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Official News

Friday, 14 July 2017

“The sooner we change, the smarter we will be” - Karen Karapetyan attends the presentation of Armenia’s National Competitiveness Report for 2017

Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan attended the presentation of Armenia’s National Competitiveness Report for 2017. Thanking the I-V Consulting Company and the Economics and Values research center for preparing the report, the Prime Minister considered it a good tradition to hold discussions by independent research centers at such venues on the analysis of various issues on the agenda of Armenia’s social and economic life and finding the right development formula.

Karen Karapetyan noted that the fourth industrial revolution is one of the widely discussed issues on global platforms, and the presented report touches on emerging opportunities and risks. “We are open to developments in the world, and it is very important for us to understand and formulate our role in these processes, what impact the fourth industrial revolution will have on our lives and what we must do today to counteract the emerging challenges, and take the most out of its positive results and opportunities.

It seems to be obvious that the development of automation will have a great impact on today’s labor market: technology will substitute many jobs in different industries. This will affect not only the classical spheres, such as production, for example, where robotics has led to more optimal solutions, but also other spheres, such as the consulting, where artificial intelligence will perform numerous functions or even the sphere of financial management, where technology will replace people.

We will need to acquire new skills and knowledge. For this very reason, it is crucial for us to correctly forecast the totality of those future specialties we will have to train for our citizens in order to avoid the threat of unemployment that may arise due to the introduction of new technologies. This calls for a systematic approach, and education has to play an important role here.

Finally, the fourth industrial revolution brings along the need to apply non-conventional mechanisms for strategy development, based on the solutions proposed in the report: create diversity, choose and multiply!

This revolution also presents tremendous opportunities. The rapid adaptation to the emerging challenges will enable us to take on a qualitatively new role both in the region and on global platforms,” the Head of Government said.

Karen Karapetyan touched upon the Government Program and priority tasks: “When shaping the appropriate environment, we can achieve increased competitiveness, efficiency, productivity and significantly stimulate the identification of new talents and their presence in new markets and platforms. This should give us an opportunity to understand our place and our role, as well as the possible benefits in the emerging realities. I think it necessary to touch on the steps that are being taken or are envisaged by the Government in the context of the issues raised in the report:

1. The recently adopted Government Program envisages the development of a strategy and a roadmap for the development of innovations that will enable us to have a concrete and long-term program to stimulate the use of innovations and innovative technologies.
2. We will develop clear mechanisms to stimulate the introduction and application of innovative technologies by businessmen.
3. We will involve at least two transnational organizations to build laboratories that will carry out research and development.
4. In terms of forming an innovative ecosystem, we will create new technology centers that will help us stimulate engineering business management and engineering education in Armenia, improve innovative infrastructures and promote the commercialization of knowledge.
5. We will stimulate cooperation between scientific research and the private sector and the commercialization of science. Perhaps, this is one of the most classic mechanisms for stimulating innovation.
6. Well aware of the need to mobilize the resources of the State and the private sector in this area, we have envisaged the development of a harmonious environment for technological innovation and the implementation of specific programs in the Government Program using cooperation mechanisms between the State and the private sector. I must say that the Government here has a large army of partners from Armenia, Diaspora, as well as foreign partners who are investing in education and are bringing new programs, technologies and solutions.
7. We are reviewing the conceptual approaches of teaching mathematics, science, engineering and information technologies, and we are working on a new concept for the development of education, where we will pay special attention to the development of a number of skills as specified in the report.
8. Several working visits have already been paid in the field of blockchain technologies, where a detailed study of IT infrastructures of the Government of the Republic of Armenia was conducted.
9. Finally, we have stated in the program that digitalization will be a separate priority for us. It should provide the prerequisites for transforming our economy and our life, where we will achieve greater efficiency, competitiveness, productivity and transparency in almost all spheres of public life.

All this implies the formulation and reasonable application of accurate, at times innovative financing mechanisms. The Government is well aware of this, and it will be touched upon separately during the development of these strategies.

The Prime Minister noted that the report will be widely used during the discussion of issues on the agenda of the Government and the adoption of decisions on them. Karen Karapetyan urged the business and scientific community to get acquainted with the report, paying attention to the issues raised in it and the development vectors. “Life is changing: the sooner we change, the smarter we will be," the Head of Government said.

The 2017 Report on Armenia’s National Competitiveness makes a comprehensive analysis of the tasks set before Armenia’s economy, the impact of breakthrough technologies and the opportunities created for Armenia.

As Managing Director I-V Consulting Manuk Hergnyan said, the report seeks to facilitate the dialogue between the Government and the private sector to formulate a reform agenda for reorganizing our country’s economy and keeping pace with the development of technologies. The report contains a number of proposals and initiatives for the short, medium and long terms concerning education, incentive mechanisms, infrastructures and financing.

June 2018