The smallest of the former Soviet republics, numerous factors have resulted in a stalled business environment in landlocked Armenia. The 2018 ‘Velvet Revolution’ which resulted in Nikol Pashinyan’s ascendency to leadership brought optimism for a new era of democracy and anti-corruption measures. The subsequent political instability, however, has kept markets cautious until the proposed December elections. Sanctions against major trading partner Russia and neighbour Iran have also caused consternation, though US and EU interest in the country remains positive for the moment.
Agriculture and mining are important export markets for the country, and tax reliefs in the IT sector have contributed to a 37% industry growth. Interest in the renewable energy sector is also seeing an uptick, with the government approving the construction of the Masrik-1 solar power plant; the country’s first competitively tendered independent power project.