Swiss Watchmaker Expands Armenia Business

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Franck Muller–the founder and owner of the Swiss Franck Muller company that produces luxury watches–said on Friday that he is expanding business operations in Armenia as he opened its first exclusive shop in Yerevan.

Having established itself as a leading Swiss watchmaker over the past decade–Franck Muller opened a factory in Yerevan last year to assemble luxury watches for re-export. Armenian officials said earlier that the investmen’s may total $10 million in the coming years.

Meeting with President Robert Kocharian–Muller said the company is making more capital investmen’s in its Armenian division in order to gradually increase output.

"Our desire is to turn Armenia into a leading manufacturer of watches and we intend to entice and bring to Armenia famous Swiss watch companies," said Muller to Kocharian and stressed that he was primarily attracted by the country’s skilled and inexpensive labor.

Kocharian for his part noted that the watch industry is not affected by high transport costs–thus considered one of the promising sectors of Armenia’s industry. He pledged his personal support for Franck Muller’s activities in Armenia.

Muller received a similar promise at a separate meeting with Prime Minister Antranig Markarian.

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