YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Jewelry products worth more than $40 million were turned out in Armenia over the first four months of 2002. As the head of the Jewelry Affairs Section of the Armenian Ministry of Trade and Economic Development–Gagik Mkrtchian–said at the May 23 press conference–if we keep to such a rate–the volume of this year’s production will exceed the indicators of 2000 ($110 million) by 30-40 percent. In 2001–jewelry production of $96 million was reported in Armenia.
The recession–in Mkrtchian’s opinion–was due to the crisis on the international jewelry market.
Mkrtchian pointed out that the Armenian-Russian agreement on diamond supply to Armenia has not been ratified yet. It is expected that the Russian and Armenian parliamen’s will ratify the agreement before the parliamentary recess. It is worth mentioning that this agreement envisages supply of Russian diamonds totaling 2.1 million carats for 5 years. Together with this–the quotas of the diamond supply in the first three years will total 400 thousand carats–and the last 2 years – 450 thousand carats.
The head of the department also said that a bill "On the Circulation of Gems and Jewelry Articles," now under discussion–will soon be submitted to the government. Then–it will be forwarded to the parliament for consideration in autumn.