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Amazon Web Services to collect Armenian VAT of 20%

I received a very interesting letter today. It said: “Effective May 1 2019, AWS will be required to collect Armenian VAT at a rate of 20% on charges incurred by non-business customers with a registered address in Armenia.”

Strangely enough, this letter brought a big smile to my face. It’s not because I’m very enthusiastic about paying my taxes. It is because this is an indication that Armenian authorities have finally been able to reach out to Amazon and reached some agreements.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, let me tell you that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud services platform, offering compute power, database storage, content delivery and other functionality to help businesses scale and grow. For a country, which claims that IT is its top priority for economic growth, finding ways to work with Silicon Valley’s tech giants is essential and this baby step is most welcome!

Next up — Google! Earlier this month Armenia’s Minister of Transport and Communication met with Google’s Director of Engineering Sarah Clatterbuck and discussed the possibility of turning on monetization for Armenian videobloggers and mass media. According to the official press-release, Minister Hakob Arshakyan has also raised the issue of inaccuracies in Google Maps and the sides have agreed to form a special working group to improve those.

We have yet to see if these agreements, especially the issue of Adsense and monetization of Armenian content, will result in concrete results, but the new Armenian Government seems serious in its attempts of putting Armenian on the global technology maps.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant