ArmInfo. The Armenian Economy Ministry holds negotiations with the companies from China to attract serious investments, acting Economy Minister of Armenia Artsvik Minasyan told journalists on September 23. Minasyan named "MCC Overseas", "China National Building Materials Group Corporation", "Sinoma International Engineering" and other companies. The Armenian government is holding negotiations with Chinese partners for founding a copper smelting plant, as well as enterprises on producing cement, glass and perlit. "The investment projects were presented to Chinese side, negotiation process is successful and I think we will manage to attract serious investments from China in near future", Minasyan noted.
To recall, at the meeting with First-rank Vice Premier of China Zhang Gaoli on June 6 the then Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan said the commodity turnover between Armenia and China increased to $500 million in 2015. Addressing the recently intensified talks for implementation of large-scale investments projects in Armenia, the Armenian prime minister said Armenia is ready to cooperate with the Chinese enterprises towards implementing large-scale investment projects.
To recall, the plans of construction of copper-smelting plant in Syunik region of Armenia were first discussed in 2005-2006. An office was established to make the calculations. The total cost of the project was estimated at $200-250 mln that time. The plant processing capacity was to be 60 thousand tons annually. According to experts the new plant would process all the concentrate received in Armenia. Due to implementation of this project machine-building field of economy would be revived. The project was a unique one, based on processing technologies, which would exclude emission of hazardous substances. However, the project was suspended and forgotten because of the world financial crisis. As Russian mass media informs the main place for smelting Armenian copper concentrate in 2000ies was Bulgaria, where copper-smelting plant of German Aurubis is located. China's share was relatively low 4-5 years ago (about 20%), but it has grown in recent years. In 2015 supplies to Switzerland and Spain were suspended and increased to Serbia. To note, China actively buys copper concentrate throughout the world. As official website of ScrapRegister informs referring to China's customs data, import of copper concentrate to the country increased by 17.75% in 2015 totaling 11.87 mln tons.
To note, according to the National Statistics Service of Armenia, foreign trade turnover between Armenia and China declined by 19.2% y-o-y and totaled $218.8 million in the first seven months of 2016. Exports dropped by 57.2% and totaled $45.3 million, amid 5.3% growth of imports to $173.5 million.