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Official News

Monday, 13 February 2017

About USD 3.2BN-worth investment programs collected: Karen Karapetyan Receives Representatives of European Companies Operating in Armenia










Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan received the representatives of the European Business Association and the European companies operating in Armenia. The meeting was attended by Head of EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Peter Switalski.

Stressing the importance of cooperation between the Government and the business community, the Prime Minister said he considers the business community as a partner and a driving force behind the economy.

“We have sent you many signals, and we hope that you are familiar with them. The government’s 100-day activities, the diagnosis of existing problems and the steps we are taking seek to improve the business environment. Be assured that we are strongly committed to this objective. We highly value the involvement of European businesses in Armenia both in terms of management culture and investment. Therefore, we are prepared to hear any proposal you may have in this regard,” the Premier said highlighting the interaction between the business sector and the Center for Strategic Initiatives.

Referring to the Government’s investment projects, the Prime Minister said to have collected and analyzed the investment projects submitted by the private sector and line ministries during the visits to the regions. As a result, some 341 investment projects have been selected worth about USD 3.2 billion. These projects will be financed from various sources, including the State budget, the municipal budgets and the private sector.

“These programs have financial sources and partners. We consider it realistic to implement projects to a total amount of USD 840 million in 2017. Additional 79 projects are being discussed in the Government worth about USD 5.3 billion. We believe them to be logical: we have reached preliminary agreements: they are open for investment and partnership,” Karen Karapetyan pointed out.

Thankful for the reception, Peter Switalski noted that this is a good opportunity for the entrepreneurs in attendance to voice their problems, suggestions and questions. The Ambassador stressed the importance of the Government’s initiatives aimed at improving the business environment and the willingness to provide support in resolving various issues.

Executive Director of European Business Association Diana Sarumova and the business people in attendance thanked the Government for the efforts aimed at improving the State Revenue Committee’s activities, owing to which the SRC is now providing faster, easier, more transparent services of higher quality.

Prime Minister Karapetyan said the Government is giving special attention to improving tax and customs administration, taking into account the problems and the grievances of the business community. This issue will also be discussed on the platform of the Center for Strategic Initiatives.

“In the near future, the State Revenue Committee will publish a list of law-abiding taxpayers, whereby we want to tell the public that they are champions. The banks will give these companies loans at lower interest, not because we have recommended so, but because they are more predictable, reliable and understandable. We will do everything so that white-listed and law-abiding businesses might enjoy advantages,” the Head of Government emphasized.

Karen Karapetyan stressed that his government is set to ensure unimpeded business operations and, secondly, bolster entrepreneurship, which is extremely important amid shrinking trading activity. “Our greatest challenge is to facilitate business activities. Therefore, you can use any platform to raise your concerns. You are the driving force behind the country’s development,” the Premier said.

The representative of Amundi-ACBA Asset Management pension fund manager said they were considering the possibility of involving the mandatory pension fund assets in the real sector of Armenia’s economy, including the development of Kumayri Historic Center project in Gyumri.

The Prime Minister welcomed the initiative, noting that an investment fund was going to be established to that effect, which would be expanded ahead. During the meeting, reference was made to tax and customs administration, public procurement, infrastructure, tourism and other sectors of the economy. In conclusion, the heads of the government agencies concerned provided the necessary explanations.

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