Generalizes on the best strategy to enter the market, e.g., visiting the country; importance of relationships to finding a good partner; use of agents.
Armenia is a relatively small market with a population of approximately three million. Over a third of Armenia’s population resides in Yerevan, making it the country’s most important market and the leading hub from which to conduct business. (The population of Armenia’s second-largest city, Gyumri, is close to 100,000.) While there are certainly business opportunities outside of Yerevan—particularly in the extractives, agriculture, tourism, and energy sectors—nearly all firms doing business in Armenia maintain a presence in Yerevan.
A company’s market entry strategy will largely depend on the type of product or service it has to offer. As in most markets, finding a reliable and competent importer, distributor, or partner is advised. A strong understanding of local legislation, particularly tax and customs legislation, is critical.
Western-style legal consultancies are available in Armenia. Most successful foreign investors have Armenian partners who are familiar with the local business environment and maintain a long-term horizon. Person-to-person contact in the Armenian business culture is important. Many successful firms have representatives who travel to Armenia frequently to maintain relationships, keep channels of communication open, and understand changing market conditions. Firms should expect to commit significant time, personnel, and capital to develop and maintain a business in Armenia. Conducting sufficient due diligence is a must for determining the reliability of business partners. The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan welcomes the opportunity to consult with U.S. firms that are already in the market or are seeking to enter Armenia. Private organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia can also provide assistance.