Armenian National Interests Fund to contribute to business expansion, development and constant growth - CEO
YEREVAN, JUNE 30, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) CJSC was established in 2019 in order to attract foreign investments, boost export and co-finance investments in large-scale projects. Despite operating for not a very long period of time and difficult working environment, ANIF has already implemented several investment projects in different sectors of the economy of strategic significance.
ANIF CEO David Papazian gave an interview to ARMENPRESS, talking about the goal and mission of the Fund, the programs implemented and the future plans.
-Mr. Papazian, tell us about how you joined ANIF. What is the mission of the Fund?
-Since 2018 we have had an important task of strengthening and revitalizing Armenia’s investment climate, and in some cases, of building some aspects from scratch.
Before the Fund was established, there was no interim structure that would act based on national interests and would at the same time stand by the business. Accordingly, ANIF was established for this purpose at the initiative of deputy prime minister Tigran Avinyan.
In fact, the mission and activity vision of the Fund are quite simple: attracting foreign investments and managing the portfolio of assets of strategic importance in Armenia.
-Let’s talk about the Anti-Crisis Fund.
-The Anti-Crisis Fund was created about a year ago. We were able to make investments starting from last November.
We co-finance both new and existing projects, as well as assist in attracting additional funding from commercial banks and international financial organizations. The final goal is to help the business reach a new and improved level of activity.
The final decision to approve deal is made by the Fund’s investment committee, which includes a list of international experts that have extensive experience in investment and entrepreneurship.
-How would you describe the difference between the Fund and lending institutions?
-There is some misunderstanding in the current business environment, when it comes to adapting to this new culture of investment funds, given that working with investment funds is not widespread in our country. Cooperating with the Fund would imply investing in the capital of jointly-created company, which would lead to the company’s growth and expansion and, in turn, increase profitability. In other words, ANIF becomes a new member of the business family thus contributing to its expansion, development and continuous growth.
-Which sectors was ANIF involved in? Could you please mention several successful programs?
-We are interested in investing in all economic sectors, but focus on areas of strategic importance as set by the Armenian government.
We consider investment projects in the energy, mining, agriculture, logistics, infrastructure, financial services, healthcare, IT, manufacturing and tourism sectors. We have a world class board of directors, and before considering our cooperation with a partner in a project we make sure to examine each deal, conduct thorough analysis, and implement a long process of need and risks assessments, after which the proposal is submitted for discussion to the investment committee. When considering our cooperation with a business, we take into account several important factors – the experience and reputation of the private partner, the potential of increasing the benchmark in a given sector, financial projections.
We have recorded very good results in the past two years. We already have a successful cooperation experience with one of the leading energy companies of the world. The first big investment project is the AYG-1 solar photovoltaic power station construction program (200 MWt), and the winner is UAE-based Masdar company. The investment project size is USD 174 million.
In the long-run, we also plan to make investments abroad, which aims at increasing Armenia’s share of capital in major international companies through ANIF, and which would also position Armenia as a developing and reliable investor.
-We are aware that you have a new program that aims to promote the export potential for Armenian companies. Could you please provide more details on this project?
-Today, ANIF has an important mission of promoting Armenian production and recognition internationally. In this context, ANIF is excited to be involved in developing export development programs. In order to expand the export potential of Armenian entrepreneurs and increase the consumer market, ANIF is organizing a workshop with the participation of international experts. This workshop would allow Armenian entrepreneurs to have the opportunity to discover the advantages of their products and services in the market, to get to know their potential customers and to get acquainted with the secrets behind effective relationship management, which would help them gain knowledge on sales expansion and on modern marketing tools and approaches.
The workshop will be conducted by business development experts Michael Ruckman and Alexey Veretenov. For the past 25 years, Michael has worked as a consultant to banks, retailers, technology companies, telecoms, and even governments in more than 30 countries. Alexey Veretenov has worked in about 60 companies and participated in more than 100 business projects. Alexey has successfully designed and implemented projects in retail and corporate strategy, business transformation management, products and pricing systems, and corporate culture development, digital and physical channels, customer-oriented analytics, and CRM systems.
We think that this workshop is a great opportunity for our local producers and enterprises to exchange experience, as well as to gain new knowledge and skills.
Full version of the interview is available in Armenian.