OPEC Fund & Armenia sign investment encouragement & protection

Harold Doan and Associates, CA
Feb 24 2005


Feb. 24 2005

Press Release – The OPEC Fund

An agreement for the encouragement and protection of investment has
been signed between the OPEC Fund for International Development and
the Republic of Armenia. Drawn up within the framework of the Fund’s
Private Sector Facility, the agreement was signed by HE Mr. David
Lokyan, Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Armenia, and by
Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director-General of the OPEC Fund.

The Fund’s Private Sector Facility is a financing window, endowed
with its own resources, through which the Fund channels support
directly to the private sector in developing countries. Its
objectives are to promote economic development by encouraging the
growth of productive private enterprise and supporting the growth of
local capital markets. Under the Facility, loans are made to
financial institutions for on-lending to small, medium and
micro-enterprises, as well as directly to specific projects. Equity
participation in private enterprises is also undertaken. The
investment protection agreement accords the OPEC Fund the same
privileges as those normally given to international development
institutions in which the country holds membership. To date, the Fund
has concluded such agreements with over 60 countries.

With a population of just 3.1 million and a GNI per capita of US$950
in 2003, Armenia ranks among the lower middle income group of
countries. In recent years, government has pushed ahead with
structural reform and trade liberalization, together with a raft of
financial sector reforms. Economic performance has been encouraging,
with GDP growth reaching a record 13.9% in 2003. The private sector
accounts for 91% of GDP. Over two-thirds of small and medium
enterprises have been privatized, as have 75% of large companies and
most agricultural land. Government is committed to creating an
enabling environment for further development of the private sector.

The OPEC Fund’s cooperation with Armenia commenced in December 2004,
with the approval of a public sector loan in support of a rural areas
economic development project. On a cumulative basis, since 1976, the
Fund has approved more than US$5,795.7 million in public sector
lending to over 100 countries in all developing regions of the world.