Assemblyman Jack Scott Tuesday introduced legislation–AB 1805–that would require the California Department of Trade and Commerce to establish a new overseas trade office in Yerevan–the capital of the Republic of Armenia.
The Republic of Armenia is one of the three internationally recognized states in Transcaucasia–the southernmost area of the former USSR. President Bush recognized Armenia on December 25–1991 and the US State Department established an embassy in Yerevan–the capital of Armenia on February 11–1992.
"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 makes sense. By creating this office–California can leverage a relatively minor investment into increased jobs and business ventures for California entrepreneurs." said Scott.
"Increased trade also provides collateral benefits to both Armenia and the United States. By increasing trade opportunities for Californians in Armenia–we are fostering Armenia’s hard fought transition from a state run economy to a free-market–free-enterprise economy," added Scott.
Currently–there are approximately seven million Armenia’s throughout the world–including one million in the United States. In addition–there are over 500,000 Armenia’s and Americans with Armenian descent living in California with the largest concentrations living in Glendale at 70,000; Pasadena at 15,000 and Fresno 25,000.
John Krikorian–Publisher of Business Life Magazine and a business leader in the Armenian community lauded Assemblyman Scott’s bill.
"The trade office will have many valuable benefits. Not only will it benefit California’s export economy–it will provide more economic opportunities for over 500,000 Armenian Americans living in California. This trade office will also aid the Republic of Armenia–a former communist country–in firmly establishing democratic roots," said Krikorian.
The United States has sent a substantial amount of aid to Armenia–and is currently actively engaged in encouraging and developing manufacturing and trade there. On January 4–1992–Armenia began radical free-market economic reforms.
The Clinton Administration fully supports and encourages Armenia on its road a free economy and practice of democracy.
The first free presidential election was held in Armenia on October 16–1991. Armenia was the first former Soviet Republic to privatize agriculture and continue to privatize small business and state-run enterprises–providing opportunities for local and foreign investors.