Kocharian visits local factory


May 21 2004

YEREVAN, MAY 21, ARMENPRESS: President Robert Kocharian visited
today a local Hayasa Group company. It was established in 1981 to
produce stockinet. Today it operates on local capital manufacturing
goods mainly for export, sold in France, USA, Russia. Among its
products are clothes and uniform for women and children, hunters,
military. Orders are coming also from China as well but the company
fears that it is not yet ready to expand production. It employs 240
people with 35,000 average salary. It has a division for deaf people
where 25-30 people work.

According to Hayasa executive director, Eduard Harutunian, last year
200 million drams worth output was produced, 80 percent of which
was exported. It is not profitable to work with the domestic market
as it is small with lots of imported goods, the company director
said. He also said that light industry has always been prospective
in Armenia. It demands lots of investment. One of current challenges
are high interest rates at the banks, Harutunian said.

After the meeting, Robert Kocharian spoke to reporters. He said that
the company has increased its production volumes 3 times compared to
the last year. In general, a rise of 90 percent is observed in the
light industry, he said. One of the aims of this visit was to learn
about the difficulties and challenges that the company is facing and
to understand what are the ways to boost it.

“Step by step working with each sector today we have 9 percent
economic growth in 4 months,” Kocharian noted. Armenian president
said they are trying to boost Armenian export through participation
in international exhibition. He also said that no question was raised
about the influence of political development on the economy during
the meetings with the business people. “Business people intuitively
feel that no serious development are expected and are concerned with
more practical issues,” he said.