Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 11/2/2017
In May of 2015 the United States and the Armenian Government signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The TIFA provides a strategic framework and principles for dialogue on trade and investment issues. The agreement creates a platform to meet and discuss issues of mutual interest with the objective of improving cooperation and enhancing opportunities for trade and investment and provides high level government engagement for protecting business interests in both countries.

The Republic of Armenia became a member of the Russian led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) on January 2, 2015.  This membership provides Armenian products direct access to the Russian, Belarussian, Kazakh, and Kyrgiz markets with a combined population of over 175 million and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.2 trillion USD.

With international donor assistance, the Armenian government has been implementing a program of reforms aimed at attracting trade and foreign investment by improving the business environment and tax and customs administration. As a WTO member since 2003, Armenia has the most liberal investment regime among EAEU countries making it an attractive location from which to base international and regional operations focused on EAEU markets. The country has GSP access to the U.S., EU, and Japan, and a Free Trade Agreement with neighboring Georgia which remains available even after Armenia’s accession to the EAEU.

Armenia’s gross domestic product grew 0.5 percent in 2016 to $10.55 billion. Although economic performance in 2016 was low and partially came as a result of Russia’s economic difficulties, the outlook for 2017 looks for a small recovery with the World Bank projecting 2.7% growth. The slow recovery is due in large part to low agricultural and mineral commodity prices, the weak economies of the country’s main trading partners, and a slow recovery for traditional  remittance-providing countries. Armenia is classified as a lower middle income country by the World Bank, with a per capita GDP of around $3,525.

The service and industrial sectors were the main drivers of GDP growth in 2016. The serice sector grew by 7.1% and the Industry by 6.7%. Much of this growth came from the export-oriented mining and metallurgy which opened new mines.  However, the agriculture which accounts for more than third of the economy declined by 5.2%, while the construction sector contracted by 10.8% in 2016. The Consumer Price Index captured a fall in prices of -1.4% in 2016 from from an inflation rate of 3.7% in 2015. The average monthly salary in Armenia was about $460 in 2016.

Overall foreign trade turnover was $5.075 billion in 2016, with imports making up $3.29 billion (a 1.6% increase compared to 2015) and consisted mainly of petrochemicals, precious stones, consumer goods, food products, equipment, and machinery. Though in 2016 the U.S. imports fell 18.2% to $88 million year-on-year, it is still among the top 10 countries importing to Armenia (after Russia with its 30.3% share, Germany 5.7%, China 10.9%, Iran 5%, Turkey 5%, Italy, Ukraine, and Georgia).  Imports have also fallen also from Germany, Ukraine, Iran, and Italy. In 2016 Armenia exported $1.78 billion in goods (a 20% increase compared to 2015) including metal mining, food products and cut precious stones. The top ten importers of Armenian goods and services were Russia (20.8%), Bulgaria (8.5%), Georgia (8.2%), Germany (7.8%), Canada (7.8%), Iraq (7.7%), China (5.4%), Iran (4.2%), Switzerland (4.2%), and the UAE (3.6%). Exports to Russia rose by 51.5% and to Bulgaria by 93.1% in 2016. Exports to the UAE grew seven-fold. Exports to China decreased by 41.7% last year. The U.S. imported 2.2% of goods and services from Armenia amounting to $38 million in 2016 (a 26.7% drop comapred to 2015). Armenia’s imports from the U.S. in 2016 included mainly machinery and equipment, vehicles, chemical products, and textiles. Armenia's primary export items to U.S. were precious stones and metals (including aluminum foil), textiles, and prepared food products.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Armenia Trade Development and Promotion