Armenian prime minister calls for stepping up fight against monopolies

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday convened a working meeting to discuss the Government’s anti-monopoly strategy proposing steps to combat abuses by private entrepreneurs to ensure equal competition for businesses.

According to the Government’s press service, the premier asked the heads of the responsible agencies to work with concerted efforts “to tighten the fight against monopolies de-jure but also de-facto”. “Our economic policies are aimed at creating an inclusive economic system in Armenia,” he said, emphasizing also the demand for liberalizing the market from the dominant influence of former government-linked major entrepreneurs.

The head of the anti-trust commission, Artak Shaboyan, briefed the prime minister on the past months’ positive dynamics, highlighting an increase in the number of companies engaged in the import of sugar, petroleum and banana (which used to be considered oligarch-owned businesses).

He also addressed the activity of major supermarket chains and automobile gas filling compressor stations.

After an effective debate and exchange of views, the premier asked the officials attending the meeting to reconsider the steps and elaborate proposals based on the outcomes of the discussion.

“We must rule out monopolies and abuse of dominant positions [on the market] – regardless of the methods and tools applied. Our task is to prevent market accessibility problems not only de-jure but also de-facto. All we need is to a conduct proper evaluation to ensure that the regulations proposed are translated to action, preventing the statements made from remaining in a domain absolutely isolated from our real life. We expect the Government’s active collaboration with the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition and the State Revenue Committee,” he added.