Opposition Prosperous Armenia Party leader Gagik Tsarukian complained about conditions for investments in Armenia as he inaugurated a new ceramic cookware factory on Thursday.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian also attended the ceremony that took place in the village of Arinj near Yerevan.
The factory, Ceramisia, was set up as part of a joint investment project of the Tsarukian-owned Multi Group and the Italian Stoneware holding.
According to the press office of Armenia’s prime minister, initial investments in the project amount to 30 million Euros (over $33 million). The factory is expected to open 300 jobs by February. In general, up to a thousand jobs are expected to be created due to the project.
Talking to reporters after the ceremony, Tsarukian called for improvements in the investment climate, voicing complains about “time-consuming” paperwork. “Businessmen cannot wait long,” he said. “What an investor needs is basically a one-window approach to be able to get all the paperwork done quickly.”
Tsarukian, who is considered to be one of the wealthiest people in Armenia, also complained about the shortage of highly skilled specialists in Armenia. “You know better than me that most good workers, good specialists have left for work in Europe, Russia. Now we are looking [for good specialists] and can’t find them. You can run job announcements on television that those wishing to be employed can come, we will send them to Italy for a month-long training so that they can work,” he said.
Tsarukian also disagreed with Pashinian’s assessment that “an economic revolution is gaining momentum in Armenia.” The opposition politician said: “For the economic revolution it is necessary to change laws, create more favorable conditions for investors… Taxes should be cut,” he said.