On December 14th, the German Eastern Business Association conducted a country panel on Armenia. The event was part of the Eastern Partnership Business Days. In total, 75 participants attended the panel.
After a short introduction by Stefan Kägebein, Regional Director for Eastern Europe at the German Eastern Business Association, the floor was given to EU Ambassador Victorin, who noted the challenge posed by the ongoing crisis, but also underlined the strong economic relations between the European Union and Armenia. In this regard, the EU supports the economic recovery of Armenia, as part of its “Team Europe”-package. This would help Armenia to remain a proven destination for investments, in particular in areas, such as IT and tourism. The ensuing panelists all emphasized the strong economic relations between the EU and Armenia, as well as the reforms Armenia has already undertaken in the spirit of an “open door politics”. The Armenian Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Smbatjan, emphasized his countries’ commitment to an investor-friendly policy.
Next to the successes of Armenia, there is still room for reforms and improvements. This is the essence of the “Investment Survey Armenia”, conducted by the German Economic Team and presented at the panel by Dr Giucci, leader of the German Economic Team. The survey was realised with the aim to identify problems encountered by German and European businesses in Armenia and to propose solutions. In short, 13 reform proposals were made, of which two are of systemic nature, while 11 are specific smaller-scale reforms. During the panel, Dr Giucci presented the two comprehensive reforms, as well as three selected smaller reforms, mainly focusing on reforming the labour and tax code, as well as strengthening the anti-trust authority. Furthermore, it is necessary to improve the conditions for investment, as Armenia still has a largely consumption-driven economy.