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Friday, December 8, 2023
EconomyOpinion : Armenian economy loses billions of dollars due to coronavirus

Opinion : Armenian economy loses billions of dollars due to coronavirus

The economic crisis, the debt hole, total control - the spreading coronavirus pandemic, having become a serious test for most of the world's strongest economies, brings exhausted Armenia to the extreme limit.

All this forces Pashinyan, whose rating cannot boast of achieved heights, take measures to protect his power, and he does this very “original” – establishing total control over the population. Recall that this is the same Pashinyan who, from the revolutionary barricades, shouted at the top of his lungs that he would throw off the yoke of the former regime from the people and establish “absolute democracy” in the country.

In absolute terms, “absolute democracy” in Pashinyanov’s turn out to be no better than the Sargsyan’s dictatorship, which dragged the country into a swamp of dependence and hopelessness. The new Armenian government with its clumsy actions only consolidated this “achievement”. The pandemic, however, drives the last stake into it – one of the few, if not the only straws that still somehow keep the Armenian economy afloat, begins to slip out of its weakening hands.

So, due to measures and restrictions adopted by Russia in the framework of the fight against coronavirus, many Armenian labour migrants and their families lost their main source of income, and, as Sputnik Armenia writes, it is expected that due to serious restrictions on labour activity in the Russian Federation, the volume of transfers to Armenia in 2020 will be significantly lower than in 2019.

Meanwhile, transfers constitute a serious source of income for the Armenian macroeconomy. Citing an expert assessment, the publication writes that each year their level is about $ 1.5 billion, and “this is not the maximum amount if we take into account the last two years.” Despite the lack of accurate forecasts, it can be unambiguously recorded that the current situation with coronavirus will have a very negative effect on the Armenian economy – especially along the “Russian line”.

So can it be considered that the current situation deprives Armenia of one of the main sources of income?

“I would look at the question a little more broadly,” political observer Farhad Mammadov comments on the situation. – After all, what is the Armenian economy in general? This is a fairly diversified but vulnerable economy.

Look, the largest taxpayer in Armenia is the Zangezur Copper-Molybdenum Combine, and most of the Armenian exports are copper and its products. So, the fall in oil prices affected minerals, including copper, whose price also fell by about 20-25%.

The next important element is tourism, which, as we see, today has not only fallen but become zero. Accordingly, from this sector, especially when you consider that the season is beginning, the Armenian economy will not receive a sufficiently large amount – Armenian economists are already voicing the figure of 100-115 million dollars.

Even if we take an optimistic forecast – the decline of the coronavirus by the beginning of summer – I do not think that immediately after the decline in the pandemic, people will rush to rest abroad, board aircraft, etc. That is, it is clear that for the tourist season – all over the world, by the way – this year will be a missed year, including for Armenia.

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Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
An Ahmadi Muslim from India, a senior journalist and Editor-in-chief of The Eastern Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MANooriBajwa

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