Iran-Armenia gas pipeline and other developments in the Armenian economy

Iran plans to deliver 1.1 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Armenia this year through the pipeline, the volume rising to 1.5 billion in 2013 and 2.3 …Armenia reports, while Hyelog republishes a more detailed article from the Earth Times:

Twenty-five miles of the 90-mile pipeline have been built. In the first stage, 300 million to 400 million cubic meters of gas will be transported. Eventually, the pipeline will be able to pump about 2.5 billion cu.m. of gas, the report said.
Initially, Armenia will receive 1.08 million cu.m. per year from Iran, a figure that is expected to double by 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Department of Energy’s data arm. In exchange, Armenia will provide Iran with 3 kilowatts of electricity per cubic meter of gas.

Following the Armenian economist’s recent post about construction activity being the prime driver of GDP growth, writes about continuous growth of real estate prices in Armenia:

The average price in January per 1 sq/m of housing in Yerevan has increased by 2.5% compared to December 2007, and is worth now 230,4 thousand drams ($640). The average price per 1 sq/m of housing for a private house in the regions for the reported period compared to December 2006 grew 3.7%.

On another post dedicated to the IT sector of the Armenian economy, quotes the CEO of “Synopsys Armenia”, Rich Goldman as saying, that Armenia, compared to other countries, has serious advantages in the sphere of information technologies.
Interestingly, a recent important development in the IT sector in Armenia, namely the release of the Armenian language interface to Windows XP was met with a wave of sarcasm and laughter over the quality of translation, or rather, the attempt to twist the Armenian language to meet the technological challenges of the day. Ahousekeeper was the most recent one posting on the issue, with Hayk, Nm_work, Angry Root (myself), Nerses_am and others also having posted about their impressions earlier.
There are some good news in the education front as well, as AUA (American University of Armenia) has received a US Accreditation, which is actually “big news” as Life in Armenia puts it:

The accreditation process has been going on for a few years now and the success means a lot for the school and the country. Now a Diasporan (or indeed a non-Armenian) from the Texas, Tbilisi, Tehran or anywhere else can come to Armenia and get a degree that will be fully accepted to one earned in California or elsewhere. This includes an MBA, or other degrees which of course would cost much more in the USA. For locals who would go there anyway, this makes their degree much more valuable internationally.

Looks like education can actually become a well selling product for the Armenia economy, where there are already some 4-5000 Iranians, mostly students if I understand this article by ArmeniaNow correctly.
Another sector of the Armenian economy, often spoken of as a priority area, is tourism. Raffi K. at Life in Armenia talks about his recent Ski trip to Tsakhadzor, the most popular winter tourism destination in Armenia:

The ski rentals cost 5,000 dram ($14) and the day pass for the lifts was 7,000 ($20). Ski rentals are available in a few places… you might want to get there early and look around. Snowboards seem to cost double what skis cost. Lift tickets can also be purchased on a “as you ski basis”, at 1,000 dram per lift.

So it’s not just the construction sector in the Armenian economy after all, is it?


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