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The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published a report on investment climate in Armenia.

Investment Police Review  says the Armenian government has called on UNCTAD to provide support in identifying key obstacles to efficiency-seeking investment and assist Armenia become an export hub for both goods and services.

According to the report, Armenia’s efficiency profile is characterized by a well-educated workforce, strong skills heritage and competitive salary levels. In addition, planned infrastructure projects could facilitate access to key markets, and add to existing trade preferences, including with the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union.

The reports identifies several industries that can aim for billion- and halfbillion-dollar export sales in goods and services over the next 10 to 20 years. Among them is high technology, with a special focus on artificial intelligence, data science and deep technology, tourism and textile and garments, wine, agri-business and pharmaceuticals and nascent candidates – industries with potential but for which it is too early to set export targets. These are business process outsourcing, regional logistics and food safety, aircraft repair and maintenance, regional financial services and higher education.

The reports says apart from boosting promotion, relatively straightforward and non-controversial policy measures are needed in the target sectors together with concrete policy actions to improve the overall investment climate.

Foreign Direct Investment inflows have been on a declining trend since 2008 and a “wait and see” attitude, associated with the recent political transition, currently prevails among investors. The authors believe that the settlement of the Lydian gold mine dispute will be an important step to improve investment inflows.

Among non-tax policy measures that have to be implemented are improving European access with more air links and visas as well as influencing EAEU policy developments affecting the regional capital market, public procurement, cross-border recognition of professional qualifications and free trade negotiations.

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