The Inaugural Event of the Chamber of Commerce Switzerland-Armenia, held in Zurich on June 28, 2017, including representatives from highest diplomatic levels, emphasized the excellent potential for expansion of commerce between the Swiss Confederation and the Republic of Armenia. Both countries share important similarities, above all the technical and scientific basis of their educational systems. Further development and mutual awareness of the economic potential and characteristics of both countries can indeed be intensified, and will bring additional benefit to both countries, their economies and businesses.

The Inaugural Event offered important insights into prominent Armenian economic sectors represented at the event and facilitated also the presence of and participation by various Swiss industry and services representatives. The gathering was the most significant bilateral commercial initiative to take place, following the first official visit by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (Seco) delegation to Armenia, in June 2014.

Swiss representatives from several sectors as well as Armenian business actors in IT (VOLO LLC, MBM), Solar Energy (Arpisolar, SHTIGEN Energy Efficient Solutions), Pharmaceuticals (AZAD), Banking (ArmSwissBank, Global Investment Fund), Cosmetics (Nairian), Brand (ARARAT Brandy), Winery (Semina Armenia, Old Bridge Wine Cellar, Armenia Wine, Van Ardi Winery, Golden Grape ArmAs), Dried Fruits (AREVAHAM), Manufacturer of natural juices, nectars and drinks (NOYAN), Jewelry (KARA Silver, Nush Enamel Jewerly), Arts (ARTBEEP) joined in this first major meeting organized by the Chamber of Commerce Switzerland-Armenia. Mr. Mike Baronian, Chairman of the Chamber and CEO of Azad Pharma AG in Switzerland, welcomed the approximately one hundred persons in attendance, recalling the success story of his company’s experience through the Armenian scientific community and, consequently, the notable growth potential of the bilateral economic and commercial relationship between both countries. Representatives from selected business sectors participated in three discussion panels that provided, thanks also to the professional moderators, an introduction by industry plus individual presentation of the companies on each panel.

In his speech, the Honourable Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation in Armenia, Mr. Lukas Gasser, underlined the mutually inspiring business environments of both countries with focus on the exponential growth of exports between 1995 and 2014. Despite a reduction thereafter, and whilst there are no direct airline flights yet between the two countries, Mr. Gasser accentuated his optimism that any complexity somewhat in transportation and logistics, can customarily find solutions.

From the Embassy of Armenia Switzerland in Geneva, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary Mrs. Hasmik Tolmajian, highlighted the important contribution of Swiss-Armenian persons in business toward the development of the Armenian economy. The dynamic presentation by Mr. Armen Avakian, CEO of the Development Foundation Armenia, emphasized the favourable business environment, resultant investment opportunities, as well as the engineering heritage and potential of the rapidly developing economy.

Parallel to the initiative by the Chamber, a focused meeting took place between of the Armenian winery producers and Swiss wine specialists, producers and importers including journalists. Time was allocated for a wine and brandy degustation, offering further personal and enjoyable insight for all attendees of the event, into the high-quality production available from Armenia.

The Chamber of Commerce Switzerland-Armenia is very encouraged by the results of its inaugural meeting and shall work toward expansion of its membership within the Swiss and Armenian business communities along with, over the medium term, further development of bilateral steps in this mutually beneficial and growing relationship.

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