8. Responsible Business Conduct
There is not a widespread understanding of responsible business conduct (RBC) in Armenia, but several larger companies with foreign ownership or management are introducing the concept. It is rare to see examples of Armenian companies that contribute to local communities through charity, employee service days, or other similar programs. However, RBC programs that do exist are viewed favorably. Some NGOs, notably business associations, are playing a more active role to promote responsible business conduct. Armenia joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in March 2017 as a candidate country. The first EITI national report for Armenia was published in January 2019. As part of its EITI membership aspirations, the government in March 2018 adopted a roadmap to disclose beneficial owners in the metal ore mining industry. Armenia is not an adherent to the OECD Guidelines for Multi-National Enterprises or the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.
Some information is available regarding corporate governance, accounting, and internal controls to protect shareholders. Major pillars of corporate governance in Armenia include the Law on Joint Stock Companies, the Law on Banks and Banking Activity, the Law on Securities Market, and a Corporate Governance Code. International observers note inconsistencies in this legislation and generally rate corporate governance practices as weak to fair.
Domestic laws related to labor, employment rights, consumer protection, and environmental protection are not always enforced effectively. These laws and regulations cannot be waived to attract foreign investments.