Armenia’s government formally approved its five-year policy program on Friday, with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian saying that it marks the beginning of an “economic revolution” promised by him.
“We have declared the concept of an economic revolution and with this program are announcing the start of the economic revolution,” Pashinian told a cabinet meeting in Yerevan.
The program was submitted to the Armenian parliament later in the day. Its almost certain approval by the National Assembly will amount to a vote of confidence in Pashinian’s cabinet reappointed after the December 9 parliamentary elections.
Opposition politicians and commentators have already criticized the 70-page action plan, saying that it is short on specifics. They point to few socioeconomic targets that have been set by the government for the next five years.
Pashinian mentioned “certain reactions” to the program. He insisted that the document “fully corresponds” to his vision for the country’s future which was backed by the majority of voters in the recent elections.
Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigorian indicated that the government will set more detailed targets for various spheres after the program is approved by the parliament.
For his part, Economic Development Minister Tigran Khachatrian said that the program already commits the government to achieving a number of key economic indicators. He singled out a government pledge to increase the share of exports in Armenia’s Gross Domestic Product from 38 percent to at least 43 percent by 2023.
“That can happen if our exports grow by 8-10 percent annually,” Khachatrian told reporters. “This is a fairly high and ambitious target.”
The program also says that the Armenian economy will grow by at least 5 percent annually thanks to government efforts to improve the business environment, spur exports and attract more foreign investment. It promises “substantial” decreases in poverty and unemployment but sets no concrete targets.
Pashinian announced later on Friday that he has made a final decision on the new structure of his government. In particular, he said, the number of government ministries will be reduced as planned from 17 to 12.