Willingness to Invest in Armenia but Not From EAEU Member States

    • Business - 10 January 2017, 21:00
Several companies of different countries are currently interested in investing in Armenia, the head of the Republic Union of Employers Gagik Makaryan told Lragir.am. Note that earlier last year the minister of economic development and investments Suren Karayan announced about signals from investors.

Gagik Makaryan said that the investors are interested in different spheres. “They are interested in agricbusiness: canned food, modern greenhouses, there are interesting proposals relating to mines, machines and metallurgy, in the sphere of solar energy. There are investors who have already borrowed lands and are building greenhouses,” Makaryan said.

In answer to the question what has served as a spur for investors to make investments in Armenia, our interlocutor said that the steps of the government have inspired hope. According to him, Kuwaiti, Iranian and European investors have expressed big interest in doing business in Armenia. The EAEU member states are passive.

“The Russian investors will still keep to some narrow spheres, and there is almost no probability of investments from other EAEU, CIS member states. However, people from other countries have already taken land, established production. Local investors are also active who will create new jobs,” he added.

According to Makaryan, there are also proposals on cooperation in the sphere of tourism. The Iranian side, investors of Arab and European countries are presenting programs in the sphere of tourism.

The insufficient collection of taxes in Armenia, Gagik Makaryan says, is evidence that the state of the economy is not brilliant, entrepreneurs have difficulty paying taxes, it is also possible that the numbers of economic growth and tax collections have been exaggerated; third, the struggle against shadow has not succeeded.

“There is enough money in the shadow which is not collected because people still think that they will be able to continue their practice through other ways. They may not be sure that the SRC may continue that process confidently. They also rely on elections that during the elections, while participating in different processes, they may create opportunities for themselves. But after April, I think, we will enter into a more serious stage,” he said.

Gagik Makaryan says the year 2016 could be considered a year of recovery for Armenian producers and exporters. After the economic crisis in Russia and plummeting volumes of exports of Armenian companies to Russia in 2016 the volumes of export grew, prices rose a little though they did not reach the levels of 2014.

On the other hand, in many Armenian enterprises, according to Makaryan, there were some positive changes last year. Some producers changed the level of their management, passed international certifications.

However, many trade companies had difficulties last year because of high property and low buying capacity.

“Therefore, the state of trade micro-enterprises did not improve. However, I think, it will be better in 2017 for several reasons. First, a higher economic growth is expected in Russia, the levels of export may increase. The second reason for improvement of the situation could be the work of the government,” he said.

At the same time, there is no need to rely on the EAEU market only, the markets for exports should be diversified. According to him, it is necessary to activate exports, especially to Iran, Arab, European countries. At the same time, it is necessary to carry out work inside, the branches of exports should be developed to enable economic operators to export their goods.

Gagik Makaryan says the time of promises of government has passed, it is time for real action, the work done should already produce results.