French President François Hollande’s visit to Yerevan is refocusing attention on Armenia’s geopolitical orientation and its openness to European investment.
On May 13, Hollande was scheduled to visit a Yerevan shopping center to inspect the construction site of a major French retailer, Carrefour. Plans to open a 10,000-square-meter Carrefour store at the Dalma Garden Mall were first announced in late 2012, but, for unclear reasons construction has never begun.
At the May 12 opening of an Armenian-French economic forum, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan underlined that his government felt “honored” to see Carrefour’s pending arrival. “This fact demonstrates that Armenia provides favorable conditions for foreign investments,” Sargsyan asserted. President Hollande, in turn, expressed a hope that Carrefour’s opening would spark French investments in other sectors of Armenia’s economy.
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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter based in Yerevan and editor of MediaLab.am.