Armenian-Russian Business Forum Seeks Growth in Economic Ties

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Entrepreneurs from Armenia and Russia met in Yerevan on Monday for Business forum aimed at increasing economic activity and cooperation between companies operating in the two countries, Armenian Public Radio reported.

According to PanArmenian.net, the forum was organized by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Armenia and Russia. It brought together more than 40 businessmen to discuss investments in various Armenian industries, including food, mining, agriculture, health, pharmaceutics, mechanical engineering, and construction.
Addressing the conference, the Chairman of Armenia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Martin Sargsyan, underscored Russia’s role in Armenia’s economy and stressed the imperative of deeper economic ties between the two countries.

“Russia is Armenia’s most important strategic partner and largest investor with a 50 percent share in the Armenian economy,” he is quoted by PanArmenian as saying, adding that greater economic integration between the two countries will strengthen bilateral ties and minimize the consequences of future economic downturns.

“We should develop trade and economic ties to prevent future crises from affecting [economic] relations,” Sargsyan said, pointing to the 14% drop in commodity turnover between Armenia and Russia from 2009 and 2010. “The economic processes between the two countries should contribute to the reinforcement of bilateral cooperation.”

Sargsyan, nevertheless, praised cooperation agreement signed between the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Armenia and Russia, describing them as efficient in “registering a four-fold increase in imports from Russia to Armenia and two-fold increase in exports from Armenia to Russia since 2005.”
“Since 2005, Armenian imports from Russia have increased fourfold, exceeding $1 billion, while Armenian exports to Russia have doubled,” Sargsyan said. “Armenia exports natural juices, mineral water and brandy and imports equipment, machinery, furniture and paper and there is great potential for further growth.”

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