No particular progress could be observed in the fields that ensure the country’s economic growth
One year has passed since Karen Karapetyan’s appointment to the post of Prime Minister. Armenian experts and politicians evaluate the work carried out by the government, led by Armenia’s 14th Premier.
Having assumed office, Karen Karapetyan focused on the following steps: intensification of investments, establishment of a strategic research center, the fight against corruption and implementing measures to ensure economic growth. According to the experts, the strategic center has been set up, but there hasn’t been any major achievements in other areas so far. Karen Karapetyan was appointed as the country’s Prime Minister on 13 September, 2016. At the time, JAMnews published an article entitled: ‘A promising PM’. As was pointed out in the article, the new head of government was recognized and accepted by all political forces for the first time in Armenia, though each of them had different expectations.
Now, let’s see to what extent the expectations of the various political forces have been met. The opposition notes that Karapetyan’s pledge to ‘put some drive in the economy’ hasn’t been fulfilled. “The smiles and nice suits of Karapetyan’s government members is the only thing left of that drive. There hasn’t been a single major change throughout this year.
I believe that none of the citizens have experienced any positive changes first-hand,” said Ararat Mirzoyan, a member of the Armenian National Assembly (Parliament) from the ‘Yelk’ faction (translated as ‘the way out’). In the MP’s words, Karen Karapetyan promised that the government would invest around USD 850 million, but only 45% of the aforesaid sum has actually been invested.
It means that there hasn’t been any particular activation of the economic processes in the country. According to Tatul Manaseryan, an economist, there hasn’t been any serious breakthroughs in any of the other spheres either. On the contrary, a decline has been reported in some of them, particularly in the agriculture and construction spheres. As Manaseryan reported, certain growth has been observed in some of the spheres, but they have in no way improved the social condition of the country’s population. The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) has positively assessed Karen Karapetyan’s activity.
According to Eduard Sharmazanov, the party spokesperson, the country’s economic activity has grown by more than 6% as a result of just one-year’s worth of work. There has been also a considerable growth in exports and trade turnover, and the tourism industry has also developed. “Our economy shows a dynamic development. The state budget’s projected rates have been fulfilled,” said Eduard Sharmazanov.
Commenting on critical remarks which have been addressed to his government, Karen Karapetyan noted that Armenia’s macro-economic indices in 2017 were the best in the CIS and the EAEU area. At the same time, the Prime Minister believes that the government couldn’t solve all the citizens’ problems in just one year.
“However, at this stage, we are satisfied with this trend and with the progress we are making,” said Karapetyan. Political strategists note that the Prime Minister has left a pretty good impression on the Armenian population over the past year.
Vigen Hakobyan, a political strategist, attributes it to some elements of show in the Prime Minister’s behavior: he speaks in plain language, uses popularly accepted expressions, he can communicate freely, he can drive a motor boat and play percussion instruments.