1999 - 2001

NOVEMBER 19 – 20, 1999


The Forum of Armenian Associations in Europe (FAAE) with The Armenian Community of Hungary, held a meeting , on the 19th and 20th of November 1999, in Budapest, in order to planify and develop the Forum of Armenian Businessmen in Europe. Various aspects of the topic were discussed, such as the creation of close ties between Armenian Businessmen for future collaboration, the necessity of developing communication systems, the establishment of economic relations with Armenia and to develop collaboration of similar institutions for future investments. At this point, a Founder’s Committee was voted , composed of the following persons, Alex Avanessian (Hungary), Hrair Amirkhanian (Greece), Norair Mouradian (Russia), Toros Sagherian (Switzerland), and Antranig Aznavour (Germany). The newly formed Committee is to be open to all Armenian businessmen for future collaboration. The Secretary of the Armenian-Diaspora committee within the Foreign Ministry of Armenia, Mr Djivan Movsesian, attending the first meeting at work, said that, “ Following the first Armenia-Diaspora conference in September 1999,this has been the first successful step. It’s very important that the Forum’s basic purpose be the support it will be receiving for the creation of economic projects in Armenia , and the protection of various investments.


The second annual conference of the Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe (F.A.A.E.) convened the 10-12 June in Budapest, Hungary.  Thirteen associations  representing eleven countries were present, in addition, six organizations from four other countries which could not be in attendance sent letters expressing their support of the F.A.A.E. According to some estimates, there are more than two million Armenians in Europe, forming significant Armenian communities in 26 different European countries.  The F.A.A.E. was founded in Geneva in July,  1998, with the goal of improving co-operation and solidarity between Armenian communities in Europe in order to meet the changing needs of the European Diaspora and to promote the interests of Armenia and Karabagh.  F.A.A.E. membership is open to any Armenian association in Europe that has democratically elected representatives and which agrees to adhere to the F.A.A.E. charter. The conference participants were greeted by representatives of the Republic of Hungary, including Secretary of Foreign Affairs George Nanovsky and President  of the Committee of Minority Affairs Tocho Donchev, as well as by president of the Armenian Community of Hungary Alex Avanessian.  The opening session was marked by comments from Baroness Carolyn Cox, the Vice Speaker of the British House of Lords, Chavarche Kotcharyan, the President of the Commission of Science Culture and Education of the National Assemly of Armenia, and Jivan Tabibian, the Ambassador of Armenia to Austria. Archbishop Mesrob Krikorian, Primat of the Armenian Church in Austria and Archbishop YepremTabakian, representing respectively the Catholicos of all Armenians Karekin II and Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I, addressed the delegates and blessed the work of the conference. Head of the Diaspora Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Givan Movsessian wished productive work to the conference and read a statement from Minister of Foreign Affairs Vartan Oskanian and President of Karabagh Arkady Goukasyan. The working sessions of the second annual F.A.A.E. Conference began by a summary of the activities accomplished by the committee since its inaugural session, last May 1-2 in Brussels, which he divided into four domains: organization, activities,participation  and meetings. After presentations by F.A.A.E. Treasurer Vahé Gabrache, Geneva, Switzerland and an audit report by Raffi Sarkissian, London, England , and Antranik Aznavour,Hannover, Germany, the delegates deliberated on the issue of securing financial commitments of each F.A.A.E. member association, and approved several propositions for the solution of the problem in question.  The assembly examined and unanimously ratified the budget for the following fiscal year. The adoption of an official Statue and by laws was the central theme of the Second Conference. Specific attention was paid to the editing of membership criteria, and voting rights. The conference voted to accept two new members, an Armenian association of Russia named the ``Armenian-Russian Congress``, and an association from Cyprus named the ``Armenian Community of Cyprus``. The assembly then unanimously adopted a proposal to create five working groups political, juridical, mass media, intellectual, and business. The conference also unanimously decided, in accordance with an earlier joint proposal with representatives of Karabagh, to proclaim May 9 ``Artsakh Day of Europe.`^  The F.A.A.E . will help organize appropriate celebrations and demonstrations for May 9, 2001, and will organize financial help projects in Shushi. The assembly also decided to mandate the Executive Committee to elaborate the F.A.A.E.`s position towards the candidacy of Turkey to the European Union. Following the conference, delegates and Hungarian authorities attended a ceremony to commemorate the 85th Anniversary of the Armenian genocide.  The two Archbishops blessed the memorial, a khatchkar (cross-stone) transported from Yerevan. The delegates then proceeded to hold elections for Secretary General and Treasurer, to which Toros Sagherian and Vahé Gabrache were elected respectively. Arshalouys Kejejian also was elected as Administrative secretary

Geneva, 14 June 2000


The 2nd Armenian Business Forum of Europe ended on 11 of March, 2001 establishing the basis for many future large joint ventures to be formed by businesses run by Armenians in Europe. Sixty-three businessmen from 13 European countries met in Geneva and examined 14 presentations outlining a wide variety of business and investment opportunities in Europe. Speakers and participants included Prime Minister of Karabakh Anoushavan Danyelian, and Deputy Minister for Economy of Armenia, Tigran Davtyan. It was especially notable the strong representation of the business communities from Moscow and Northern Russia as well as Donetsk in Ukraine and Romania. Chief Executives from medical equipment, hotel, sugar refining, fisheries and timber, metal, publications, and IT businesses described their activities and put forward briefly the ways and means by which Armenians can participate in such businesses. In addition to developing businesses in European countries, some of the project proposals outlined the basis for starting up venture in Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh. Antranig Aznavour, Managing Director of Aznavour Medical Product, Germany, gave the participants the broad business plan for the manufacture of disposable medical products in Nagorno Karabagh. This venture will provide employment to over 80 women and within three years should export over 80 percent of its output. In his presentation, Moscow-based international sugar dealer and processsor, Stels Sugar Refining, expressed interest in further developing partnerships in other European countries. The corporation works in various European countries, and counts such giants as Cargill among its business partners. For many businessmen in attendance, the most important achievement of the day was the numerous contacts made, some of which may develop into future partnerships. Expanding Romanian glove maker Gold Ox is on the lookout for new markets and finds in the Forum an excellent platform for expanding his long term network of contacts. Though Information Technology plays an important role in networking, face-to-face dealings between businessmen is an irreplaceable factor in business developments. The Armenian Diaspora provides numerous opportunities for such business networking, which is destined to expand in the years to come.