The opening of regional communications should finally give Armenia an opportunity to overcome the 30-year blockade, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at the opening ceremony of the Armenian Business Forum in Yerevan.
According to him, it will lead to a “significant change in the investment climate in Armenia, and transformation in Armenia’s economic structure, so that the country and the state becomes more resilient and competitive’’
Nikol Pashinyan noted that there has been much talk about the political agenda of regional developments.
“We greatly appreciate the support from our strategic ally, the Russian Federation, in moving forward that agenda, delimitation and demarcation of borders and restoration of the peace process. I have to emphasize that we realize and record that the constructive position of Russia, which we can see today, is extremely important for solving these issues’,” the Prime Minister said.
In terms of shaping the future of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan referred to the projects that the Government has already launched. “We consider the reforms in the field of education to be extremely important for solving our problems, one of the key goals of which should be the quality and access to education. In this regard, the Government of the Republic of Armenia has undertaken a program to build or renovate 300 schools in the next 5 years. About 500 kindergartens or preschools will be built and renovated, with the aim of making education more accessible to all children in Armenia, giving them the opportunity for further professional and higher education so that they can find job in highest-paying market segments,” he said.
“Infrastructure development is extremely important for us. In this regard, we plan to start or complete the construction of 15 reservoirs in the next 5 years. We have to repair or overhaul at least 500 kilometers of roads each year, and we do this calculation excluding the implementation of the North-South program, subvention programs. We are already going to launch the construction of the Sisian-Agarak section of the North-South highway, and all this is a state, public investment program worth several billions, for the implementation of which we need the support of our businessmen, including the Association of Armenian Businessmen. Because our evaluations show that the construction capacity in Armenia is not enough for implementing this ambitious project put forward by the Government’’, the PM said, voicing hope that the launch of the state programs will receive a respond among the members of the Association of Armenian Businessmen, who, inspired by such scale and volume of state investments, will also support the Government with private investments, so that we can get a synergy effect as a result.
‘’We are discussing the state budget for 2022. The share, size and volume of capital expenditures will be unprecedented for the history of our Republic. But traditionally we have a problem, and it exists throughout our 30-year history. We traditionally have the problem of underperformance of capital expenditures, which is connected with the problem I mentioned, because the construction companies operating in Armenia are not able to fully implement the programs offered by the state in terms of their capacities, time and quality. And saluting the Armenian Business Forum, I especially want to praise the mood in which it started, and the mood is more than work-oriented,” said Nikol Pashinyan, adding that the Government’s goal is to transform the formulation “post-war recovery process” into the start of an era of peaceful development for the Republic of Armenia and the region.
“In order to reach this goal, we need the support of all those present here, we need the support of our Diaspora businessmen, the support of our international partners and allies. And I think that this respectable event today is a possible start to turn this mood into a practical reality”, Prime Minister Pashinyan concluded.
The main goals of the forum are to restart Armenia’s investment and economic potential through investment flows, to establish closer economic cooperation with businessmen from different countries, first of all Russia, to promote youth entrepreneurship, as well as to establish a new level of dialogue and unification of the Armenian business community all over the world. The number of participants of the forum reaches 500.