YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The trade turnover between Armenia and Russia currently makes up 20 to 22 percent of the volume of Armenia’s foreign trade.
In an interview with Noyan Tapan Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Finance–Credit–Budget and Economic Affairs–Vardan Khachatrian said that this share could be larger–if it were not for double taxation.
"As a result of the import tax many kinds of Russian products are not supplied to Armenia," Khachatrian said. He expressed optimism that Russian goods–except fuel–will soon be exempted from import taxes.
With regards to the establishment of the Armenian-Russian Chamber of Commerce–Khachatrian pointed out that the National Assembly is to discuss the bill "On the Chamber of Commerce" which is supposed to simplify the formation of such structures.
As for the current state and development of the Armenian-Russian economic cooperation–Armenian businessmen residing in Russia–who arrived in Armenia on an unofficial visit–are more optimistic. Chairman of the Union of Armenia’s of Russia–Ara Abrahamian–pointed out that during the last few years taxation in Armenia has considerably been lightened for Russian investmen’s. According to Abrahamian–an Armenian-Russian intergovernmental agreement will soon be signed which will allow the import of almost 300,000 carats of diamonds from Russia.
Grakhat Hovhakimian–a businessman from Budyenovsk–Russia–said that the regulation of legislation is not a difficult task. According to Hovhakimian–the most serious obstacle to the Armenian-Russian economic cooperation is the state of transport communication. Hovhakimian believes that the operation of the ferry complex "Port Caucasus" will increase the trade turnover considerably between the two countries.
A Moscow-based businessman Gurgen Khachatrian said that Armenia is a risky investment zone–adding that there is a need for venture funds and for specifying the legislation. Political scientist Andranik Migranian said that the UAR–as well as all the Armenia’s in the world–is concerned over the scale of emigration from Armenia.