California International Trade Office in Armenia Garners Local Support

ANCA-WR Fundraiser Raises over $40,000 for economic cooperation between California–Armenia businesses

BEVERLY HILLS–The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) hosted a fundraiser on April 3 to benefit the California International Trade Office in Armenia (CITO). Raising over $40,000–the event highlighted the ANCA-WR’s continued commitment and support of the CITO and improved trade relations between the United States and Armenia.

The Trade Office will be an official representative of the State of California centered in Yerevan to promote a greater economic relationship between Californian and Armenian businesses. Using Armenia as its hub it will endeavor to promote Californian businesses throughout the former Soviet Union. Its opening is targeted for this summer.

Honorees in attendance at the benefit event included California State Senator Jack Scott–who initially proposed the creation of the CITO in 2001 with the assistance of State Senator Charles Poochigian–as well as Barry R. Sedlik–the Undersecretary and Senior Advisor for Economic Development at the California Business–Transportation and Housing Agency. Also in attendance were Vahram Nercessiants–Chief Economic Advisor to President Robert Kocharian and Member of the Board of Governors of the World Bank; Dr. Vahagn Movsisyan–General Director of the Armenian Development Agency; and Gagik Kirakosian–Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles.

"Ever since the CITO was initially proposed in 2001–the ANCA-WR has been at the forefront of supporters of this endeavor," said Steven Dadaian–Chairman of the ANCA-WR Board of Directors. "We would like to thank our hosts–Varouj and Vahe Karapetian–who made this event possible and each of the benefactors who donated at least a thousand dollars to ensure that this event was a success."

The Foundation for Economic Development (FED)–a non-profit organization–has been awarded the contract by the State of California to operate the CITO.

"I would like to thank Senator Scott and the Armenian National Committee for their leadership in promoting this vital link between Califorinan and Armenian businesses," said Nercessiants.

"The support by the ANCA-WR and its supporters has been unbelievable in ensuring that the CITO becomes a reality," remarked FED Board Member Levon Kirakosian. "We hope that the ANCA-WR’s continued financial support of the CITO will provide an example to Armenian-Americans who are interested in investing in Armenia to support the CITO."

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