that Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan now.  The ministry added that the move will also “prevent the infiltration of various threats through the import of final good products from a hostile country.”

Many businesses in Armenia have already voluntarily withdrawn Turkish-made merchandise.

The economy ministry said the halt of imports from Turkey won’t cause a shortage of these products in Armenia because these products will be substituted from other markets or locally produced ones.

Imports from Turkey to Armenia in 2019 totaled 268,1 million dollars (Clothing – 69,4 million USD, citrus fruits – 10,3 million USD, machinery, equipment  – 35,3 million USD, petroleum and oil – 24,3 million USD, chemical industry products – 23,6 million USD, base metals – 21,6 million dollars.

From the 128 billion drams worth of imports in 2019, around 100 billion were final good commodities.

Editing and Translating by Stepan Kocharyan

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