Over the past several years, Armenia has received respectable rankings in international indices that review country business environments and investment climates, the US Department of State says in a report on Armenia’s investment climate 2020.
The report notes that significant U.S. investments are present in Armenia, most notably ContourGlobal’s acquisition of the Vorotan Hydroelectric Cascade and Lydian International’s efforts to develop a major gold mine.
“U.S. investors in the banking, energy, pharmaceutical, information technology, and mining sectors, among others, have entered or acquired assets in Armenia. Armenia presents a variety of opportunities for investors, and the country’s legal framework and government policy aim to attract investment, but the investment climate is not without challenges,” the State Department says.
It further notes that Armenia imposes few restrictions on foreign control and rights to private ownership and establishment. There are no restrictions on the rights of foreign nationals to acquire, establish, or dispose of business interests in Armenia.
“Business registration procedures are straightforward. The banking system in Armenia is sound and well-regulated, but investors note that the financial sector is not highly developed. The U.S.-Armenia Bilateral Investment Treaty provides U.S. investors with a variety of protections. Although Armenian legislation offers protection for intellectual property rights, enforcement efforts and recourse through the courts require improvement,” the report reads.
Overall, it states, the competitive environment in Armenia is improving, but several businesses have reported that broader reforms across judicial, tax, customs, health, education, military, and law enforcement institutions will be necessary to shore up these gains.