YEREVAN, February 21. / ARKA /. Syrian Armenian refugees, who have settled in their historic homeland, intend to establish their own union of manufacturers and entrepreneurs, Alexander Karadanayan, head of a non-governmental organization set up to help Syrian Armenian refugees here, said today.
Karadanayan said it may take them a month or two to set up the union whose main objective will be to highlight the main problems faced by Syrian Armenian business people here.
Karadanayan was invited to speak at a meeting of Armenia’s anti-trust body - the State Commission for Protection of Economic Competition. He said Syrian entrepreneurs and producers do not have sufficient conditions for starting businesses here.
"Today, for many of us it is much cheaper to engage in trade than set up production in Armenia. I think the government should develop effective laws to protect local producers,” he said.
Karadanayan said Syrian Armenians pin hopes on Armenia’s entry into the Customs Union because the local market is too small.
"The Armenian government has given us some support; however, in Syria conditions for development of small and medium business were much more favorable. In particular, entrepreneurs are exempt from taxation for 3-5 years," he added.
The Armenian community in Syria that numbered according to some estimates around 100,000 was thriving before the crisis. According to various sources, around 8,000 Syrian Armenians have asked for Armenian citizenship and about 3,000 have already received it. -0-