First FIA Congress Held

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenia’s economy has been brought to a deadlock through the fault of some executives–President of the Foreign Investors’ Assembly Varuzhan Kuzukian said during the first FIA Congress. The frequent change of leadership also led to the heavy social and economic situation in the country which made an impact on the activities of investors and aroused mistrust among potential investors. The FIA has developed "an investment technology," a complex program of the country’s economic development–and expects government support in implementing them.

Minister of Industrial Infrastructure Vahan Shirkhanian said that the government is ready to combine its efforts with investors and assist in the establishment of the best favorable investment field. About 1600 joint ventures registered in Armenia operate mainly in the sphere of trade and services–and–in Shirkhanian’s opinion–it is necessary to make radical changes to channel long-term investmen’s to the industry. The priority industries are electrical engineering–textile–mining and smelting–where a considerable number of jobs can be created. The minister stressed the importance of attracting an even greater volume of investmen’s to ensure the recovery of the country’s economy.

According to Head of the Investment Protection Department–Ministry of Industry and Trade–Narine Sahakian–there is an erroneous opinion that Armenia has no investment policy. The examinations made by US experts show that Armenia’s law on investmen’s is the most progressive and liberal one in countries with transitional economies. Nevertheless–in a country which lacks macroeconomic stability or has imperfect mechanisms–legislation is not applied fully–there are drawbacks in tax and customs laws–as well as in the procedures of registration–licensing and regulation of visas. There is no law on competition–the law on bankruptcy still has to be improved.

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