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Major investors in Upper Garabagh disclosed

Base Metals and Garabagh Telecom companies are major investors in the self-proclaimed Upper Garabagh Republic, Armenian press reported last week.

According to the reports, Base Metals with 700 employees has been developing copper and gold deposits in the region for many years. The company, which exported the first consignment of copper and gold to European markets in October, has invested $7 million in Upper Garabagh over a year and a half and plans to invest a total of $20 million in the region. According to the company director Artur Mkrtumian, processed bars of copper and gold are produced in Armenia and then exported to Europe. Copper and gold fields in Upper Garabagh are to be developed within 20 years, he said.

Another major investor Garabagh Telecom has been providing telecommunications, cellular and Internet services in the region since February 2002. The company has invested $15 million and succeeded in establishing a mobile communications system which currently covers 75% of the Upper Garabagh territory.

US-funded project

US Agency for International Development (USAID) signed an agreement with the Armenian Assistance Foundation in October to implement a humanitarian project in Upper Garabagh before September 2007.

3,000 houses and social establishments located in five districts of Upper Garabagh, Azerbaijan’s region occupied by Armenia, will be restored under the project.

A tender for the rehabilitation of 23 houses, 20 medical stations and water pipelines in Asgaran region has been announced. Restoration operations will commence in April 2005.

The project manager Andranik Sarkisian told the Armenian press that rehabilitation work started in Khojavand region in November. Renovation of 290 houses, 11 medical stations and water pipelines in Aghdara region will begin shortly, Sarkisian said.

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