YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Yerevan Jewelry Factory turns out products worth $200,000 monthly. The enterprise is currently operating at 10-15 percent of its capacity. The factory’s deputy director Petros Margarian told Noyan Tapan that with the presence of circulation funds the enterprise is able to increase its production volumes fivefold and enlarge its staff by up to 250 people within a short period of time. The enterprise currently employs about 350 people–their minimal wages being $50.
The enterprise exports 95 percent of its products: to Russia–Lithuania–Moldova–Turkmen’stan–the United States–Germany–and Poland. According to Margarian–the volumes of export to CIS countries are restricted by the size of the excise tax. The enterprise has orders from abroad worth $13 million. Contracts with firms from Tajikistan–Kyrgyzstan–Uzbekistan–Kazakhstan–Ukraine–Belarus. The enterprise management hopes to sell its products in China and India.
To stimulate small business activities–the enterprise recently signed contracts with 13 small producers to market its products abroad. Consultations in technical re-equipment is also expected to be provided to them.
Also–the Yerevan Jewerly Factory and the ABM firm of the "Kyrgyz Altyn" (Kyrgyz-Gold) Concern of Kyrgyzstan signed a deal setting up a joint venture to be situated in Kyrgyzstan.
Margarian said that according to the deal that was signed–the Kyrgyz side will supply raw materials and equipment–while the Armenian side will provide its technology and semi-finished products–as well as organize the training of specialists from Kyrgyztan.
The volumes of production–according to Maragarian–on the initial stage will total 100-150 thousand dollars a month. The production of the Armenian-Kyrgyz joint-venture will be marketed in Kyrgyzstan.
In addition–a contract for the supply of finished products to Kyrgyzstan in exchange for raw materials (worth 300 thousand dollars by the end of the year) has been signed with the "Kyrgyz Altyn" Concern. "Kyrgyz Altyn" is expected to become the dealer of Armenian products in Central Asia in the future.
Margarian pointed out that before the collapse of the Soviet Union the enterprise supplied 800-1,000 kg of gold and silver ware to the Soviet market. The vacuum that emerged on the CIS market–was filled with Turkish and Italian products. Meanwhile–products of the Jewelry Factory was "adjusted" to the needs of the CIS consumer: over a number of years the factory created designed of articles corresponding to the aesthetic taste of the CIS population.
The enterprise currently purchases about 100 kg of gold a month. The raw materials are imported from Europe (European raw materials are cheap because no value-added tax is imposed on precious metals).
As the design of the jewelry products is very rapidly copied by competitive firms–the enterprise every month sets up from 20 to 30 new kinds of products: on the whole 2,000 samples of jewelry have already be designed.