ArmInfo. Armenian representatives have returned from the investment forum in Paris with new cooperation proposals, the press office of the Development Foundation of Armenia (DFA) has told ArmInfo.
On the margins of the investment forum in France on Feb 21-28, the DFA delegation met with representatives of 23 companies, as well as with the heads of a number of provinces of the country. The French entrepreneurs were informed of the prospects to enter the EEU and Iranian markets as the key element of cooperation with Armenia. According to DFA CEO Garen Mikirditsian, the meetings with the potential business partners and investors in Paris, London and Marseille demonstrate France's interest in Armenia. "The French business views Armenia as a bridge for entering the EEU and Iranian markets," he says.
The meetings made clear that the French entrepreneurs show a big interest in Armenia's investment capacities in IT, power engineering, agriculture, and textile industry. The events highlighted the ideas of using healing herbs in production of tea, cosmetics, alcohol and food industry. "The French business is looking for Armenian partners engaged in production of healing herbs, natural oils, extracts and concentrates of fruits and vegetables," Garen Mikirditsian says, urging all those interested in such cooperation to contact him.
Cooperation prospects have also been outlined in agriculture. Biopost Company, which specializes in production of organic matters, is looking for partners in the agrarian sector to invest in Armenia. The latter is expected to supply 95% of the raw materials.
The Armenian delegation presented investment projects to the French businessmen, particularly, the USD 115 mln project on construction of an oil refinery on the border with Iran.
"With the DFA's support, the leading French companies engaged in textile industry will pay a visit to Armenia. In September a delegation of French SMEs will visit the republic. Under another arrangement, the French University students will do an internship with Business France," the DFA press release says.
To recall, the Feb 21-28 investment forum in France was organized by the Development Foundation of Armenia in collaboration with Business France. The event highlighted the agrarian, power engineering and IT potential of Armenia. In addition, the potential partners received general information on the legislative field of Armenia. They were particularly informed of the taxes and conditions of business conduct amid the current investment capacities and trade regimes. As regards the expectations, DFA previously told ArmInfo that at the current stage it is unreasonable to make any specific forecasts. The results of the investment forum will become visible 6-12 months after the forum. "Today the number one task is to cause the French partners' interest and to present the investment attractiveness of the country in the best possible way," the source said.
To note, according to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, in 2016 the foreign trade turnover between Armenia and France amounted to $56.9 mln (down 19.3% versus 2015). Exports totaled $3.8 mln (down 28.4%) and imports made up $53.1 mln (down 18.6%).