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Armenia's Economic Pulse

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  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

    Originally posted by Federate View Post
    It's a possibility given that the company operates a VIP plane for the gov't of Georgia. But there is a good chance that a deal could happen, Georgians were selling off their gas pipelines and other national assets to highest bidders just a few months ago, maybe this too.
    Another proof of the idiotic nature of the Georgian Government. The people of Georgia should know that their government is not pro Georgia, but pro-their-neocon-masters in the West.
    Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
    ---
    "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."

    Comment


    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

      Need to step up marketing Armenian brandy!
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Armenian brandy's Churchill boast

      By Alex Renton
      Armenia

      Life is tough for many people in Armenia but the economy is kept afloat by the country's cognac, reputed to have been a favourite of Britain's wartime leader, Winston Churchill.

      A vast, red stone fortress looms over Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

      It could be a palace, it could be a prison but it is, in fact, the headquarters and the distillery of the Yerevan Brandy Company.

      Among the vast stills and the old oak casks - all faithfully copied from French cognac makers back in 1887 - are a few bottles of a strong and specially aged brandy named Ararat Dvin.

      This may just possibly be the liquor that oiled the partition of Europe at the end of World War II.
      “ Yerevan... is eager for new markets - hence the need to pin down the Churchill connection ”

      Like many people, Armenians have a favourite Winston Churchill quotation. Asked the secret of his long life, they tell you that the great man replied: "Cuban cigars, Armenian brandy and no sport!"

      The quote sadly appears nowhere that I can find in any Churchill biography or archive.

      But it is certainly true that he liked brandy - a lot. By his own estimate, he had by 1945 - aged 71 - drunk enough to fill three railway carriages.

      It is also true that, during the war, Joseph Stalin shipped him several dozen cases of Armenian cognac made by the Yerevan company.

      'Buckets of champagne'

      And it is certain that a lot of alcohol was drunk at the 1945 Yalta conference, where Stalin, Churchill and President Roosevelt met to haggle over the carving up of east and central Europe, as the end of fighting loomed.

      One of Churchill's aides at Yalta wrote about the prime minister "drinking buckets of Caucasian champagne which would undermine the health of any ordinary man".

      Touring the factory, Armine Ghazarian told me that the company had testimony from an Armenian spy who was at Yalta helping organise the conference. He informed us that Dvin brandy was officially served during the day.

      But that crucial source died last year.

      This is all more significant than you might imagine.

      Brandy is the country's most important manufactured export and Armenia these days is finding it very hard to hold its head up economically.

      And so Yerevan (now owned by the French company Pernod-Ricard) is eager for new markets. Hence the need to pin down the Churchill connection.

      White blanket

      In the Armenian mountains, we went to visit the farmers who provide the raw material for the country's wine and spirit industry.

      There was shocking hardship. I met families living on foraged greens they found under the spring snow, whose children had never seen a doctor. Some had only eaten meat once in the last six months.

      So severe are the problems that Oxfam has a programme there of the sort you would see in poorer parts of Africa. The aid agency gives families cows and sheep to improve their nutrition and help them get an income.

      There is a perfect storm of factors that have brought these parts of Armenia to poverty levels comparable with the world's least developed countries.

      Geography does not help. Armenia is a cul-de-sac of a country, which does not trade with two of its richer neighbours - Turkey and Azerbaijan - because of historic disputes.

      And Armenia must import much of its staple foods. The price of those is rising frighteningly - up 14% last year. Wheat flour alone costs double what it did three years ago.

      And then there is the weather.

      Climatic change has hit hard, with hotter summers, more violent rainfall and dryer, colder winters.

      I have never seen that so dramatically illustrated as in the mountains of Vayots Dzor, near Armenia's border with Iran.

      On our second morning there, we woke to a fresh snowfall. It covered the blossom of the apple and apricot trees with a fatal, white blanket.

      "Our new-born child is under the frost," farmer Angela Babayan said to me, as she tried to beat the snow from the trees with a broomstick.

      She had never seen such a frost so late until last year. And then the Babayans lost the entire apricot crop, one of the few things on the smallholding other than grapes that can be sold for cash.

      The vines, though, were undamaged. So brandy means hope to the Babayans and thousands of other families in Armenia's harsh mountains.

      Dvin, Churchill's brand, is rarely made now, but I eventually tracked some down in a tourist shop in central Yerevan.

      It was $100 (£60) a bottle but I had to try it.

      In the glass, it was a lovely, caramelly brown - much darker than cognac.

      On the nose - as they say - it was rich and spicy, the first sip an instant shock to the throat and then the brain.

      Dvin is 50 degrees proof, 10 more than most French cognac.

      But it was good. It made you glow.

      After a glass, a deep sense of bonhomie settled in. After another, you felt you could certainly tackle a big, Cuban cigar. But no sport.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programme...nt/9532092.stm
      Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

      Comment


      • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

        Originally posted by Federate View Post
        Need to step up marketing Armenian brandy!
        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Armenian brandy's Churchill boast

        By Alex Renton
        Armenia

        Life is tough for many people in Armenia but the economy is kept afloat by the country's cognac, .....
        I would describe this statement as journalistic liberty.
        The cognac industry is either owned by the French or a few oligarchs.

        There have been frequent complaints by peasant vineyard grower about not being paid on time,
        even prices dropped the last minute to take advantage of those poor people’s inability to sell anywhere else.


        On the above link page lower down there is a “Audio slideshow”
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-13626871

        It is a rather sad story about poverty in Armenia, what struck me at 3.15(m),
        it mentions about cows and sheep being donated by OXFAM.
        I thought this approach was only adopted by soft-hearted oligarchs (from Russia) and
        a Lebanese group in Karabagh to families with 2 or more children.
        Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
        Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
        Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests

        Comment


        • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

          Translated from French. Great to see Spitak recover from the earthquake and equally great to see Armenian-Japanese economic cooperation.
          -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Project plant elevator in Spitak
          the plant will be owned 70% by Japan will employ 130 people



          In October-November this year Armenia is expected to sign a contract with a Japanese company for installation of Spitak a manufacturing and installation of lifts. Information was provided by Arsene Karamian, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports. The manufacturing plant that will employ 130 people paid an average salary of 160,000 drams (about 270 euros) should be installed next year Spitak. The capital of the company will be owned 70% by the Japanese and 30% by the Armenian Association "New Techn" which belongs to the old university. The plan provides $ 5 million over three years. The first lift should leave the plant in May 2012.

          Krikor Amirzayan

          http://www.armenews.com/article.php3?id_article=71437
          Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

          Comment


          • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

            Originally posted by Federate View Post
            Translated from French. Great to see Spitak recover from the earthquake and equally great to see Armenian-Japanese economic cooperation.
            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Project plant elevator in Spitak
            the plant will be owned 70% by Japan will employ 130 people



            In October-November this year Armenia is expected to sign a contract with a Japanese company for installation of Spitak a manufacturing and installation of lifts. Information was provided by Arsene Karamian, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports. The manufacturing plant that will employ 130 people paid an average salary of 160,000 drams (about 270 euros) should be installed next year Spitak. The capital of the company will be owned 70% by the Japanese and 30% by the Armenian Association "New Techn" which belongs to the old university. The plan provides $ 5 million over three years. The first lift should leave the plant in May 2012.

            Krikor Amirzayan

            http://www.armenews.com/article.php3?id_article=71437
            We should cooperate with Japanese on Earthquake related technologies. They are very good with those.
            Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
            ---
            "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."

            Comment


            • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

              What exactly do they mean by 'lifts'? Elevators? Some type of pulley contraption? In any case, great news. The Japanese are awesome.

              Comment


              • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                Originally posted by Muhaha View Post
                What exactly do they mean by 'lifts'? Elevators? Some type of pulley contraption? In any case, great news. The Japanese are awesome.
                It's elevators
                Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

                Comment


                • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                  Anybody know anything about that wheat part? I can't find any information on it.
                  ------------
                  New guidelines?: Obama nominee for Ambassador to Armenia pledges to stimulate Western investment



                  Speaking before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. President Barack Obama’s nominee for US ambassador to Armenia John Heffern said on July 13 that if appointed he would do everything to encourage Western investment and Western orientation in general in Armenia.

                  The statement, if it reflects the new intentions of the American government, can have important political significance.

                  American capital in Armenia is almost unrepresented despite the fact that the United States is home to the most powerful and united Armenian Diaspora. It testifies to the fact that the U.S. does not trust the political-administrative system of Armenia and does not advise its citizens do business here, and also that the U.S. considers Armenia a zone of economic risk due to its proximity to Russia and Iran.

                  Against this background, the mention of the nominee that he intends to encourage Western investment in Armenia means a change in U.S. policy and its intention to ‘turn’ Armenia from Russia towards the West.

                  Foreign investment can become a catalyst for liberal democratic reforms in Armenia. Experts say that business culture, which is now at least to some extent is present in Armenia, was brought here together with Western investment. And the reduction in investment could lead to a gradual return to the Soviet planning-administrative system.

                  Meanwhile, in recent years, Armenia has seen a marked decline in investments, especially Western ones. According to statistical data, the inflow of foreign investments into the real sector of the economy in January-March 2011 decreased by 19.5 percent, to $ 130.6 million, compared to the same period of 2010. The largest foreign investors in Armenia in the period in question were France ($37.7 million), Russia ($23 million) and the United Kingdom ($21.7 million). These countries had, respectively, 28.9 percent, 17.6 percent and 16.6 percent of all incoming investment into the country.

                  Remarkably, a 5-6-fold increase is registered in the investments from the United States - $8.2 million as a whole. American investments are mainly directed at food production.

                  Armenia is tacitly considered to be Russia’s zone of influence where Western nations tend not to invest, although there are already several good examples: for example, the French Orange company has won a firm place in the telecommunication market of Armenia, the Yerevan water supply is also in concessional management of a French company. But such examples are few and far between.

                  It is obvious that foreign investors are put off by the monopoly-oligarchic, corrupt system of governance in Armenia. According to the Forbes Magazine, Armenia in 2010 was the world’s second worst economy because of its economic policies not aimed at stimulating business and investment (the Armenian government disputes this report, saying that it was based on wrong data and wasn’t comprehensive). As a result, not only Western, but even Russian investments have declined: whereas in the first quarter of last year Russian companies invested a total of $52 million in the Armenian economy and it was still about a third of the total investment flow, then in the first quarter of this year this figure dropped to $14 million (15 percent of the investment flow).

                  The share of investments coming to Armenia from its Diaspora in the country’s Gross Domestic Product is 60-70 percent, said Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan in a recent interview with CNN. He noted that financial means from the Diaspora come to the country not only in the form of foreign direct investment, but also through private remittances, “which helped Armenia to overcome the effects of the economic crisis.”

                  But he stopped short of mentioning about the press conference of the famous Armenian-American businessman Hirair Hovnanian, who recently told reporters that he had tried to start wheat production based on new technologies in Armenia, but was “advised” not to do so, or else, his fields would be burned.

                  For comparison, let’s cite some figures: foreign investment in Armenia in 2009 totaled $935.5 million. Compared with 2008 they dropped by 25.6 percent. The volume of foreign investments in Armenia’s during the first nine months of 2010 made only $472.2 million.
                  http://armenianow.com/economy/31118/...st_investments

                  Comment


                  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                    We need to encourage more and more diaspora investments in economy. A lot has been done here in Armenia by them, like, hotels, road construction, renovations, hospitals, and so on. They can really help Armenia and we need to utilise to fullest extent their size.
                    Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
                    ---
                    "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."

                    Comment


                    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                      Originally posted by Muhaha View Post
                      Anybody know anything about that wheat part? I can't find any information on it.
                      ------------


                      http://armenianow.com/economy/31118/...st_investments


                      But he stopped short of mentioning about the press conference of the famous Armenian-American businessman Hirair Hovnanian, who recently told reporters that he had tried to start wheat production based on new technologies in Armenia, but was “advised” not to do so, or else, his fields would be burned.

                      Is anybody able to give any background to this, was it his idea objectionable or the person?
                      Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
                      Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
                      Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests

                      Comment

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