YEREVAN—With the support of the Development Foundation of Armenia (DFA), representatives of the German “Ophardt Hygiene Technologies” and American “Babikian Design Concepts” visited Armenia December 3-11, 2016, in order to take further steps in manufacturing disinfectant dispensers and antiseptic substances in Armenia. In addition to serving the local market, the investors plan to export the hygiene products to countries of the Eurasian Economic Union and potentially Iran.
On December 5, at a meeting with Ophardt Hygiene Technologies President Heiner Ophardt, COO John O’Malley and CFO Ken Friesen, and Babikian Design Concepts President Dr. Dikran Babikian, CEO of the DFA Garen Mikirditsian stated, “The DFA is ready to provide all necessary support at any stage to successfully realize the investment project.”
At the request of the investors, DFA organized meetings with public sector officials, the ambassadors of Germany and United States of America in Armenia, managers of medical centers, banks, legal firms as well as potential suppliers. The investors also visited the American University of Armenia and discussed the possibility of developing educational trainings and exchange with the scientific community with the objective of developing a sustainable way to increase Hand Hygiene. Visits were made to major hospitals and the implementation of introductory programs was discussed to study the effectiveness of hand hygiene on patients. “Impact of compliance with Hand Hygiene Guidelines is well known in many countries such as Germany. It is expected that compliance with these guidelines could have a significantly positive impact in Armenia as well” said Ophardt. The study will be accomplished with dispensers and disinfectants to be donated by the investors prior to the start of manufacturing in Armenia.
The investors had meetings with the Prime Minister of Armenia Karen Karapetyan, Minister of Economic Development and Investments Suren Karayan, Minister of Health Levon Altunyan, and Minister of Nature Protection Artsvik Minasyan. During their meeting with the Prime Minister, the investor group confirmed their decision to undertake the investment project in Armenia. Reflecting on the decision, Ophardt stated “After much investigation we came to the conclusion that Armenia is the right place to set up our business and enter the Eurasian markets as well as potentially Iran.” Babikian noted that “Considering Armenia was an unknown country to the Ophardt team, achieving the decision to invest in Armenia within three months of our first visit is a significant accomplishment. Based on the positive feedback and commitments of support that we received from the government, we expect to complete the construction of the manufacturing facilities and start production within fifteen months of purchasing the land.” The investment for the initial phase of this project is expected to be approximately two million US dollars.
“It is important to note that this accomplishment would have not been possible without the planning and support provided by DFA” added Babikian.
The investors group’s visit to Armenia was their second within a span of 3 months. DFA organized the first visit during the largest fair of Armenian products, “Made in Armenia,” held in Yerevan between September 16 and 22, 2016. During the trade fair, the potential investors held a series of meetings with public and private sector representatives, studied the business climate, the nation’s business infrastructure, economic development prospects and its potential as a country to manufacture high quality products. With DFA’s support, they also toured various properties being considered as a location for the manufacturing facility.
A video compilation of the German and U.S. investors in Armenia can be watched below.
The investment project was initiated by Armenian American Engineer, Babikian, with the objective of promoting and improving hand hygiene in public sectors, hospitals and health-care facilities in Armenia and creating job opportunities for its citizens. The first steps in realizing these objectives were discussed in June of 2016 between Babikian and Mikirditsian, during an investment conference held in Los Angeles.
About the DFA
The Development Foundation of Armenia (DFA) is Armenia’s National Authority for Investment, Export and Tourism promotion.
The Development Foundation of Armenia (DFA) provides in depth services to foreign investors including the provision of requisite information on Armenia’s business climate, investment opportunities and relevant legislation, ground support in organizing site visits for investors, management of post-visit support, assistance with investment project implementation, business introductions, as well as liaison with governmental institutions. The DFA also provides after-care investment services to investors already established in Armenia.
The DFA assists Armenia based businesses in expanding export volumes and diversifying export markets through promotion of Armenia made products at international trade fairs, assisting companies in increasing the level of export readiness, providing them with financial assistance within the scope of specific governmental programs and organizing trade fairs showcasing export products to international buyers and distributors.