Armen Avak Avakian: Armenia offers investors 800 million-strong market

26.07.2018 | 17:06 Home / News /
#Armen Avak Avakian #Business Armenia #Emerging Europe
CEO of Business Armenia Armen Avak Avakian said that Armenia can offer investors customs-free access to an 800 million-strong market.

Armen Avak Avakian stated this in an interview to Emerging Europe’s Editor-in-Chief Andrew Wrobel.

“The first question that I am usually asked is how big is Armenia in terms of market size. My answer is that there is a population of 800 million. Of course, Armenia doesn’t have an 800 million population but if you look at our free trade agreements we have customs-free access to an 800 million-strong market. We are a part of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), and we have the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) regime with the EU which gives us customs-free access to the European Union for 6400 different types of products. The EEU just signed a free trade agreement with Iran which lowered tariffs and in some cases reached zero,” Business Armenia CEO said.
 
According to him, Armenia is also a favourable destination for investments in tech, as the sector is booming in Armenia now.

“The Armenians have always been known to the world as creators. We created the MRI machine, we created the green colour of the dollar bill, we created the colour TV, we created automatic transmission on cars, oxygen masks for airplanes. All of these have things been researched and developed by Armenians. If you want to tap into that R&D pool, that genealogy of creating new things, then Armenia is the place to be,” Armen Avak Avakian told.

Touching upon the challenges in attracting investments, Armen Avak Avakian stressed the issue with recognisability, noting that investors often confuse Armenia with Romania or Albania. So, the recognition and awareness in itself is already a problem. Content is another problem. We don’t have enough content about Armenia.

“If you Google ‘Armenia’ the top 20 results revolve around the genocide. I was raised in Boston and from the day I was born I’ve been taught that what it means to be an Armenian is to fight for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. When you grow up, that is what you identify with. I think we have to change that dialogue. When I am asked what it is to be an Armenian I say, for example, Armenia is one of the countries in the world that has chess as a curriculum in middle schools. That’s how I start representing my country. Instead of talking about the past I start talking about the present and the future,” he noted.
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