On March 19, United States and Armenian high-level government officials held this year’s first Council Meeting organized in the frame of U.S. – AM Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

The Council Meeting took place at United States Trade Representative Office in Washington D.C.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss possibilities for expanding trade and investment opportunities, as well as to indicate challenges and find acceptable solutions to enhance further the cooperation between the two countries.

The Government-to-Government sessions were followed by Business-to-Government meetings, as TIFA Council Meeting prioritizes, the feedback of the private sector, relying on the first-hand experience and advice provided by companies. In addition to the presentation on cross-sectorial issues raised by Armenian business community made by the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia Ara Hovsepyan, challenges and opportunities, experienced first-hand from the private sector’s point of view, were presented by Christoph Speck, the General Manager of Coca‑Cola Hellenic Armenia.

In his presentation, Speck shared the experience of Coca‑Cola Hellenic Armenia as one of the first international investors in Armenia, operating successfully for more than 22 years. Among others, challenges like relatively small market size and scarcity of suppliers in line with international quality standards, as well as gaps in the legal framework regulating the competition field, lack of favourable conditions for foreign investment, emigration of talents were mentioned.

At the same time, Speck indicated the importance of the Armenian market for Coca‑Cola Hellenic Company, expressing the readiness to continue investment into the socio-economic development of the country. To further support the government in refining its business environment, making it more attractive for investors and favourable for operating companies, he underlined possibilities of employing international expertise and using best practices, offering in particular the support of  Coca‑Cola Hellenic and Coca‑Cola Hellenic Armenia.

“Coca‑Cola Hellenic Armenia is one of the first international investors in Armenia and we are proud of the achievements we have had in the Armenian market over these past 22 years. Our Company has always prioritized contribution to the socio-economic development of the country - be that through implementation of various CSR projects or integration of the best international practices and benchmarks. We are committed to continue this work and provide any support possible on our side, including the extensive experience our Group possesses globally, to work with our partners, suppliers, representatives of the RA government and join efforts in resolving some of the challenges, which might hinder the economic development of the country”, mentioned Speck summarizing his presentation.