YEREVAN (ARKA) – American investors are already interested in many opportunities in Armenia, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills said in an exclusive interview with Novosti-Armenia International News Agency.
“I hear from potential U.S. business investors and from average Armenians as I travel the country, that businessmen and women face several challenges when trying to make a living in Armenia,” he said.
“That is why the Embassy is working with the Armenian government to ensure competition among businesses is fair. I also want to stress that it is up to the Armenian people and government to attract investment. Companies will invest in countries where there is predictability and transparency, in everything from taxation to customs regulations to court proceedings. While we cannot force U.S. businesses to enter into Armenia’s market, the U.S. Embassy is highlighting business and trade opportunities through our very active Economic and Commercial office, which provides two annual reports: the “Country Commercial Guide” and the “Investment Climate Statement.”
The ambassador stated that the two-way trade (exports plus imports) between the United States and Armenia totaled $153 million in 2014, U.S. goods exports to Armenia in 2014 totaled $56 million and included poultry, machinery, vehicles, and optic and medical equipment.
Total U.S. foreign direct investment in Armenia was $1 million in 2013, and rose significantly this year with the purchase of the Vorotan Hydro Cascade by ContourGlobal, a U.S.-based firm.
U.S. goods imports from Armenia in 2014 totaled $96 million and included aluminum, woven apparel, brandy, diamonds, and processed fruit and vegetables. Total Armenian foreign direct investment in the United States was $1 million in 2013.
“The U.S. remains one of Armenia’s most vital and important trade partners. That is a testament to our countries’ close, historical ties – economically, politically, and culturally,” Mills said in his interview.
“We identified the following sectors as business opportunities in our 2015 Country Commercial Guide: the energy and mining sectors in general (exploration, exploitation, and ancillary services, among others), alternative energy generation, agribusiness, IT, as well as services, including retail, travel, and tourism.”