What really amazes me is that the housing market is growing like crazy! Prices range from $50/day to $70/day. When I was in Yerevan during the summer of 05 I remember hearing that people were getting apartments for $35/day and even renting two room salons for $200/mth… two years have gone by and the prices have skyrocketed!
Levon supposes this is a good thing, but he says, “add this to the continual appreciation of the dram, the rising prices of goods, and the construction of Northern Avenue, I wonder where/when/if this will end.” Indeed! I can’t help but wonder myself!
Following the article in the AGBU magazine Onnik Krikoryan wonders about GDP Per Capita in the South Caucasus:
I have to be honest and say that development in Georgia seems more balanced than in Armenia while the type of society to be found there appears more “European” albeit in a former Soviet kind of way.
There appears to be less polarization and the country is poor, but developing in a way that I think seems natural.
Onnik’s post has sparked a discussion with facts and figures about Armenia’s GDP as reported by various sources, here’s an example:
The Purchasing Power Parity numbers (again from the CIA World Factbook) which are even more useful in economic terms show Armenia quite a bit ahead of Georgia but Azerbaijan with its oil revenues has overtaken the other 2 countries:
Armenia per capita GDP (PPP) – US$5,400
Georgia per capita GDP (PPP) – US$3,800
Azerbaijan per capita GDP (PPP) – US$7,300
Hm, useful, useful! Thank you Liborale and Nazarian!
Notes from Hairenik says Armenian government promises to crack down on tax evasion. OK. I admit I’m smiling 🙂 So anyway, Notes from Hairenik is sceptical too:
According to the State Tax Service (STS), if the program is implemented (i.e., if businessmen start paying taxes and tax collection officials stop taking bribes), the amount of revenue generated from collected taxes will rise to 20 percent in 2010. I don’t know if that number takes into consideration the rise in the state budget, nevertheless the number is still way too low.  The Armenian method of economics still remains a disturbing mystery.
Many companies basically avoid paying taxes by playing with the accounting figures and posting losses. As an example, despite the construction spree in Yerevan Gagik Tsarukian’s MultiGroup cement factory  in the town of Ararat has been claiming that it has been in the red for years. Looks like the boys at the STS have been doing very well to shut up about it. Yet supposedly that’s all about to change according to this measure. Somehow I doubt it, but then again, you never know.
The right to use water system of Yerevan was bought by a French company. It, certainly, hopes to receive good profits from it. But it looks like the new franchise operator will first have to do a major overhaul – all city system of water supply is outdated and needs renovation.