ARMENIAN PRESIDENT DISCUSSES PRODUCTION EXPANSION OPPORTUNITIES AT LORI DIAMOND CUTTING COMPANY

Noyan Tapan
Dec 1, 2009

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 1, NOYAN TAPAN. The opportunities of expanding
production were discussed during the December 1 visit of Armenian
President Serzh Sargsyan to Lori diamond cutting company in Nor Hachn.

The owners of the company - Diaspora Armenians Shahe Aslanian and
Vardges Knajian introduced a big Indian gem and jewelry company's
owner, who has an intention to start a business in Armenia, to Serzh
Sargsyan.

During a talk with reporters, RA Minister of Economy Nerses Yeritsian
said that the matter concerns state and private investments of the
total amount of several dozen million dollars. The minister announced
that by instructions of Serzh Sargsyan, work will be done so that
the above mentioned investor could start operating in Armenia in
cooperation with the state and the private sector.

Director of Lori company Isahak Aghajanian said that the company
employed 20 people in the initial period, whereas now about 350
employees work here, with the average wage of 100 thousand drams. The
output has declined by 10-15% as compared with last year and will
amount to 40-42 million dollars in 2009. 90% of products is exported
to the U.S. so the crisis has affected production. The company imports
raw materials from Belgium, the U.S, and Canada. The director expects
the cooperation with Russia to develop.

S. Aslanian and V. Knajian intend to found a new plant. They envisage
increasing Lori company's output to the best index achieved in the
past - 75-80 million dollars.