SACRAMENTO–A bill to establish a new overseas trade office in Armenia was introduced today by Senator Jack Scott. Senate Bill 179 would require the Director of the California State World Trade Commission within the State’s Trade and Commerce Agency to launch the California Trade Office in Yerevan–the capital of Armenia.
The State of California currently has trade offices in Germany–the United Kingdom–Hong Kong–Indonesia–Israel–Mexico–the Republic of South Africa–Taiwan and Japan. Senator Scott’s measure calls for the addition of a tenth trade office in Yerevan.
"It is critical that we continue to find ways to grow California’s economy. Expanding trade and business opportunities between Armenian Americans here in California and Armenia make sense. By creating this office–California can leverage a relatively minor investment into increased jobs and business ventures for California entrepreneurs," said Scott.
Armenia was the first former Soviet Republic to privatize agriculture and continues to privatize small businesses and state-run enterprises–providing opportunities for local and foreign investors. Armenia has made significant advancemen’s in computer technology and telecommunication–which will open new markets for California’s high-tech and biotech industries.
There are some seven million Armenia’s throughout the world–including one million in the United States. There are over 500,000 Armenia’s and Americans of Armenian descent living in California–with the largest concentrations living in Glendale (70,000)–Pasadena (15,000)–and Fresno (25,000). The US has sent a substantial amount of aid to Armenia–and is currently actively engaged in encouraging and developing manufacturing and trade there.
"Over 120 countries have recognized Armenia as an independent state. California’s economy–the sixth largest in the world–will benefit from developing stronger ties to this burgeoning trading partner." The Senate Bill 179 will be heard in a Senate policy committee in March.