More than 100 representatives of Armenian state agencies, business and international institutions gathered at the first ever UK-Armenia Business Forum on Thursday, June 7, organised by British Embassy Yerevan in partnership with the Armenian-British Business Chamber.
The event, sponsored by HSBC Bank Armenia, was timed to coincide with the visit of a 10-strong delegation of prestigious UK companies led by the UK Prime Minister’s Trade and Investment Envoy, Mark Pritchard MP, to explore opportunities to boost bilateral trade and investment cooperation.
Opening the forum, First Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia, Ararat Mirzoyan, welcomed this opportunity to develop close trade and investment links between the two countries and encouraged participants to identify concrete projects to take forward. Mirzoyan outlined the steps already taken by the Government of Armenia to create a transparent and predictable business environment and confirmed its commitment to implement further reforms to ensure that Armenia was open for business.
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Armenia, Judith Farnworth, welcomed the British and Armenian participants to the forum, which reflected growing UK business interest in the Armenian market. She noted the excellent raft of meetings between the UK business delegation and Ministers of Economic Development and Investments, Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources and Territorial Administration and Development, all of which had set the scene for a successful business forum. The Ambassador reaffirmed the UK Government’s readiness to support governance and economic reforms in Armenia through its new instrument, the Good Governance Fund.
Panel discussions featuring leading representatives of Armenian and international experts covered the investment climate in Armenia; and in-depth analysis of opportunities in renewable energy, infrastructure and urban modernisation sectors, reflecting the sectoral interests of the UK businesses. After the forum, the UK businesses each had a string of one-to-one meetings with Armenian counterparts to identify concrete business leads.
The UK business representatives left Armenia with positive impressions and some concrete projects to follow up.