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By Aram Danielyan

Armenian authorities has decided to introduce privileges for cement and clinker import.

According to official data, in the first 7 months of 2022 to Armenia were imported over 84.7 thousand tons of cement worth 2.4 million dollars In the same period last year were imported a little over 83 tons of cement worth 2.7 million dollars.

Amid slight increase in imports (1.7%), Armenian authorities, referring to the problems faced by construction companies, proposed to completely cancel the duty on cement clinker, and the duty on cement imports was reduced from 14000 to 9000 drams (from 34 dollars to 22 dollars) per ton.

In 2019 it was decided to significantly increase the duty on imports of cement and clinker of foreign production, which, the authorities explained by the desire to protect the interests of local producers.

There are two full-cycle cement plants operating in Armenia: Hrazdan Cement and Araratcement, owned by Prosperous Armenia party head Gagik Tsarukyan. There are also several milling plants, which supply local developers with cement made from imported clinker. The volume of cement production in Armenia is estimated at over 850 thousand tons.

Overall, the construction sector grew by 13.6% in the first seven months of 2022 compared to the same period last year.

Experts partly attribute it to the increased inflow of citizens from Russia after the start of the conflict in Ukraine and the growth of tourists (more than a million people since the beginning of the year) and the increased demand for housing.

However, experts believe that the main reason for the growth is the amendments to the Tax Code initiated by the authorities, according to which the refund of income tax on mortgages will be canceled. Therefore, developers and stepped up to catch up with the entry into force of this disadvantage for the market rules.

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