18 juni 2005
The Netherlands makes investing in Armenia more attractive
Karel Houtekamer, sales manager of MEAF Machines, is one of the few Dutch entrepreneurs who did venture into Armenia, backed by a subsidy of a government-funded programme for cooperation with emerging markets. Houtekamer: "Armenia has to catch up on a severe backlog in technology. Some four years ago I got in touch with the Armenian company Oval Ltd., who wanted to invest in a complete production line for plastic containers and cups for foodstuff packaging. We were interested to deliver, but investing in Armenia is a real bottleneck. So we looked for help from the Dutch government."
The whole process took over two years, but now the Armenian client has a completely renovated factory for disposables. Apart from delivering the machinery, MEAF Machines assisted its client with transfer of technology and know how. Houtekamer, impressed by the investments of Oval Ltd. itself: "This project was a success. The Armenian company is now 'leading'." The side effects for Armenia are significant. Having a local production of foodstuff packaging makes the country less depending on imports, creates new jobs and decreases the spill of perishable, locally-produced food products.
The Dutch ministers of Development Cooperation and Finance, Agnes van Ardenne and Gerrit Zalm, visiting Armenia last week, signed contracts with the government to facilitate Dutch investors. At the same time a new database has been made operational for companies, interested in investing in emerging markets. This English-language database, 'Developing your Business', provides information on subsidies, assistance in import/export, research, training and networks.
P+ Webtip: Developing your Business