exhibition showed Armenia's healthy investment environment..
About 250 businessmen, including 150 Diaspora Armenians from 26 countries
(Russia, USA, Syria, Canada, Australia and others) met this week in a three-day
The goal of the Armenia-Diaspora Congress
expo was to present Armenia to Diaspora businessmen as a favorable and healthy
Within the framework of the expo 150 companies from
Armenia and Karabakh made presentations at the Karen Demirchyan Sport and Concert
Complex, promoting production of such items as construction material, food, light
industry, high technologies, cigarettes and confectionery.
of this Congress was to demonstrate to Diaspora businessmen that Armenia 2003
is not Armenia 1993," executive director of the Armenian Development Agency
Vahagn Movsisyan said. "Significant changes have taken place in the country
and these days business of Armenia is competitive in different international markets."
to Movsisyan, today the economic potential of Diaspora is presented in Armenia
only by three to five percent, meanwhile the economic environment of the country
gives opportunities for realizing much more investment programs.
Armenia-Diaspora Congress took place in 1999 and the second one was in 2002. At
the time of the work on economic issues during the second Congress and after emphasizing
the necessity of economic cooperation between Armenia and Diaspora it was decided
to carry out the latest Congress.
"The businessmen, who are really
interested in making business in Armenia, responded to the announcement,"
says Minister of Trade and Economic Development Karen Tchshmarityan.
the first day of the Congress leaders of Armenia and Karabakh came to welcome
President Robert Kocharyan particularly mentioned in his
greeting speech that the days are gone when people were sure that it was possible
to sustain Armenia only with production of Jermuk mineral water.
and drink were among products featured..
it becomes clear that we can't keep the country with Jermuk," said the President.
"We must make right decisions on what we want and what resources we have
According to the President, educated and inventive people
are the main wealth of Armenia.
The President also encouraged Diaspora businessmen
to become "co-partners" with Armenia, and consider it a sound investment
and not just a matter of patriotic duty to do business here.
Hagop Loussararian, from Beirut, has been cooperating for several months with
two companies in Armenia presenting "Arzni" mineral water and "Cigaron"
cigarettes in the Middle East and Lebanon.
"Being a businessman for
me there is no difference what country I'm importing goods from," says 30
year old Loussararian, "however, being Armenian my patriotism makes me get
profits in Armenia by making investments."
According to him, Armenian
products can be of great popularity and success in other countries in case of
"It is a little bit hard to establish relations with
Armenian businessmen as Armenia is a new country in the field of business and
hasn't got a rich experience of importing."
Loussararian said that
through the Congress he got acquainted with another Armenian company, with which
he is going to start an affiliation next month.
American businessman Hovsep
Seferyan says laws in Armenia must change to make it easier for outside investment.
three-day discussions there were both complaints and praises expressed by Diaspora
businessmen, however, all of them mentioned that Armenia is an attractive country
for making business.
right up to invest . . .
Many were interested
in the goods presented by Karabakh, such as preserves, honey, herbal teas, natural
stones, wooden production, handmade works and alcohol drinks. They attracted visitors
with their quality and packaging.
Chief manager of "Artsakh-Alco"
company assures that many visitors were sure that alcohol drinks of the company
had been produced in Armenia and not in Karabakh.
Karabakh at the exhibition was very important because we wanted our guests from
abroad to be sure that Karabakh is a country that creates good things with the
help of peaceful work," he said.
At the last day businessmen nailed
down the results of the Economic Congress in a document on which the International
Armenian Trade Network will be founded. According to the decree, the Economic
Congresses will be organized every third year and exhibitions will be organized
every year in Armenia or in the world countries with the biggest Armenian Diaspora.