Some 57% of Armenian entrepreneurs wary of reopening of transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan

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YEREVAN, May 31. /ARKA/. A national business survey commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has revealed that almost 57% of Armenian entrepreneurs believe that the reopening of transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan will have a negative or extremely negative effect on Armenian economy.

The findings of the survey were presented today by Petros Petoyan, co-owner and director of imr. company He said about 34% believe that the move can have a positive effect on Armenia’s economy and 9% believe that it will have neither positive nor negative effect.

Also, 44% believe that the reopening of roads will have a direct negative effect on their business, 32% think otherwise and 24% believe that it will not have either positive or negative impact.

According to Petoyan, about 20% of the respondents believe that the reopening of borders and transport communications can have a fairly high potential. The negative opinion is explained rather by such emotions as fear, safety y, etc.,” Petoyan said.

He added that as a businessman and researcher, he was interested in finding out the position of companies that expect positive results from the unblocking of borders.

“I didn’t think that there would be so many companies that would regard this as positive, but business entities, apparently, take into account their development opportunities,” he said. Petoyan.

The operations director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Amiryan, noted that the majority are still apprehensive about the reopening of borders, but there are those who consider it a positive move.

“These are only opinions so far, since many do not yet have full information what exactly that would imply; so opinions still differ. Business entities still see risks in the market due to increased competition, an increase in the volume of imported goods and the capacity of local businesses to resist it,” said Amiryan.

The national business survey on the priorities of the business community was conducted in February-March 2021 involving 400 entrepreneurs both in the capital Yerevan and beyond it.

On January 11, 2021, the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement in Moscow aimed at developing the region and unblocking all transport communications.

They set up a working group to deal with this issues chaired by Mher Grigoryan (Armenia), Alexey Overchuk (Russia) and Shahin Mustafayev (Azerbaijan).

The rail and road links between Azerbaijan’s exclave Nakhichevan and the rest of Azerbaijan are to pass through southeastern Armenian province of Syunik. Armenia is supposed for its part to use Azerbaijani territory as a transit route for cargo shipments to and from Russia.

On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijani armed forces, backed by Turkey and foreign mercenaries and terrorists, attacked Nagorno-Karabakh along the entire front line using rocket and artillery weapons, heavy armored vehicles, military aircraft and prohibited types of weapons such as cluster bombs and phosphorus weapons.

After 44 days of the war, on November 9, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a statement on the cessation of all hostilities. According to the document, the parties stopped at where they were at that time. The town of Shushi, the districts of Agdam, Kelbajar and Lachin were handed over to Azerbaijan, with the exception of a 5-kilometer corridor connecting Karabakh with Armenia.

A Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed along the contact line in Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor.–0-

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