International organizations consider the investment and trade policies of Armenia to be some of the most open in the entire CIS. Foreign companies coming to Armenia are encouraged to invest, and are entitled by law to the same treatment as local companies. In addition, they also have certain advantages. Armenia’s investment climate is continuously improving with a strong commitment by the government to attracting foreign direct investments. This includes ongoing refinement of the legislative framework. Large-scale privatization offers additional attractive opportunities.
The Law on Foreign Investment, adopted in July 1994, regulates foreign investment in Armenia. It provides guarantees to foreign investors and protects investors from changes in the business related laws for 5 years. According to the Law a “Foreign Investor” is any foreign company or citizen, a person without citizenship, an Armenian citizen permanently residing outside of Armenia, or an international organization that invests in Armenia. “Foreign investment” is any form of property, including financial assets and intellectual property, which is invested by a foreign investor directly in the territory of Armenia, in any economic or other venture.
In 2003 Armenia become a full member of WTO. All rules and regulations of the Foreign Trade Policy of Armenia now conform to WTO requirements. Due to stable economic growth and an open trade system, exports have grown every year since 1999. In 2003 exports grew by 34%.
Armenia ranks as the Most Economically Free Nation in the CIS countries according to the "2006 Index of Economic Freedom" as published on their website www.heritage.org.