No Investment Attraction Strategy Exists in Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–An investment attraction strategy has not yet been developed in Armenia–said President of the Foreign Investors Assembly Varuzhan Kuzukian in an interview this week. Out of the 1300 joint ventures and enterprises established by foreign capital only 100 are really operating–Kuzukian said. In 1997 and 1998 a large number of investors visited Armenia–but they did not launch any serious activities because of the current economic policy.

"In my opinion–the capitalization of public property by selling it cannot be considered investment," Kuzukian said. "Investment implies setting up new productions and creating new jobs."

Kuzukian did say however that all economic spheres are attractive for investmen’s. Armenia is capable of becoming a transit country and gaining serious positions not only on the regional markets but also in Russia and Central Asia.

According to Kuzukian–Armenian law is favorable for investmen’s. The problem lies are in the mechanisms of applying the law. There are numerous discrepancies between the law and the enforcement of the law–he said.

Kuzukian said that the five-year plan outlined in the Law on Investmen’s is not actually applied.

The FIA prepared a package of proposals on making amendmen’s to Armenia law–including "investment techniques" providing 7-degrees of protection to investors. The FIA is studying the possibility of introducing an investment insurance system in Armenia jointly with the British "Lloids" company.

Established a year ago by a group of Armenian businessmen–the FIA includes 189 members–including the following companies: Pharmatec–Caritas–Amio Exco–ArmItera and Decoart. The FIA’s main goal is to promote Armenia’s economic and industrial development. The FIA does not receive any financial support from the government or foreign donors. It operates on Kuzukian’s funds.

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