Armenia May Establish Diamond Exchange at Zvartnots Airport

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–The Armenian government has signaled its interest in establishing a diamond and jewelry exchange at the Zvartnots Airport to serve its local market, arguing that the move is logical given the sector’s substantial growth over the past decade, locally and internationally.

Zvartnots airport, located 10 km west of Yerevan, has been growing steadily over the years and received a 23.2% increase in passengers from 2006-2007. The Argentinian owned company managing the facility has focused on improving visitor’s comfort within the terminal, extensively renovating the waiting areas, outfitting them with Wi-Fi internet and enhancing the Duty Free shops and restaurants.

The need to establish exchange in the country was first raised in 2003 by representatives of the jewelry sector, who felt that the lack of a viable bourse impeded the activities of jewelry companies.

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses says it welcomes the initiative and looks forward to opening communication channels with the Armenian authorities. The country has also been invited to participate in the 2009 Presidents’ Meeting that will take place November 15 in Antwerp, Belgium.

Gagik Kocharyan, head of the trade and market efficiency department of the Armenian Ministry of Economy, says the creation of a diamond and jewelry exchange in the Armenian capital of Yerevan would give the country an opportunity to play a more serious role in the region. Initially, it is envisioned that the exchange will operate within a free trade zone at Zvartnots airport.

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