Huntsman to Expand Construction in Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"We are doing everything possible for Armenia to become attractive for investors. For that purpose legislation is being improved and an appropriate atmosphere established," President Robert Kocharian said when receiving a delegation led by prominent American businessman–billionaire John Huntsman Friday.

Kocharian reportedly suggested that Huntsman regard Armenia as a partner and establish business relations in addition to already existing humanitarian aid efforts.

Praising Huntsman’s activities in Armenia’since the 1988 earthquake–Kocharian underlined that each Armenian remembers him with gratitude.

"I am very glad to be here again," said Huntsman–stressing that he noticed positive changes and progress in the country since his last visit to Armenia. The businessman announced intentions of expanding the work of the continually successful "Hunstman & Armenia" construction company he founded after the earthquake. Huntsman reported his next project will be the production of polyethylene pipes.

Welcoming the new business venture–President Kocharian pointed out that such production will be very useful to the country–especially since a reconstruction and re-equipment program is set to be implemented in the water-supply system.

The businessman expressed willingness to assist in the reconstruction of the earthquake zone. He stated that he has planned to launch a housing construction project for the socially vulnerable strata of the population with cooperation with residents themselves.

"Ten years have passed since the earthquake and a similar step will be very symbolic," Kocharian commented–adding that the government is ready to provide all kinds of assistance to the businessman. The president underlined that all measures will be taken to resolve the housing problem in the disaster area by 2001.

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