Armenia hopes to earn quick and significant economic benefits from its forthcoming Association Agreement with the European Union, a senior pro-government lawmaker in Yerevan said on Thursday.
Gagik Minasian, the chairman of an Armenian parliament committee on finance and budgetary affairs, singled out the association talks with the EU as he listed government efforts to alleviate socioeconomic hardship and stop people leaving the country.
“With the signing of the Association Agreement we will have new opportunities for investments and jobs, which will turn create new possibilities of solving the problem,” Minasian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
The Association Agreement, which is due to be finalized in November, will bring Armenia into a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the EU member states making up the world’s largest and most prosperous single market. Citing an independent study, the European Commission said last week that the DCFTA will enable the Armenian economy to gain an extra 146 million euros ($190 million) in annual revenue representing a 2.3 percent increase in its Gross Domestic Product.
The wide-ranging accord is also expected to accelerate the promised conduct of an EU-sponsored conference of international donors that could result in large-scale economic assistance to Armenia. President Serzh Sarkisian has repeatedly told EU officials in recent months that such aid is vital for the implementation of political and economic reforms promised by his administration.