YEREVAN (Armenpress)-The Chairman of the Union of Armenians in Russia, Ara Abrahamian, and the president of Russia’s Bamo holdings Murad Muradian, pledged over the weekend to invest over $100 million each in Armenia’s economy. Their commitments raise the total amount of pledges made since President Sarkisian’s appeal to the Diaspora last week to $560 million.
During the “Baze” All Armenian Youth Jamboree in Jermuk last week, President Serzh Sarkisian appealed to Armenians around the world to begin taking a more active role in the development of Armenia by investing in their homeland.
Since his call to action, a string of letters has been arriving at the presidential palace by Russian Armenian businessmen promising multi-million dollar invests in Armenia’s economy.
In separate letters to president Sarkisian, Abrahamian pledged to invest $150 million in Armenia’s economy, while Muradian said he would invest $120 million for the implementation of housing development programs.
“Though we are far from our homeland our thoughts are always with our country, and we are attentively following all the news coming from Armenia, and listen to all calls,” Muradian said in his letter. “Your last address to the Diaspora inspired me.
“I am sure that by investments and business initiatives we can alleviate the social burdens of the country, create new jobs, facilitate Armenia’s economic progress and increase the country’s competitiveness,” he said.
In his letter, Muradian made an appeal to the Diaspora to be more “enthusiastic towards everything that is connected with Armenia.”
“No matter how much money we have, without we cannot be complete without our homeland,” he stated. “I know it for sure and we must be guided by this principle.”
In separate letters responding to President Sarkisian’s appeal, Samvel Karapeatian, Sergey Hambardzumian, and Gagik Zakarian pledged last week to invest in various sectors of Armenia’s society and economy.
“With great attention and excitement I heard your address to our compatriots at the “Baze” youth gathering,” Karapetian’s letter said. “Armenia is our homeland and despite the geographic distance a part of our soul and heart is always in the homeland and lives with the pain and concerns of our country, our brothers and sisters, lives with our soil and water.”
Karapetian on Wednesday promised to allocate $200 million for various social and business projects in Armenia and invest another $50 million for the “implementation of symbolic projects that will support Armenian statehood and serve its future generations.”
Meanwhile, Hambardzumian, who is the founder and chairman of the board of directors of the “Mon Ar” company, pledged on Thursday to donate $10 million to the development and expansion of the Matenadaran Manuscript complex.
“Irrespective of anyone’s financial capabilities our only wealth is our homeland and our only pride–our roots, and we all will be rich when we see our country flourishing,” Hambardzumian said.
Zakarian, whose letter of commitment to Sarkisian came Friday, pledged to invest $30 million in Armenia’s mining, insurance and real estate industries. Zakarian is the chairman of Russia’s “Yuniastrum” bank.
“With this letter I want to convince you in our readiness to contribute and participate in the development of our homeland,” Zakarian said.
The pledges to invest what has now become a total of $560 million in the Armenian Republic come as $236.5 million in US Millennium Challenge Corporation funding has been partially frozen by Washington in what appears to be a politically motivated delay aimed at pressuring the Armenian government.
Monday, July 21, 2008