22:09 12 January 2022
Post by: WBJ

Ambassadors’ Corner (December2021 1)

Samvel Mkrtchian, the Armenian Ambassador, tells WBJ about the 2022 growth forecast, popularity of e-vehicles, and electricity generation in his country

Ambassadors’ Corner (December2021 1)

What’s the growth forecast for your country for 2022 and which industries are expected to do well in the coming year?

In 2020, our economy was seriously hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and the 44-day war in Nagorno-Karabagh. The economy at the end of 2020 contracted by 7.4%. In 2021, almost every field has shown strong signs of recovery. In November, we adopted the five-year plan for 2022-2026 economic development. It envisages a 7% yearly growth that will provide for conditions to bring down the unemployment rate below 10% and decrease the level of poverty twice. The axis of the economic policy is the rise of international competitiveness of Armenia based on export and hinged on science and inclusive economy. The strengthening of SMEs is a high priority for us. The Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) plays an important role.

How popular are e-vehicles/e-cars in your country and which vehicle/car brands are the most sought after?

At the moment, the percentage of e-vehicles in Armenia is rather low. But, the government is trying to make them attractive through different incentives, including the waiver of taxes and duties. At the same time, in cooperation with international organizations, such as the UNDP and the EU, first steps are being taken to broaden the service and support infrastructure, in particular, making the charging installations available in different parts of the country. 

How’s electricity produced in your country and what are the major sources (including renewable and non-renewable)?

Coal has never been a source of electricity production in Armenia. Currently, 44% of electricity is produced through natural gas, 27% through nuclear energy, the rest renewables, primarily, hydro and a small portion is solar. However, solar power development is a top priority for us. To meet that goal, two projects are being developed — the 62 MW Masrik and the 200 MW Ayg-1 plants. Masrik is currently under construction. As for Ayg-1, Yerevan recently finalized a deal with Masdar (UAE) to build the first (of two) new solar power plant(s) by 2025. Masdar is expected to invest $174 million in Ayg-1 making it the country’s largest solar power plant. It will have nearly half of the current capacity of Armenia's Metsamor nuclear power plant.

samvel mkrtchian
2022 growth forecast

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