Businessmen – Willing To Make Investments

Vasak Tarposhyan

Hayots Ashkhar Daily
Published on July 29, 2008

Promises to invest 700 million US Dollars and even more

Responding to the appeal of the President of the republic, around
a dozen of Diaspora Armenian businessmen (whose number increases
gradually) have expressed willingness to invest a sum of more than
700 million Dollars in the economy of Armenia.

And if these promises, at least half of them, become a reality, this
will be quite a serious sum for the small economy of Armenia. It may
greatly contribute both to the extension of the economic activeness
and the opening of new workplaces.

In this regard, let’s recall what developments occurred in the country
due to the investments of the "Linsi" foundation (200 million Dollars).

Whereas the conversation at this moment goes around a sum which
exceeds those investments by 3-4 times. From the economic viewpoint,
it doesn’t actually matter that those sums, like the investments of
the "Linsi Foundation", are not gratuitous allocations.

>From the angle of the effectiveness of business programs, it is
very important that they are going to be direct investments rather
than loans.

Investments are the most effective financial means of economy. Although
the bank capital increases in Armenia by every year, it is not yet
powerful enough to provide loans for the econo my at low interest
rates. The bank loans chiefly include expensive sums which in most
cases do not contribute to the implementation of long-term economic

As to the issue in what sphere those investment proposals will
be implemented, it is not entirely clarified yet. Anyway, certain
trends are being sketched now. Although, regardless the spheres,
the entrance of such sums into the economy may lead to an investment
boom and economic activeness.

As we know, Samvel Karapetyan, an Armenian businessman residing
in Russia, was the first to respond to the President’s appeal. He
expressed willingness to invest 250 million US dollars, envisaging
the major part of the sum, 200 million US Dollars, for business and
social programs. S.

Karapetyan promised to allocate USD 50 million for the implementation
of some symbolic program in Armenia, for instance, the opening of
the Pan-Armenian Bank, a project that is envisaged for the end of
the current year or the beginning of next year.

Businessman Ara Abrahamyan, Head of the Union Armenian Businessmen in
Russia, proposed an investment program in the amount of 150 million
US Dollars. Mr. Abrahamyan intends to direct those sums to the
implementation of the initiatives of the President, continuing the
funding of different social programs initiated in the past. Head of
"Bamo" holding expressed willingness to make investments in the amount
of 120 million Dollars in t he town-building programs. Proposals
were made on making investments in the spheres of mineral industry,
insurance etc. In case these proposals are implemented, the economic
situation in the country may essentially change.

Clearly, each of the authors of this initiative has become specialized
in some sphere of economic activity. So, it is possible to assume
that in separate cases those spheres will be maintained during the
implementation of new programs in Armenia as well.

Nevertheless, the Government has serious tasks in terms of making
maximum use of the above-mentioned sums. And the implementation of
such tasks is incumbent upon the Armenian Development Agency which,
apart from introducing the advantages of the economy of Armenia to
the financial investors, is also obliged to propose business programs
and specify the trends which may be favorable for the financial donors.

In this respect, certain steps are already being implemented. Recently,
a group of Diaspora Armenian businessmen were invited to Armenia and
familiarized with the process of the reforms implemented here.

The legislative field in Armenia is favorable for investments. But
there are a great number of problems towards achieving their
realization, and they often push aside the investors, no matter whether
they are our compatriots or foreigners. These problems make themselves
obvious first of all in the spheres of taxation and customs services,
as a result of whic h the competitive environment of the country
suffers loses. Naturally, no one will be willing to make investments
or be engaged in economic activity in an environment creating unequal
conditions between himself and the other competitors.

With the purpose of solving the problems in the economic sphere,
several measures have been undertaken during the recent months,
and, as mentioned by the businessmen who have expressed willingness
to make investments, these have inspired them with enthusiasm. At
the same time, it is very important for the investments not only to
continue but also cover other spheres in which there are quite a lot
of problems related to entrepreneurial activity.

Of course, the economy of Armenia has certain branches which may be
favorable for new investments and economic activities. In the meantime,
it is very important for at least some part of the investments to be
made in the sphere of industry and have tendencies for export. An
urgent issue for Armenia is the increase of the export volumes,
and the invested sums may contribute to this process.

Especially considering that the businessmen who have expressed
willingness to make investments, have serious ties on the foreign
markets, and can contribute to the process of realizating the products.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS