Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Armenia more than doubled in the first half of this year, according to official statistics released on Friday.
The country’s Statistical Committee said net FDI inflows into “the real sector” of the domestic economy totaled $81.3 million, up from $32.6 million in the same period of 2017.
Data from the government agency suggests that the bulk of those investments were made in the first quarter of the year, before weeks of mass protests that brought down the former Armenian government.
The official figures show that the British island of Jersey accounted for about 53 percent of the first-half FDI inflows. The tax haven is home to an Anglo-American company, Lydian International, which is building a massive gold mine in Armenia’s southeastern Vayots Dzor province.
Lydian was due to complete this fall the $400 million construction of production facilities at the Amulsar. The construction was disrupted in late June by several dozen environmental activists protesting against any gold mining there. With the protesters still blocking all roads leading to Amulsar, the company is facing an uncertain future in Armenia.
Vahagn Khachatrian, an economist and politician, said the latest FDI total reported by the Statistical Committee is very modest in absolute terms even though it represents a sharp rise from the year-earlier period.
“That’s nothing even if the full-year figure reaches $300 million,” Khachatrian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “One of our neighbors attracted $1.2 billion while another $2.5 billion in investments.”
Khachatrian expressed hope that the new government’s far-reaching reform agenda will result in more investments soon. The economic reforms planned or implemented by the government are “very attractive” to potential investors, he said.