Isidoro Lucciola: ANIF came as a catalyser of foreign investments

12.09.2022 | 22:40 Home / News / Interviews /
Isidoro Lucciola joined the Board of Directors of the Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) in November 2019. ANIF CEO David Papazian said then: “His vast experience in banking coupled with his strong knowledge of the Italian corporate sector will be an invaluable asset for ANIF. In addition to that, Isidoro managed an Italian government-owned entity with similar goals to those of ANIF and we stand to benefit immeasurably from the immense experience he has accumulated in this role”. talked to Isidoro Lucciola about ANIF’s mission and Armenia’s investment opportunities.

How it started

I have been fascinated by this country for its culture and charm, very much for the cohesion of the Armenian community and its resilience and capacity which goes with the story of the country.  Armenia is a small state but a large nation with many cultural affiliations with Italy.  In my life I got to know several Armenians around the world and when in 2019 David Papazian told me about the project and offered to be part of it I immediately accepted it with great enthusiasm. The composition of the Board itself was an indication to me of the credibility and seriousness that the CEO of ANIF wanted to inject into the project.

My contribution as defined due to my long international experience in the investment banking is the expertise in evaluating an investment and making it feasible in the real economy.

ANIF is doing well

ANIF is doing well. I believe that the main mission of ANIF is to develop the economy of the country and well-being of the population – making the people richer and reinforcing the economy of the country.

ANIF came as a catalyser of foreign investments in the country by investing with other sovereign funds and companies to multiply the impact on the economy. The quality of the first co-investors such as Masdar and Air Arabia are absolutely arsenals of the quality of the project, of the ability of ANIF for the potential of the country.

The management team of ANIF consisting of 60 very competent people is a very valuable tool for Armenia. This team has been able to do two things normally requiring different competences. It was able to promote large investments such as the solar plant which is the largest in the region and Fly Arna national airline. At the same time it will also promote more small investments in the culture, in the medical sector, in entertainment and others.  

ANIF is also a center of excellence - we give green light to proceed project only after being convinced that it is a good project.

Challenges and opportunities

For attracting investments the country must be considered stable, peaceful, with beneficial investor-friendly system of rules and judicial system, with very low corruption and with the ability to build up relations with many countries.

It must be considered a save heaven for investments and for depositing money into general investment, and ANIF can be crucial in giving credibility to the instrument but the country itself needs to present itself with the characteristics I have mentioned.

I hope that the country has regained stability, macroeconomic and financial fundamentals are comforted, and now it is the time to renew the trust for Armenia and more so to utilize some kind of a smart tool. So this tool is all what Armenia has today – good taxation, free economy.  Given the expansion already recorded in the financial sector Armenia can become an off-shore financial center where the Armenian community and investors from the region can put safely their money at work.

Agriculture is one of the cornerstones of the Armenian economy and I think ANIF should try to put together the agricultures of Armenia and Italy and the competence and capability of large companies that can bring technology and markets. It is an opportunity which goes also in line with the history and traditions of the country.

Armenians have a mathematical approach and an excellent scholarity and even in the past they were involved in software development, electronic, even in the semi-conductor production. Industry, textile, shoes can be another sector of attraction that goes with low-cost production prices. These are are sectors ANIF should directs co-investments.

I also think that Armenia needs to fix its high-voltage electricity transmission network. This is an issue that needs to be developed with priority.

Ara Tadevosyan talked to Isidoro Lucciola
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