YEREVAN, May 22. / ARKA /. Vazgen Safaryan, the head of the Union of Domestic Commodity Producers, welcomed the opening of the first store in Armenia by French retailer Carrefour expected in the third quarter this year saying it would enhance local agriculture because the company usually cooperates with local farmers paying also part of the money for supply of goods in advance, but he also warned that the arrival of the company may force many small and medium businesses to shut down.
According to Safaryan, although the opening of Carrefour store will enhance competition at the local market, reduce prices and increase service quality, there are fears that it will make some small and medium businesses to shut down.
Speaking at a news conference he said the government should have this in mind and therefore show some kind of support to domestic manufacturers in the form of lower prices of electricity, gas, water and also lift some taxes for them.
He said Armenian business people should negotiate with Carrefour how to increase export of Armenian goods to France which has a half-million Armenian community, who are potential buyers of Armenia-made goods.
The French company will set up its first store in Armenia inside Yerevan Mall. Carrefour was originally expected to open its first shop at Dalma Garden hypermarket in Yerevan owned by a Russia-based Armenian businessman Samvel Karapetyan last year shortly after the French retail giant launched its store in neighboring Georgia in September 2012.
However, the chain's entry into the Armenian market was reportedly held back by a local wealthy businessman Samvel Alexanyan, controlling the lucrative imports of food and fast-moving consumer goods to the country. -0-