At the end of the RPA executive body regular meeting that took place the other day the deputy chairman of RA National Assembly Eduard Sharmazanov, referring to the opposition proposal to leave EAEU, stated that Armenia’s decision to become a member state to EAEU was not only a political decision, but one based on clear economic calculations.
In particular, Sharmazanov noted that as a result of membership to EAEU exports from Armenia increased by 23%, «the lion’s share» of which is sent to member states of EAEU. Leaving aside the fact that during the first five months of 2017 RA export grew by 20.9 rather than 23 percentage points, it should be mentioned that «the lion’s share» of RA export is not sent to EAEU at all.
Thus, in January-May 2017 about 30% of RA exports went to EU countries, whereas EAEU member states accounted for only 22.2% of total export, while another European county, Switzerland, accounted for about 13.5% (this figure is not included in 30 percent of EU).
On the other side, earlier this year «Union of informed citizens» conducted a large-scale research on commodity structure of export to Russia, from which it is clear that such growth in exports is based not on the expanded reproduction in economics, but simple re-export of Turkish goods from Armenia to Russia.
The spokesman of the ruling party also mentioned that due to membership to EAEU the number of tourists visiting Armenia increased by approximately 30 percent, moreover, citizens of EAEU member states again constituted «the lion’s share» of tourists. However, according to the data published by National statistical service in the first quarter of 2017 the number of tourists that had visited Armenia increased by 18,2 rather than 30 percentage points. And it is Islamic Republic of Iran with share of about 30% that ranks first by number of tourists.
Moreover, in the first quarter of 2017 the flow of Iranian tourists increased by approximately 72.8%, while the growth in number of Russian tourists constituted only 12.8%. As a result, by number of tourists that visited Armenia Russia is on the second place with share of 22.3%.
Farmers and investors
Referring to the proposal of the opposition to leave the EAEU the vice-speaker of National Assembly also stated that there is no alternative to EAEU for Armenia and the apologists for leaving the union should present specific suggestions and facts. According to him membership of Armenia was based on clear economic calculations «what our farmer would win, what our investor would win, what our tourism and economics would win».
According to the data published by RA NSS, in the first five months of 2017 gross agricultural output in Armenia decreased by approximately 3.5% compared to the previous year, and the total volume of crop production decreased by 16.8%.
On the other hand, despite of the fact that in the first quarter of 2017 the volume of foreign direct investments increased by 31.7% compared to 2016, it has not yet recovered and reached its former level. Thus, compared to 2015, in the first quarter of current year the volume of foreign investments net inflow fell by 44% or 15.6 billion drams, and compared to 2014 it fell by more than 70%.
In particular the volume of direct investments net flow from Russian Federation fell dramatically; compared to previous year in the first quarter of 2017 the volume of direct investments net flow from Russian Federation decreased by 73.1% from 17.8 billion drams to 4.8 billion drams.
These facts witness that «clear» economic calculations supporting Armenia’s membership to Eurasian Economic Union are not so clear and accurate despite of the hopes of RA Government to ensure high economic dividends.