On a working visit to Switzerland, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan had working lunch with representatives of Swiss-Armenia Chamber of Commerce and Swiss businessmen.
Karen Karapetyan hailed the fact that commodity turnover between Armenia and Switzerland multiplied by about 3.5 times in 2017. Addressing the attendees, the Prime Minister stated in part:
“My message today to you is clear and straightforward: come and do business in Armenia, come and invest in Armenia. It is a worthy place of investing and doing business.
We have undertaken significant reforms in every aspect of our country – public administration, tax and customs, education, we are improving business environment and climate to promote local entrepreneurship and attract foreign businesses and investments. We are promoting tourism and services.
And indeed, the results of 2017 are very promising and we are overall satisfied with our performance.
We expect a GDP growth for 2017 of around 7%. This result is contributed by 12.3% growth in industry (January-November 2017 against the same period of 2016), as well as 14.4% growth in trade turnover and 14.2% growth in services, excluding trade.
There are other areas of growth that we are happy to see. For example, in dollar figures, already in November we managed to reach an annual record high volume of external trade since our independence. This is due to the fact that for the period of January-November 2017, against the same period of 2016 our export has grown by 23.5% and import has grown by 28%. I think we are going to have the highest growth rates in the region.
If you ask me which specific area you should invest in, my answer will be there are many areas – agriculture and wine-making, IT and hi-tech, tourism, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure development, energy and mining, jewelry, watch-making and many more.
Yes, Armenia is small in size but your market through Armenia is much larger. Armenia is a member Eurasian Economic Union, a common market and economic block with an over 180 million population.
We border with Iran, with an over 80 million population, and with which Armenia has positive neighboring relations. Recently, on the border with Iran, we have established the Meghry Free Economic Zone, and this could be interesting for those who would like to explore Iran from outside Iran, but close enough.
Plus the European Union, with an over 500 million population, Armenia has just signed a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on top of benefiting from the GSP+ system with the EU.
The costs of production and services are affordable in Armenia, and hence many products labeled “Made in Armenia” can be competitive in the EU.”
Noting that President of the National Council of Switzerland Dominique de Buman and a number of Swiss businessmen shall be visiting Armenia in the near future, the Prime Minister said it is a good opportunity to show our country and the opportunities that Armenia has to offer on the spot.
The Premier said that he will hold several meetings in Davos in both bilateral and multilateral formats during which Armenia’s economic potential and opportunities will be presented.
After the meeting, Karen Karapetyan left for Davos where he will be attending the World Economic Forum.
Later today, the Prime Minister will attend the opening of the 24th edition of the Christal Awards, as well as the reception hosted by Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab.
Note that this year’s Davos forum is held under the motto “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.”