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AmCham Armenia Supports Responsible Business in Armenia

The American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia (AmCham) is the leading business association in the country with around 120 members from all business segments and is a totally independent and self-financed business organization. AmCham has been operating in Armenia continuously since 2000. AmCham is honored to work closely with the American Embassy in Armenia, and to have it as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors. Through advocacy efforts in various areas, including but not limited to tax legislation and customs administration, AmCham represents its members' business interests in Armenia to the Armenian government, international organizations, and to the wider business community. Sustainable businesses that are closely connected to healthy economic, social and environmental systems can create economic value and contribute to healthy ecosystems and strong communities.

With this in mind, AmCham is committed to promote healthy business and investment environment in Armenia for all the sectors of economy its members represent. Armenia’s participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative of which AmCham has been vocally supportive, is already offering a prospect for more transparency and accountability in the sector. However, there is more to be done to address multiple issues in the referred industry. To this respect, AmCham supports the concept of responsible business and responsible mining, and welcomes the call of Prime Minister, Mr. Nikol Pashinyan to bring international best practice into the Armenian mining sector, considering its important role that mining industry plays in the economy of Armenia.

Concomitantly, while AmCham shares the concerns on the lack of adequate environmental management standards in the industry in Armenia, it also sees that the the industry globally has rigorously addressed this issue in the last decades, with a number of institutional policies for the environmental and social management in mining. To this extent, AmCham believes that international frameworks for responsible mining such as the IFC Performance Standards, EBRD Performance Requirements, ICMM Standards and a number of other policy requirements can be applied to the Armenian mining sector. This will raise the responsibility bar for the industry in Armenia even higher. Following the example of AmCham member companies, such as Lydian Armenia that has already set the bar to comply with these standards for its Amulsar project and that can be further applied as a good benchmarking opportunity.

As a platform for promotion of level field and fair competition in business, AmCham believes that the reforms in the mining sector in Armenia should comply with international standards which will create an opportunity to build a viable, sustainable and transparent mining industry to the benefit of the country.