Prime Minister Karen Karapetian insisted on Wednesday that the macroeconomic situation in Armenia has improved during his one-year tenure.
Karapetian pointed to faster economic growth recorded this year when he was asked about the impact of his government’s policies on the lives of ordinary citizens during a question-and-answer session in the Armenian parliament.
“As for how our fellow citizens feel, we have presented you with macroeconomic indicators that are -- I’m sorry if this sound immodest -- are the best in the region, in the Eurasian Economic Union and the CIS,” he said, answering a question from a deputy from President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).
“Does that mean that we have solved all our problems? Of course not, because we have practically no people who don’t want to improve the quality of their life. So it’s not that we will have lived up to everyone’s expectations within a year.”
“But I think that the overall trend, the direction in which we are moving satisfies us to a certain extent,” added Karapetian.
Karapetian was tasked with easing socioeconomic hardship in the country when Sarkisian appointed him as prime minister in September last year. He pledged to do so through reforms that would improve the domestic business environment and attract more foreign investment in the struggling Armenian economy.
According official statistics, economic growth accelerated from 0.2 percent in 2016 to around 5 percent in the first half of this year. Also, the government’s tax revenue has risen by almost 7 percent in the past year.
Opposition politicians and other critics of the government dismiss these figures, saying that they have had no real tangible impact on the population. They also remain highly skeptical about Karapetian’s reform pledges.
Karapetian has repeatedly indicated his desire to stay on as prime minister after Sarkisian serves to his final presidential term in April. The president has not yet clarified whether he plans to become prime minister or replace Karapetian with someone else.