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Eduardo Eurnekian, an Argentinean businessman whose wealth, according to Forbes, amounts to $1.8bln, is going to invest $50mln in the construction of a microchip factory in Yerevan. Eurnekian's Project Manager Juan Pablo Gechidjian said during a Armenian-Argentinean conference on Friday.
He said that it would be a long-term high-tech project, which was expected to improve Armenia's technological competitiveness on foreign markets. "Bringing new technologies to Armenia is one of the priorities of the investment policy of Mr. Eurnekian's companies. This is a business that can help Armenia a lot and is no less important than charity," Gechidjian said.
He said that very soon Eurnekian's total investments in Armenia's economy will exceed $400mln: $265mln in the project to build a new terminal at Zvartnots Airport, $40mln in new vineyards.
Gechidjian said that Eurnekian is planning to build a new wine plant in the Free Trade Zone (the old building of Zvartnots Airport) and to enlarge his vineyards from 450 h to 600 h. The wine will be exported to Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the Baltic region.
Among the other activities, according to Gechidjian, are post banking services through Haypost and Converse Bank. "This year we have opened two pilot Postbank offices, have carried out marketing studies and have tested the software. So, next year we will open new such offices all over the country," Gechidjian said, adding that some $5mln would be invested in Haypost's postbanking system.
When asked to comment on the sale of the building of Armenia's Foreign Ministry at Yerevan's Republican Square to Eurnekian's Tango company for $50mln, Gechidjian said: "It is a long-term project, and the Ministry will stay there for some three years more. According to our preliminary project, it will be a center of Armenian culture, where our talented compatriots will be able to present their creative works in different spheres of fine arts."
Eduardo Eurnekian controls Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, a consortium that was given a 30-year concession to Zvartnots Airport in 2001. In Armenia he also owns Converse Bank, Haypost and Tierras de Armenia, with almost 2,300 h of agricultural lands and 400 h of vineyards.