Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 22, 2013

On November 22, the U.S. Department of State welcomed Armenian Minister of Finance Davit Sargsyan and his delegation, including Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ashot Hovakimian and Armenian Ambassador to the United States Tatoul Markarian, for the 22nd U.S.–Armenia Joint Economic Task Force (USATF).

Both sides held discussions on mechanisms to deepen economic ties, increase trade and investment, and advance market reforms. Armenia and the United States welcomed the new $180 million investment in Armenia’s hydropower sector by the U.S. company Contour Global. This investment, which is expected to be partially financed by the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, represents the largest U.S. private investment in Armenia’s history and the first U.S. investment in Armenia’s critical energy sector. Participants discussed the bilateral launch of a visa liberalization process with the goal of achieving a visa-free regime for American travelers and ten-year multiple entry visas for Armenians, leading to increased bilateral trade and investment. The United States also encouraged implementation of Armenia’s civil aviation liberalization reforms.

The United States highlighted Armenia's selection as one of 20 focus countries for the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Science, Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships. Through this initiative, both countries have agreed to undertake a signature effort in the areas of clean energy and water.

The USATF is an annual bilateral meeting that promotes trade and investment between the United States and Armenia. The U.S. Government was represented by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Eric Rubin, USAID Assistant Administrator Paige Alexander, and Coordinator of Assistance for Europe Daniel Rosenblum. The U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia John A. Heffern and USAID Armenia Mission Director Karen Hilliard also attended.

PRN: 2013/1467