January 18, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel. (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell

ANCA WELCOMES AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN ARMENIA’S CALL FOR NEW U.S.-ARMENIA TRADE AGREEMENT

Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Would Expand U.S.-Armenia Economic Cooperation

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia’s (AmCham) public call for a U.S-Armenia Trade and Investment Agreement (TIFA) was welcomed today by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) as a meaningful step toward putting in place a much-needed bilateral accord aimed at creating new export-driven jobs and economic growth in the United States and Armenia. AmCham is an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In a statement circulated earlier today, AMCHAM Chairman of the Board David Atanessian explained that “it is our strong belief that concluding TIFA is in the spirit of deepening the bonds and increasing the dialogue between the two friendly nations.” The statement outlined the benefits of concluding such an economic agreement, including:

— Stronger economic ties and spirit of cooperation

— Increased opportunities to address impediments to trade and investment, such as customs administration and double taxation issues

— Broader private investment opportunities, including increased contacts and interactions between private sector representatives

Click here for the complete text of the American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia statement.

“We want to express our appreciation to David Atanessian and the entire AmCham leadership team for their vision and leadership in promoting the growth of U.S.-Armenia business, trade, and investment relations,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “A TIFA would, as AmCham rightly notes, not only broaden commercial cooperation, but also play a vital role in deepening the bonds and increasing the dialogue between two friendly nations.”

The ANCA has, in a series of letters and meetings with Obama Administration officials, State Department diplomats, and Members of Congress, called upon the U.S. government to actively pursue a U.S.-Armenia TIFA. This accord, once in place, would establish an ongoing bilateral platform for discussion and cooperation about practical steps that can be taken to increase U.S.-Armenia trade and investment. Congressmen Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) have each written separately to the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Ronald Kirk, in support of such an agreement.

In the days leading up to the November, 2010, U.S.-Armenia Joint Economic Taskforce meetings, Dr. Varos Simonyan, the head of the Armenian Ministry of Economy’s European Union and International Economic Affairs Department, expressed the Armenian government’s support for a U.S.-Armenia TIFA in an interview with Yerkir Media, available online here.

Additional resources on the importance of a U.S.-Armenia TIFA can be viewed below:

ANCA briefing paper on U.S.-Armenia TIFA

ANCA letter to U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Ron Kirk

ANCA action alert urging the establishment of a U.S.–Armenia TIFA

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