YEREVAN—Armenia will produce night vision goggles and thermal imaging cameras through a production license granted to Unicum Engineering Company, reported Armenia’s Economy Minister Artsvik Minasyan during Thursday’s cabinet meeting.
Minasyan, who is also a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Armenia, announced that the production will take place in what is known as the Alliance Free Trade Zone, a portion of Yerevan that in 2013 was demarcated as a tax-free area where businesses can manufacture and produce materials and receive tax exemptions.
In 2013, the Armenian government announced an area covering around 25 acres of land and office space for companies specializing in information technology, engineering, telecommunications, renewable energy and pharmaceuticals. They will be exempt from profit, value-added and property taxes as well as import duties.
The company is expected to produce up to 1,000 devises in the first year and increase the number to 5,500 in the future.
“The volume of production is expected to reach $5 million by 2017 and exceed $12 million in five years,” said Minasyan who also announced that about $31 million will be invested into the project in the upcoming five years. Armenia is eyeing to export the equipment mainly to Russia.
Minasyan said that the project will create jobs in the engineering sector with competitive salaries.
The minister also announced that the Arides Company was given rights to manufacture breathalyzers, the devices used to determine blood alcohol levels.
It is estimated that the company will invest around $4.3 million for the manufacture of the products, which will also benefit from the Alliance Free Trade Zone. Minasyan said that the company will produce and export 15,000 devices in the first year and increase production to 40,000 in its fifth year of operation, with anticipated revenues of $3 million to $10 million from the first to fifth year of production.
Arides will export the breathalyzers to Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and European Union countries.