Economy Minister Tigran Davtian said on Monday that Armenia’s industrial production should continue to grow strongly this year despite what he described as an unfavorable external environment.
Davtian told reporters that the rise in industrial output, which accounts for more than one-quarter of the country’s Gross Domestic product, is projected to exceed 9 percent in 2013. He said it will be helped by greater government efforts to boost domestic manufacturing.
According to the National Statistical Service (NSS), industrial growth stood at just over 9 percent in January-November 2011mainly because of strong gains in the mining, metallurgical and energy sectors as well as production of alcoholic drinks and tobacco.
Davtian estimated the full-year growth rate, which has not been reported by the NSS yet, at over 10 percent.
This performance was a key factor behind overall economic growth that accelerated, according to government estimates, to 7 percent in 2012. The government expects GDP to increase by at least 6 percent this year.
Some Armenian officials admit that the sluggish world economy may call this growth target into question. Davtian singled out continuing recession in Europe which is expected to deepen in 2013.
“It is certainly very difficult to have serious economic growth against this backdrop of recession in Europe,” the minister warned. “Therefore, we need to be more proactive and try to step up our efforts and resources in order to be able to offset the negative recession backdrop in the European Union.”
The EU is Armenia’s leading trading partner and the main market for the most important Armenian export: non-ferrous metals ad ore concentrates.