Higher Customs Fees in EEU Will Neutralize Economic Growth in Armenia


Starting from 2020, according to the rules of the Eurasian Economic Union, customs fees on goods imported from third countries to Armenia will rise, leading to rise in prices of these goods which will jeopardize the economic growth of the past few years, said the head of the Union of Employers Gagik Makaryan. The grace period ends in January 2020, and the customs fees will rise in case of import from third countries. The rise in customs fees will automatically cause prices to go up.

According to Gagik Makaryan, the rate of economic growth should have been such so as to enable creation of mechanisms and possibilities for compensation. In this case, the rise in prices would not affect the economy much.

“However, there may be problems because it is true that in the past two-three years there has been economic growth, it is being considered intensively at the level of the prime minister but the society does not notice these changes. What has taken place? Salaries in the administration rose to a certain level, not much in the private sector, the rise of the base salary is not effective yet. And the rise in prices of goods may balance the minor successes that we had towards overcoming poverty or decrease in unemployment. In other words, the situation may return to that of 2-3 years ago, the progress will be neutralized. Therefore, small family businesses, the businesses that support families, must develop, must become more active. We have little time to achieve that because 4 months later we must be ready for changes. And these changes will take place every year. The rise in customs fees will take place in phases, until 2022-2023,” he says.

According to Makaryan, government agencies are slightly coming short of raising awareness, they must speak more about this, prepare people. “There is no reason to be nervous and to fear. Simply people must be aware of which spheres will get an additional burden and be ready,” the head of the Union of Employers thinks.

According to Makaryan, since customs fees on raw materials and goods will rise, any citizen may be affected. “Armenia has few branches of economy that are active and competitive. We only have 6-7 branches. All these branches may be affected, except mining perhaps,” Gagik Makaryan says.

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