Armenia – a friendly approach
Armenia is a landlocked country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. It is bordered by Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran. It has fallen within the orbit of a number of cultural influences and empires because of its location along the route of the Great Silk Road. This is the popular name given to the system of caravan trade routes that lasted for many centuries and linked Eastern and Western civilisation between the Ancient and Middle Ages. Armenia has a population of approximately 3.1 million and the capital is Yerevan. The predominant religion is Christianity.
After independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia was drawn into a conflict with Azerbaijan over the mostly Armenian-speaking region of Nagorno-Karabakh. In the mid-1990s the government embarked on an economic reform programme which brought some stability and growth. The country became a member of the Council of Europe in 2001.
Unemployment and poverty remain widespread. Armenia’s economic problems are aggravated by a trade blockade imposed by neighbouring Turkey and Azerbaijan since the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. Despite these problems, Armenia’s economy experienced several years of double-digit growth before a sharp downturn set in in 2008.
Armenia receives most of its gas supply from Russia and, like some other republics of the former Soviet Union, has had to face sharp price rises. Russian gas arrives via a pipeline running through Georgia. Armenia’s main exports are diamonds, machinery, metal products, and foodstuffs.
In May 2013, Armenia’s Parliament adopted the law on “Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Men and Women.” The legislation was the cause of much debate as most of the population (men and women) held traditional values. In the metropolitan areas, the role of women is increasing but they continue to be under-represented in parliament and industry, the private and the public sector.
When conducting business in Armenia, one should be punctual and engage through listening and speaking. Small talk is expected but for the most part, allow your Armenian counterpart to start and end it. Armenians tend to be very friendly and communicative and will appreciate their business partners are the same.
Share your Armenian business experiences
Sources: Wikipedia, orexca.com, bbc.com, Kwintessential, Culture Crossing
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