GM Reps. Visit Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Representative of the US General Motors company Greg Devonter who arrived on a one-day visit to Armenia on Friday where he met with Acting President and Prime Minister Robert Kocharian and visited the "Yeraz" car company.

Devonter–who is deputy manager of General Motors Overseas Distribution Corporation–said during his visit to "Yeraz" that at the meeting with Kocharian and Trade and Industry Minister of Armenia Nanagoulian the parties agreed on a possible future for GM in Armenia.

Noting that rapid economic growth may be expected for the coming five to six years–Devonter stressed that political and general stability was an important positive factor for Armenia.

Devonter said that as a rule General Motors gradually expands its activities in a region–starting with creation of a net of sales structures and then–if necessary–sets up its productions there. He also said that technical experts of the company may visit Armenia in the near future.

Last year "Yeraz" manufactured $370,000 worth products–which is twice as low as its 1996 figures. According to enterprise managers–the decline in production volumes is conditioned by financial hardships (the enterprise’s debt totals about 170 million drams). The enterprise was privatized in 1995–with 60 percent of its shares belonging to its workers. On the Yerevan Stock Exchange Yeraz’s capitalization index totals about $150,000. Starting in March–Yeraz will assemble pickup trucks for the Russian "Mosckvich" car company with initial output totaling 20 cars per month.

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