September 10, 2011 - 16:40 AMT
Karine Minasyan:
Armenian diamond industry reviving
Armenia has been famous for its jewelers since the ancient times. However, after expiration of the agreement with Russia on cooperation in diamond industry, most of plants were shut down. Things got even worse during the crisis. However, the Armenian government is determined to take every effort to restore the potential of the field. First Deputy Economy Minister Karine Minasyan commented on the steps taken in an interview with PanARMENIAN.Net.
After the crisis, the Armenian economy, including the diamond industry, tends to revive. What steps does the government take to that end?
The slump in Armenian diamond industry occurred before the crisis. Reduction in import of raw materials since 2006 is first of all conditioned by the fact that majority of Armenian diamond producing companies did not have their own markets. When the agreements with Russia expired most of the enterprises terminated activity.

Of course, during the global recession, the situation aggravated even more due to lower demand for diamonds, especially in the American market…
Presently, the diamond industry is gradually recovering. This is first of all conditioned by the fact that Armenia has a good traditional school of diamond cutters. Since 2008, the government has been improving the business environment. Besides, thanks to the endeavors of the Prime Minister, we haves restored relationship with the traditional supplier of raw materials - ALROSA Russian company.

It's certainly too early to speak of full recovery of the industry. To achieve that, our companies should become independent players at the international market, what is extremely difficult. The only real chance is the development of jewelry industry and its transformation into a competitive force.

Another direction could be cutting of semiprecious and artificial stones. I am confident that will see this field developing in the framework of traditional relations with international actors and thanks to increasing supplies by ALROSA. The government, in turn, is ready to render the necessary assistance.

The Armenian-Russian interparliamentary committee agreed on delivery of uncut diamonds to Armenian enterprises at the amount of $30mln in 2011. Which Armenian companies are engaged in this cooperation and how does it proceed?
ALROSA has already offered uncut diamonds to the sum of $34mln and according to our assessments, the delivery will not be suspended this year. Presently, 4 Armenian companies are cooperating with ALROSA.

ALROSA delegation led by vice president Yuri Okoemov visited Armenia in April 2011. Is there any information about increase of deliveries in 2012?
The delegation was in Armenia to get personally acquainted with the country’s potential in the field. The most important thing for the Russian company is to have reliable partners. An agreement was reached to increase delivery by 30% and this is not all. The number of partner enterprises will also grow.

Victoria Araratyan / PanARMENIAN News