YEREVAN, February 14. / ARKA /. Armenia’s economy minister Tigran Davtian echoed today arguments backing the arrival of the French chain of hypermarkets Carrefour to Armenia saying it will make other companies cut the prices of some of their products and services.
‘Carrefour is not only business, but also a culture and the Armenian government is interested in its arrival to our country. We are trying to make it happen as quick as possible," he said.
Davtian said the government is interested in bringing multinational companies to Armenia, and has earmarked 40 million drams this year for negotiating with them. He said also that the delay in the company’s arrival in Armenia is linked to disagreements between private actors.
Earlier, a local daily “Zhamanak" (Time), claimed citing its own sources that a Russia-based Armenian businessman Samvel Karapetian, the owner of Dalma Garden Mall in Yerevan, suspended a contract with Carrefour. The newspaper alleged that the decision was taken under the pressure from Armenian oligarch Samvel Alexanian who controls the bulk of imports of essential goods.
In response to these allegations, prime minister Tigran Sargsyan said the Armenian government will do everything possible to ensure the arrival of the French company in Armenia because ‘the government is interested in it.’ The prime minister declined reports that Samvel Karapetian suspended the contract with Carrefour saying what the two sides had signed is a memorandum of intent, not a contract.
French Carrefour SA is the second largest retailer in the world after the U.S. Wal-Mart. It was founded in 1957 by opening its first store in the eastern France. In 1963, the company opened near Paris the world's first hypermarket. Carrefour owns 15,100 stores in Europe, Brazil, Argentina, North Africa and Asia, working under different brands, employing a total of 400 thousand people. Its net revenue in 2011 amounted to 371 million euros. ($ 1 - 406.74 drams). -0-