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Official News

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

“We have a good chance to get our compatriots involved in our economic programs” – PM gets acquainted with Ministry of Diaspora activities






Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan visited the Ministry of Diaspora to get acquainted with the activities and priorities completed in 2017, as well as the tasks set for 2018.

Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan reported that the Ministry faced three strategic challenges in 2017: promoting the preservation of the Armenian identity, cooperating with Diaspora organizations and spiritual organizations, identifying and mobilizing the all-Armenian potential for the sake of Armenia’s and Artsakh’s economic development and developing repatriation programs. To this end, joint efforts have been made with Armenian communities in 138 countries; memoranda and agreements have been signed with 43 Pan-Armenian organizations. Trade networks have been established in 21 countries of the world, and the establishment of professional business structures in the Diaspora continues. A strategy, a program, an action plan and a draft law have been worked out to promote repatriation.

The Minister advised that 26 programs involving 7000 participants were implemented in line with the 6 priority issues envisaged in the Government Program. Specific work was done to provide accommodation, integration facilities, education, healthcare services and employment to Syrian Armenians. An interdepartmental commission, a working group, a rapid response group and a hotline have been set up to this end.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments, 5 factories were commissioned; assistance was provided to the development of business plans in the period under review.

Under different programs aimed at raising awareness of the Armenian identity among the Diaspora youth, 266 Diaspora Armenians from 30 countries attended the “Diaspora Summer School” training courses: the number of participants increased by 100 as compared to 2016.

The Come Back Home awareness raising program was implemented in 9 stages, involving 1,055 Diaspora youths from 36 countries. 50 teachers from USA-based 27 educational institutions were trained by a specialist sent from Yerevan. 87,000 pieces of textbooks and teaching aids were shipped to more than 200 Diaspora schools in 37 countries. 16 new single-day schools have been established in the Diaspora with the support of the Ministry. Regional educational and cultural programs have also been implemented.

This year the Ministry will face the priority task of implementing specific measures for the development of cultural life in the Diaspora. Minister Hakobyan reported that a working group has been set up and a one-stop-shop scheme introduced in order to introduce effective mechanisms for Diaspora Armenians’ participation in Armenia’s investment programs. The Ministry’s official website features a section entitled “Armenia Investments,” which covers legal issues, investment programs and other information materials. The website features 180 investment projects, with business plans and information on platforms for investment in Armenia sent out to Diaspora businessmen and Armenian chambers of commerce. 290 entrepreneurs have already invested in Armenia; talks are underway with around 700 business entities.

Information about dissemination of business plans and investment involves transferring information through conferences and online discussions. According to Hranush Hakobyan, Diaspora Armenians are pleased with the services provided by customs authorities in Armenia. In the meantime, they are still facing problems related to construction standards, judicial system, availability of translated versions of RA laws, etc.
Noting that the Government is implementing reforms in these areas, Karen Karapetyan gave relevant instructions. Pleased with the ongoing efforts aimed at enhancing awareness of Armenian history and language, preserving the Armenian identity, the Prime Minister urged the Minster to continue in the same spirit.

The Head of Government next referred to the development of the Armenia-Diaspora economic agenda, highlighting the programs aimed at attracting investments, promoting repatriation and building professional capacity.

“In the face of the Ministry of Diaspora, we have a good opportunity to get our compatriots involved in our economic programs, propagate the achievements we have today. We say that while being a small country, Armenia is a good platform for entering EAEU, European and Iranian markets. In this regard, the rules of communication between each public agency and the Ministry of Diaspora should be clearly formulated. The second priority is repatriation. We have had the experience of Syrian-Armenians’ repatriation; now we have to formulate ways of integration. The third is the consolidation of the professional potential in order to multiply the communication channels with the outer world through the Diaspora. In 2018, I expect you to formulate some pragmatic proposals on these issues,” Karen Karapetyan said.

The Premier instructed the Ministry to clearly formulate and submit proposals on the institutional development of Armenia-Diaspora cooperation.

The Prime Minister attached importance to the use of the potential of Diaspora Armenians in presenting and propagating Armenia as a country of tourism and suggested working jointly with the State Tourism Committee of the Republic of Armenia.
 

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