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High-level round table on Armenia’s investment climate

On 7 November 2017 in Yerevan Armenia, the Energy Charter Secretariat and the Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of Armenia co-organised a high-level roundtable on investment in Armenia’s energy sector. The purpose of the event was to discuss ways in which Armenia’s investment climate could be further improved in order to augment investments in the country’s energy sector as a whole. Overall, more than 40 representatives from government institutions, the energy industry, the business community and international organisations participated, offering their insights on the way forward.

As a basis for the discussion, the Energy Charter Secretariat presented a tailored assessment of the policy, legal and regulatory factors that may deter investments in the energy sector of Armenia. According to Energy Charter Secretary General Dr Urban Rusnák, the policy, legal, and regulatory environment of Armenia provides a robust basis for investment in the energy sector. The extensive country risk profile which was discussed is based on the methodology developed under the Energy Charter Secretariat’s initiative called the Energy Investment Risk Assessment (EIRA). 

Senior Expert for Investment David Kramer presented the assessment findings of Armenia’s energy sector: “Armenia scores relatively high on all indicators for the risk assessment, including robustness of policy goals, sound policy-making processes, effective oversight of market functioning, keeping to national and international obligations, and access to the judicial system. Given these high scores, most improvements can be made in the field of policy-making processes, in particular regarding transparency towards foreign investors and inclusiveness in consultation processes.”

On the basis of this assessment the Secretariat made recommendations for further improvement of Armenia’s investment climate. These recommendations include (1) setting up a permanent inter-ministerial body to better coordinate policy-making that pertains to energy investments, (2) establishing a permanent forum for frequent communication with investors, (3) reinforcement of the regulatory body and (4) establishing an ombudsman to prevent and resolve potential disputes or grievances involving foreign investors. The conclusions of the meeting, including concrete follow-up actions, can be found here

Deputy Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources Mr. Hayk Harutyunyan embraced the outcomes of the discussion and concluded that implementation of the recommendations and conclusions is to be considered for the EU4Energy 2018 Work Programme.

The event was conducted in the context of the European Union’s EU4Energy Initiative – a technical assistance programme that supports EU Eastern Partnership countries, including Armenia, in improving their legal and regulatory framework to achieve a more efficient, connected and low-carbon energy sector in line with best European and international practices.