YEREVAN, March 5. / ARKA /. Participants of an international investment forum in Yerevan organized as part of regional investment and trade facilitation project East Invest, looked today into Armenia’s investment climate and business doing opportunities.
Araik Vardanyan, the executive director of Armenia’s Commerce and Industry Chamber, recalled that Russia is the largest investor in Armenia, followed by France that mainly invests in the telecommunications sector and production of alcoholic beverages.
France is followed by the Netherlands that promotes greatly implementation of an array of various projects. The Dutch are followed by Germany and Argentina. The latter is a major investor in Armenia’s transport and agriculture sectors.
Speaking about Armenia’s upcoming accession to the Customs Union, Vardanyan downplayed what he described as ‘unfounded fears’ that Armenia may reduce its traditional trade and economic relations with the European states.
Deputy economy minister Tigran Harutyunyan said the level of foreign investments in Armenia is still below the 2008 pre-crisis level. He said as of last September, EU’s overall investments in Armenia stood at $2.5 billion.
He said Armenia’s membership in the Customs Union should make the country more attractive for foreign investors because of providing them with direct access to the 170 million market.
According to Ludowik Sichanowski, head of trade and private sector unit of the EU delegation in Armenia, the EU emphasizes business and investment climate in Eastern Neighborhood countries.
Accoridng to official data, total foreign investment in Armenia’s real sector of the economy in the first nine months of 2013 slashed by almost 32 percent year-on-year to $395.6 million.
East Invest is a regional investment and trade facilitation project for the economic development of the Eastern Neighborhood region, launched in the framework of the European Eastern Partnership initiative.
It targets business support organizations and SMEs from the 6 Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), who have potential for developing mutual cooperation and investment relations with the European Union. -0-