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Weekly Business News Digest

July 20, 2019

Armenia can be at forefront of the 4th Industrial Revolution - DPM

Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan, who is in New York taking part in the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, held a roundtable discussion with Armenians involved in banking & finance. According to him Armenia can be at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution by way of the development of the high-tech industry and the startup ecosystem, as well as by strengthening its positions in global value chains.

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Armenia committed to “Smart development” agenda

"Advancing sustainable development with particular emphasis on information and communication technologies, amplifying the growth of start-ups, fostering innovation and investing in young people’s skills and entrepreneurship are amongst the strategic priorities of the Government of Armenia," - Deputy PM Tigran Avinyan said in his address at the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.”

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Armenia to turn into regional energy hub

With the construction of the North-South power transmission line Armenia will turn into an energy hub in the region, head of the department of energy at the ministry of territorial administration and infrastructures Hayk Badalyan told. “Currently the Central-South part (400kW transmission lines with Iran) of the North-South project is at the implementation stage.

Joining energy grids of Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Iran can be completed in 2-3 years

“We [Armenia] are currently building high-voltage [power] lines with Georgia and Iran,” Deputy PM Avinyan told RIA Novosti. “The whole logic is that we, Georgia, Iran, and Russia work simultaneously in the grid... Now, we want to build a system that will enable to work simultaneously with Russia, or to change the frequencies so that we can be connected.”

Eurasian Economic Union exchange rate policy advisory board to be set up

Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) has approved the draft agreement on setting up an advisory board with respect to the exchange rate policy of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member countries. The document specifies that the aforesaid exchange rate policy shall be coordinated by a separate body comprising the heads of national (central) banks of the EAEU countries.

14.4% growth in number of visitors to Armenia in 2019

PM Pashinyan wrote on Facebook that the number of tourists who visited Armenia in Jan-June 2019 is 14.4% greater than in the same period a year earlier. According to NSC 1,651,782 people visited the country in 2018, this is 10.5% more than in 2017. 7.2% of all the 1,275,209 visitors in Jan-Sept 2018 were tourists from Iran.

Real estate transactions grew by 24.3% compared with first quarter of 2019

In Q2 of 2019, 46,798 transactions were recorded in the state registry of real estate properties in Armenia, a growth of 24.3% compared with Q1 of 2019 and by 17.3% compared with Q2 of 2018. In Q2 of 2019, the average market price for 1 sq m surface area of apartments in multi-apartment buildings have grown by 3.2% compared with Q1 of 2019 and by 9.8% compared with Q2 of 2018.

National Mortgage Company refinances 11,000 loans over one decade

Armenia’s National Mortgage Company Refinancing credit organization has refinanced some 11,000 loans over one decade of its existence in the market. Of these 7,400 have been provided for acquisition of housing, and the remaining loans for repair and construction of detached houses. "In total, loans amounting to 94 billion have been refinanced."

Inecobank and EFSE expand access to financing for micro and small enterprises

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) has provided a new loan to its partner Inecobank in Armenia to boost micro and small enterprise (MSE) financing. The fund’s investment of USD 10 million aims to further expand the bank’s engagement with MSEs, by increasing financial inclusion and contributing to their sustainable growth and development.


It's time for Diaspora to pass from charity to real investments

Newly elected president of the Armenian American Business Council Armen Harutyunyan recently gave an interview in Armenia. The organization, which has been running in California for about 4 years, has received a new impetus since the revolution. Harutyunyan says the goal of his organization is to help people who want to invest in Armenia, as well as help Armenian businessmen enter American markets.


New wool factory to open in Amasia

A wool factory, supported within the framework of “EU4Shirak: Wool for Jobs” project, will be officially opened in Amasia community of Armenia’s Shirak province. The project is co-funded by EU and Armenia and implemented by “People in Need” NGO, together with Women’s Development “Resource Center” Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Shirak Marz and Amasia Municipality.

$300 m investment for the construction of a new national stadium.

An American investor is ready to invest $300 million in the construction of an UEFA fourth-category stadium, which can host 35,000 to 40,000 people, deputy minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Gevorg Loretsyan announced. The stadium's location is not decided yet. It was reported earlier that the UEFA may disqualify the Republic Stadium in Yerevan, and the construction of a new one is estimated to cost $100 million.

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PM receives Amber Capital representatives

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan received CEO of Amber Capital Joseph Oughourlian. Amber Capital will become the first mutual investment fund in Armenia after its official opening this fall. The interlocutors discussed issues on cooperation, particularly on the directions and prospective sectors for the investment fund’s projects. Oughourlian stated that Amber Capital is interested in working actively in Armenia and ready for mutually beneficial partnership.

Ucom completes placement of AMD and USD bonds

With the support of Armenbrok investment company Ucom has completed the placement of AMD bonds with an annual coupon yield of 11% and USD bonds with an annual coupon yield of 7.5%. Over 200 individuals and organizations, including pension and investment funds, banking, investment and high-tech organizations, were among the purchasers of Ucom bonds.

AMD 14 billion investment in sanitary ware production

Moeff, which employs 90 people, is the only regional company producing stainless bathroom fitment. The government has provided the company with a tax preference. Currently the products are exported to Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and other EAEU countries and are going to be exported also to Europe in the near future. AMD 14 billion is planned to be invested in production.

Ryanair and Wizz Air interested in Armenian market

Ryanair and Wizz Air are planning to enter Armenia’s market. “The lowcoster companies have already expressed their willingness to enter the Armenian market in summer 2020 if all difficulties in acquisition of new aircrafts are settled,” Tatevik Revazyan, head of General Department of Civil Aviation, said.

Aircraft parts could be produced in Armenia

Armenia is negotiating with investors to establish schools for pilots and engineers, head of the Civil Aviation Committee Tatevik Revazyan said. She added that talks are under way on the construction of a plant, where aircraft parts would be renovated and produced. “If we succeed, the project will create about 1,000 jobs,” Revazyan said.

ANCA survey indicates solid support for non-stop LAX-Yerevan flights

A nationwide consumer market survey conducted by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) demonstrates strong and broad support for initiating a new non-stop flight between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Zvartnots International Airport (EVN) in Yerevan, Armenia. The ANCA market survey was conducted from May 3, 2019, to June 13, 2019, with over 2,200 Armenian American participants, primarily from California.

Kapan Airport to open this year

Kapan Airport will open this year, General Department of Civil Aviation said. It has been reported earlier that $2 million has been spent on reconstruction of Kapan Airport. The financial means have been invested by Zangezur Copper Molybdenum Combine and the Syunik Investment and Development Fund. The airport was planned to start operating in 2018.

Number of flights from Yerevan to Russia and Georgia greatly increased since July 8

Airlines operating in Armenia have increased the number of their flights since July 8. Among the Armenian airlines, Air Armenia will operate 14 weekly flights to Moscow. The Russian airlines increased their flights not only to Moscow, but also St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg. The Yerevan-Batumi route also opened.

Courtyard by Marriott Hotel to be built in Yerevan

Marriott International and Galaxy Group signed an agreement for the construction of the new Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Yerevan. According to a study by an international company on how the new hotel should be and what standards it has to meet, the most interesting solution is the construction of a so-called “mixed use” building that features a hotel, a residential complex, conference halls and a number of services.

Armenia becomes attractive for Swiss tourists

Thousands of people in Switzerland have been exposed to print and online media articles on Armenia as an attractive tourism destination. Thanks to a visit of 16 representatives of the Association of Travelling Journalists to Armenia more than 15 thematic articles on Armenia have been published in the website of the Association of Swiss Tourism Journalists (

Significantly more German tourists visit Armenia

The percentage increase of the number of German tourists is the biggest, while Russia is the leader in absolute values. Number of tourists visiting from Asia has also recorded significant rise – 53.5% from China (which is still a small number in absolute values) and 22% from Japan. Visa free regime with China to come into force in the near future will significantly promote the flow of Chinese tourists to Armenia.

Armenia Startup Academy graduates: Cerebrus

Cerebrus makes AI-based business analytical platforms that enable enterprises to collect the data on how the business is faring, predictions on how it will develop in the near future, and the data required for improvement of key indicators of the business. Cerebrus targets small and medium U.S. businesses that generate at least USD 1m profit annually.

Armenia among top 10 most waste-producing countries

Armenia is among the ten most waste-producing countries, according to a report by 24/7 Wall Street. The report lists Canada as the most waste producing country in the world, followed by Bulgaria and the United States. According to the source, Armenia is producing an estimated 16.3 metric tons of waste per capita and a total of 47,889,000 metric tons of waste annually.

Ijevan incident over tree cutting

People in Ijevan, who have been cutting down trees for years, blocked the national road trapping hundreds of vehicles. The police's attempts to unblock the road lead to clashes, and 13 people were taken to hospitals. "We will put an end to illegal forest cutting unquestionably," PM Pashinyan wrote, "All those guilty of yesterday's events as well as of illegal forest cutting must be punished to the full extent of the law."

A country that has its own Vatican - Belgian TV

Belgian Public RTBF TV company has produced a reportage about Armenia aired in the programme «Carte postale de l’Arménie avec Guillaume». The show talks about the advantages of spending holidays in Armenia. The presenter who recently visited Armenia and Georgia, advises potential Belgian tourists to take a trip to the region and plan to visit both countries - at relatively affordable prices.

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ATN is the only cross-sectoral pan-Armenian business organization counting 17 associations in 13 countries. It aims to rebuild the centuries-old Armenian trade networks by promoting new linkages. ATN provides a platform for Armenian chambers of commerce and business associations to exchange knowledge and experiences, as well as promote the economic development agenda in Armenia.

Armenian American Business Council, Armenian American Chamber of Commerce, Artsakh Chamber of Commerce, Australian Armenian Chamber of Commerce, Belgian Armenian Chamber of Commerce, Cámara Argentino - Armenia, Canada-Armenia Business Council, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Armenia, Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie Franco-Arménienne, Dutch Armenian Chamber of Commerce, Groupement Interprofessionnel International Arménien, Iran Armenia Chamber of Commerce, Lebanese Armenian Business Association, Romania Armenia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ROSARM Russia Armenia Business Alliance, Switzerland Armenia Chamber of Commerce, Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia

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