Armenia’s new government gives analysts reasons to be optimistic

The changes which have followed in the wake of Armenia’s Velvet Revolution earlier this year have had a positive impact on the macroeconomic development of the country, believes the new prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan.

In April, widespread protests forced the former prime minister Serzh Sargysan to resign. Mr Sargsyan, a former president of Armenia, amended the country’s constitution in order to transfer more power to the prime minister, only to take the job himself.

Since taking office, Mr Pashinyan has made improving the economy one of the government’s primary goals. He has invited American economists to Armenia in order to help and restore the country’s economy.

A number of analysts however have said that it is difficult to gauge the impact of the revolution on economic development in such a short period. They in fact believe that the revolution was a political shock and could potentially have a negative influence on economic development. Zareh Asatryan, from the Armenian Economic Association, told Emerging Europe that Armenia has problems in every economic field, and that the new government needs to start dealing with them.

“They have to think about how to shape policies,” he said. “I have worked in the field of public finances, and I know that Armenia high taxation rates. Because of this, few people pay taxes. It is important to create a system where a lot of people will pay, but pay less.”

Mr Asatryan believes that the country’s main problem remains corruption, and that establishing new systems is essential. However, he also believes that there are reasons to be optimistic, not least statistics which suggest that for first time in several years, the number of people leaving Armenia is in decline.