Armenia

Armenia

In the crossroad of Europe and Asia

Armenia for the world, Hayastan for the locals. Situated along the route of the Great Silk Road Armenia is a landlocked country of rugged mountains and lush forests. It is located in the southern Caucasus, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea bounded by Georgia on the north, Azerbaijan on the east, Iran on the south, and Turkey on the west.

3 million people live in Armenia but more than 7 million Armenians are forming the Armenian Diaspora from all around the world. As its location between different civilizations, Armenian culture is a blend of old and new, western and eastern meanwhile having its distinct features preserved for centuries.

Armenia is the home of The Distrikt. Attracted by the potential of the talented people, favorable investment climate, and unique biodiversity we made a pledge to invest our efforts for its sustainable development.

Armenia

Human capital: The Tumo, Armath, and chess generation is taking over

No oil, no gas. All the country has is human capital. Especially the young people that compared to the older generations are living in a globalized world and have a chance to determine for themselves the fate of the country and where it heads. That is why the national priority is high-tech research and development – a do-or-die objective to connect and do business with the outside world and break the blockade that’s building up around it.

Pioneering national chess education

Armenia has one of the highest numbers of chess grandmasters, per capita, in the world. The country has the most ambitious school chess program in the world, being the first to build chess as part of the primary school curriculum. Since 2011, all children in Armenia from six to eight years old have had compulsory chess lessons. One of the objectives of this is to teach children to make strategic decisions and develop strategic thinking.

Source: chessbase.com

Tumo Centers of Creative Technologies

One of the initiatives that have shaped a whole new generation in Armenia is the Tumo Centers.  The Tumo Center for Creative Technologies is a free-of-charge educational program where thousands of teenage students are put in charge of their own learning, in a place where there is access to the internet and technology. The Center teaches skills necessary to succeed in the era of increased digitalization such as animation, game development, filmmaking, web development, music, graphic design, robotics, motion graphics. Tumi is present in more than 6 cities of Armenia and more in the process of construction. The model is so successful that cities as Paris, Beirut, Moscow, Tirana, and Berlin as well have adopted becoming a host of International Tumo Centers.

Tumo Center
Tumo Center for Creative Technologies. Source: Tumo.org

Armath Engineering Laboratories in STEM Education

Taking into consideration that advanced technology is one of the driving forces of the world economy Armath Engineering Laboratories were established in 2014. At Armath Labs kids and teenagers aged 10-18 are introduced to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education through interactive after-school classes, exciting competitions, innovative camps, and more. Students are given the opportunity to design, build, test, and improve their own creations in a safe and fun environment while making new friends and creating startups. As of January 2020, 575 engineering laboratories operate on the territory of Armenia, Artsakh, and Georgia and around 15000 students get free engineering education.

Armath Engineering Laboratories
Armath Engineering Laboratories. Source: Armath.am

Business environments and investment climates: ICT start-ups in the target

According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report, Armenia is the 10th easiest country in the world to start a business in. The objective is to development of the startup ecosystem in the country. Indeed, between 2010 and 2017 the absolute number of start-up enterprises within the ICT sector went up by 344%, from 181 to 800. Today, the growth rate of the sector (23%) is among the highest of the national economy. On the one hand, according to the World Bank’s figures, Armenia leads the way in the export of manufacturing high-tech among the Caucasian countries.

In fact, one of the enabling factors for this is the tax assistance given to the companies in the IT sector. According to the Law “On State Support to IT Sector” the companies, and Individual entrepreneurs, falling under the criteria of the Law, do not pay corporate tax/profit tax on income related to IT activity, also the income tax on these entities’ employees salary is calculated at 10% rate.

In the biodiversity hotspot

There are 25 wildlife hotspots worldwide that are the most diverse and endangered. The Caucasus is one of them. Armenia occupies just 5% of the region, while is a refuge for most of the species endemic to the Caucasian Biodiversity Hotspot. Moreover, many of them are wild animals and crop wild relatives that have a huge economic and social value.

Armenia has been firmly committed to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the “Agenda 2030″. In addition, the country has adopted the Paris Agreement committing to taking action to address climate change.

Armenia

Many things to be done

In this context, Armenia is facing many challenges from poverty to natural resource extraction.

Mining-based export is prevailing the export portfolio. The unemployment rate of the country has increased up to 17% in 2018. Because of this, there is emigration and brain drain. Many talented people are leaving in the seek of better opportunities in other corners of the world.

However, these people are part of the human capital the country relies upon its development. That is why the objective of The Distrikt is to start a wave of brain gain by creating sustainable living and working conditions in Gyumri.

We have adopted a holistic approach coupling development of creative industries, high-tech and adopting the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a guiding framework.

The technologies we are developing are not only creating new job and export opportunities and but are viable solutions to the energy insecurity and sustainability challenges of Armenia.

The pillars of The Distrikt Model

  • Brain Gain

  • Promotion of creative industries

  • Development of high-tech start-up ecosystem

  • Meeting UN SDG Goals

  • Energy independence targets

  • Decent work and sustainable export

Armenia Diaspora

As Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey join together and engage in major infrastructure projects, such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, to revive their historic role as a land bridge between east and west, Armenia has been conspicuously left by the wayside.

Tumo Centers Armenia

The TUMO Center for Creative Technologies in Armenia is an educational centre, specialised on technology and design, where teenagers can learn free of charge.

BBC

Since 2011, all children in Armenia from six to eight years old have had compulsory chess lessons. For one boy it’s paying off, reports Emma Levine.

Doing Business Armenia

The current economic situation in the context of the global recession may be seen as a new opportunity for the development of new start-ups in those regions that are most prepared in material and technical terms.

Armenia Doing Business

Investment Guide – Armenia” issued by KPMG Armenia in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia and Enterprise Incubator Foundation.

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