Armenia key trade partner for Switzerland – ambassador

13:27 • 29.11.17



The Swiss ambassador to Armenia on Wednesday hailed his country’s developing trade relations with Armenia, emphasizing the necessity of further steps to increase the mutual turnover.


Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the first Swiss-Armenian business forum in Yerevan, Lukas Gasser described the country as one of their most important and active trade partners. “Armenia and Switzerland are this year celebrating the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations. But over the past 25 years, the countries have developed also trade relations. This year alone, the turnover was 170 million Francs (above USD 172,000),” he said.


Noting that Armenia ranks the eighth on the list of states carrying out direct trade with Switzerland, the ambassador expressed hope that the turnover will increase in future.


He said they treat Armenia as the most active - even though the smallest - state in the South Caucasus region.


“Switzerland offers the GSP system to enable Armenian exporters to facilitate their exports to the country in case of following specific rules, which have already been elaborated as part of this system. The taxation process too, will be much easier,” he said.


Asked to comment on the recently signed Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between the EU and Armenia, the diplomat expressed hope that it will pave way to the further development of economic relations.


The business forum has brought together representatives of Armenian and Swiss business organizations in an attempt to offer a transparent platform to attract investments.

 

“We will have [guests] from the Armenian Government, as well as representatives  of the Swiss business sector and the Armenian-Swiss Business Development Association. This event will enable all the entrepreneurs to get to know one another and exchange experience, and why not also come up with new business ideas. And in case of its success this year, we are planning to organize this kind of forums also in the coming years,” he added.


According to Mr Grasser, Swiss businessmen’s interests in Armenia focus on finances, pharmaceutical industries, winemaking, metal mining and the IT sector. The ambassador noted that Switzerland is the ninth major investor in Armenia but hesitated to mention specific investment amounts.  


“All I can say investors in Switzerland do not have any problems in Armenia. They make investments in fields where there is practically little competition. So we can assume that there aren’t many difficulties in essence,” he added.

 

Hakob Aslanyan





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