After a visit to Canada, Armenia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan led a delegation of government officials to the United States from June 28 to July 2 in order to negotiate and solidify investment agreements between the U.S. and Armenia. The visit resulted in investment agreements worth a total of $30.5 million.
The U.S. visit began with a visit to the ServiceTitan software company’s headquarters in Glendale, California, where the Armenian officials met with the company’s founders as well as founders of Teamable and Airobotics, which operate in Silicon Valley. Topics discussed included developing Armenia’s engineering education opportunities, scientific research, startup development and involving Armenia in multinational organizations. The officials discussed the government’s priorities in these sectors, existing issues and the Diaspora’s participation in the field’s development. A preliminary agreement was reached with ServiceTitan to assist in opening a branch of the company in Yerevan.
The Armenian delegation later met with representatives of over two dozens business associations at the Armenian Consulate in Los Angeles. Agreements on cooperation between Armenian companies were reached, and organizing a visit of the American Business Federation to Armenia was discussed.
The delegation also took part in a reception with major Armenian-American businessmen, during which Avinyan presented the new government’s Armenia-Diaspora cooperation framework and the new government’s priorities regarding international business engagements. During the meeting, the sides agreed to carry out projects focusing on knowledge and experience exchanges as well as opening manufacturing, waste processing, textile and renewable energy plants in Armenia. The businessmen plan to visit Armenia in the near future in order to launch the agreed-upon projects.
On June 30, the delegation met with dozens more Armenian businessmen, many of whom agreed to invest in a national venture fund and participate in a national startup summit in Armenia. The delegation presented its “Diaspora Bonds” initiative, which is a mechanism for encouraging mass investments and contributing to the sustainable development of Armenia’s economy.
Avinyan held one-on-one meetings with many investors to discuss concrete investment programs in the sectors of healthcare, agriculture, IT, education, tourism, military industry, filmmaking and others. At the same time, Business Armenia — Armenia’s national authority for trade, investment and tourism — inked a memorandum of understanding with Crystal Lake Holdings LLC, whereby the latter agreed to invest $10 million to construct a hotel complex in Lake Sevan.
The issue of opening an Armenian branch of the St. Jude Medical Inc. — a healthcare giant engaged in the production of cardio devices — was discussed with businessman Dro Darbinyan. Eco Panel Group Inc., represented by Director Khachik Khachikyan, also expressed a willingness to invest $10 million for establishing an EPG eco-panel production in Armenia. A group of U.S.-based Armenian doctors suggested financially assisting families of servicemen in Armenia in providing medical insurance.
The establishment of a pharmaceutical plant was discussed with Armenian-American businessman Ashot Tadevosyan. Preliminary agreements were reached over investments in the banking system, organic food and honey production in Armenia.
Deputy Minister of Diaspora Babken Ter-Grigoryan met with California State Senator Anthony Portantino to discuss issues relating to strengthening relations between Armenia and California specifically.
The working visit concluded with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti hosting the Armenian delegation on July 2. Possible cooperation paths in the sectors of IT, transportation, energy efficiency were discussed. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the city of Los Angeles and the Armenian government to cooperate in the exchange of experience; the sides plan to design a project to involve Armenian civil servants in L.A.’s administrative institutions. A potential visit by Garcetti to Armenia in December was also discussed.