Foreign investments are not sufficiently large in Armenia and the reasons are different. We hear a lot about the first one: our officials are corrupt, they poke their noses into businesses, create artificial obstacles for foreign investors. This is the main group of reasons, and if we try to determine its share, it will “take over” 50 percent.
The second reason is also significant and, unfortunately, it does not depend on us: if this or that company has business relations with Turkey or Azerbaijan, then the authorities of those countries, as a rule, present a condition to the company: “Either us, or Armenians”. No serious businessman, even if he has a big sympathy for Armenians, will not try to spoil his relations with countries with bigger and prospective markets: practical interest is more important than sympathy and antipathy. This reason, I think, will “make up” 30 percent.
But there is a third reason (20%), which fully depends on us, or rather, our compatriots living abroad. They, in turn, are divided into two, almost equal parts: half of them are Armenians, who have left Armenia within the last 25 years, and most of them do not hide their negative attitude towards Armenia. The worse the situation in their former homeland is, the better the ones who have left will feel: their leaving will be justified.
The second half is the “classic” Diaspora, people who are citizens of France, Germany, the United States and other countries and have a certain influence in their countries, after all, they are also electorate. Well now imagine that there are elections and the politicians and political parties in those countries have to please their Armenian citizens. What terms and issues do our compatriots lay down before these figures and parties? These issues are almost exclusively linked to the events of 1915, the recognition of the Genocide. And if the leaders of these countries, parliamentarians, provinces or cities would even make a formal statement on Armenian Genocide, Diaspora organizations are ready to consider it an important achievement. It “costs a penny” for parliaments and presidents by just voicing statements to please Armenians. If Diaspora bring forward issues related to the state of Armenia, its economy, democracy, and rule of law, it will be a more difficult task, but it will be more important and essential for Armenia.
Armenian communities in different countries are usually perceived as groups of people living with the past.