Armenia Investment Forum 2016
Business

Armenia Investment Forum 2016

The Armenia Investment Forum 2016 took place in New York City on October 10-11th, 2016 under the high patronage and with the participation of H.E. Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia. The event was organized by the Development Foundation of Armenia (DFA), Armenia’s national authority for investment, export and tourism promotion. DFA facilitates investment plans into Armenia, helps domestic firms export goods, and promotes the country’s many tourist attractions.
 


The Forum served as a unique platform for a dialogue between executives and investors from around the globe. It was attended by more than 200 decision makers and high-level officials, including more than 100 investors. Key policy leaders and business decision makers from Armenia, the United States, the European Union, the Eurasian Economic Union, and international organizations discussed the opportunity Armenia presents as a gateway to major markets (EEU, Middle East and Iran) and outlined their vision about the economic development of the country.
This two-day event gave firsthand information about Armenia’s unique position as a gateway to major markets to investors looking for business expansion and cost reduction. Tariff-free access to the markets of the Eurasian Economic Union (market of 182 million consumers), the CIS (market of 250 million consumers), was noted as a key advantage by the Chairman of the Board of the EEU commission, Mr Tigran Sargsyan. As Mr. Sargsyan said: “Armenia is no more market of 3 M consumers. It is a market of 250 million consumers! “
Referring to the question “Why Armenia?” Vice Prime Minister of Armenia and Minister of Economic Integration and Reforms Vache Gabrielyan underlined a number of reasons for investing and doing business in Armenia. “Macroeconomic and financial stability, entry to large markets without tariffs, opportunity for a facilitated product circulation system, a constantly developing business environment, diversified investment sectors, and a young, established and inexpensive labor force are the best foundations for doing business in Armenia” stated the Vice PM. He also emphasized the benefits and opportunities, offered through Armenia’s membership to the Eurasian Economic Union, the GSP+ and GSP trade regime with the EU and US respectively, as well as Armenia’s close relationship with Georgia and Iran.
Deputy Director General of the European Commission (DG NEAR) Katarina Mathernova, speaking of the currently negotiated Armenia EU agreement, stated, “This trade agreement will bring with it a lot of benefits, because it is going to go some ways towards regulatory convergence. The agreement is going to focus on important sectors and it means access to the largest single market in the world.”

Armenia enjoys GSP + membership with EU countries for around 6,400 products, and GSP membership with the USA, Canada, Japan, Norway, and Switzerland. The long lasting good relationship with Iran and opportunity to serve this market from Armenia are of interest to investors looking for low risk arrangements for serving the Iranian market. Last year, Armenia and the U.S. signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), a historic first step towards normalizing and expanding U.S.-Armenian economic relations.
During the plenary sessions, Deputy Ministers discussed improvements in Armenia’s business environment and presented business opportunities in each sector, executives from foreign firms established in Armenia shared their experience and success in the country. Many investment projects in different sectors were presented during the Forum, eliciting great interest from the investor community. All key presentations can be downloaded from DFA’s website at www.dfa.am.
“Thanks to its geographic location, stable macroenvironment and skilled labor force, Armenia offers a great opportunity for investors to access major regional markets.” said Garen Mikirditsian, CEO of DFA. “The DFA assists investors to ease their entry into Armenia.”