By Monty Munford
This weekend in North America and Europe, the sporty population will have turned to baseball, basketball, soccer, rugby and similar sports to enjoy their leisure time. In Armenia, however, they do things differently.
Instead of watching TV, many Armenians will have been tuned into their radio stations to listen to live commentaries… of chess. The country, one of the youngest in the world since gaining independence in 1991, certainly likes to do things differently.
Doing business, however, is more of a challenge than merely taking a sacrificed pawn or a captured knight. Landlocked between Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran, Armenia currently has open borders with only Georgia and Iran.
Tourists to Turkey, of which there are many, have to travel through Georgia and relations with Azerbaijan are on a constant war footing because of the Nagorno-Karabakh.
However, in spite of these difficulties, Armenia’s business community takes inspiration from so-called Startup Nation Israel as a similarly hemmed-in country that is achieving, although perhaps Palestine is another example of a country landlocked by its neighbors.