Armenia can aim for several billion-dollar export activities by attracting more investment - UNCTAD
YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 13, ARMENPRESS. Armenia can aim for billion-dollar export sales over the next 10 to 20 years in several activities that, if properly leveraged through effective investment promotion, could help concretize the economic revolution promised by the country’s authorities, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Commission on Investment, Enterprise and Development said in its Investment Policy Review (IPR) of Armenia.
The IPR was prepared after President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian’s visit to Switzerland.
Sarkissian visited Switzerland in 2018 and met with UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi and proposed the UNCTAD to prepare the IPR of Armenia. The UNCTAD team traveled to Armenia in 2019 with this purpose.
In 2019 Sarkissian and Kituyi met again, this time at the UN Headquarters. The Armenian president thanked the UNCTAD and the Secretary General for initiating the preparation of the report.
During the presentation of the report on November 12th, UNCTAD’s director of investment and enterprise, James Zhan, stressed that the IPR, which was undertaken at the request of the president of Armenia, takes into account comparative advantages and constraints. It makes recommendations to develop an export-led growth through efficiency-seeking FDI.
Beyond measures to tap the export potential through investment, the IPR includes the broader policy objective of promoting inclusive growth and sustainable development. It underlines specific measures for spreading benefits to the country’s regions, creating employment and linkages with local suppliers, including by moving to full package manufacture in the textiles and garments industry, and extending benefits of tourism to areas outside the capital Yerevan.
The IPR also shows ways to deepen the high-technology sector and make Armenia a leading hub for innovation, data science and artificial intelligence. It outlines how to extend research and development capability in the pharmaceutical industry to transform a small generics industry into larger-scale manufacturing.
Investment in the target industries can come from a mix of sources, including domestic, FDI and joint ventures, and the diaspora, Armenia’s key competitive advantage, will continue to play a key role, the IPR says.
“Our country is ripe for an economic revolution based on high-tech and innovative activities and we are working to modernize the business environment,” said Armenia’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Andranik Hovhannisyan. “Timing for investment in Armenia is now both right and ripe,” added the country’s United Nations resident coordinator, Shombi Sharp.