By Atom Markarian
Armenia’s external trade rose by almost 31 percent to $2.16 billion during the first ten months of this year, with the European Union solidifying its status as the country’s number one trading partner.
According to the latest data released by the Armenian National Statistics Service, the volume of commercial ties with EU member states totaled $756.5 million, 55.5 percent up from the same period last year. Their share in Armenia’s overall external trade likewise rose from 29.5 percent to 35 percent.
Belgium and Germany continue to account for most of the Armenia-EU commercial exchange. The official figures show the volume of Armenian-German trade soaring by almost 86 percent to $227.4 million from January through October. They also reveal even more massive rises in the landlocked country’s trade with France and Holland.
Although Armenia’s export and import operations with Russia and other CIS countries grew by 34.3 percent during the ten-month period, they continue to make up just under one quarter of the overall trading activity. Russia’s share in it stood at 12.7 percent, slightly above the 2004 level. Still, it rose by nearly 50 percent to $274.5 million in absolute terms.
Neighboring Iran, which was one of Armenia’s main trading partners during the 1990s, now has a modest 4 percent share in the latest Armenian trade statistics. By comparison, Armenia’s trade with Israel was more than twice as high at $177.3 million. Israel surpassed even the United States whose exports to and imports from Armenia totaled only $143.7 million during the period in question.