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Official News

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The 8th meeting of the board of trustees of the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia took place on February 8, 2009 chaired by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Chairman of the Board Mr. Tigran Sargsyan.

Other public sector representatives attending the meeting included Board members Vahram Nercissianz, Chief Economic Advisor to the RA President and Vice Chairman of the Board; Nerses Yeritsyan, RA Minister of Economy; Tigran Davtyan, RA Minister of Finance; Arthur Javadyan, Chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia. Representatives of the private sector and the international donor community attending the meeting included Board embers Ruben Vardanian, CEO of Troika Dialog; Noubar Afeyan, CEO of Flagship Ventures; Raffi Festekjian, CEO of Wolters Kluwer/PCi; and Aristomene Varoudakis, World Bank Country Manager in Armenia. Hranush Hakobyan, RA Minister of Diaspora, and Hakob Sarkissian, Partner amd Head of Transactions, CIS of Ernst &Young also attended as invitees.

The goal of the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia is to foster sustained economic development and raise Armenia’s level of competitiveness. The Foundation fosters the formation of a strong and competitive Pan Armenian world, and assists in the development of Armenia into a regional and international center in areas where it has intrinsic potential, such as tourism, healthcare and education.

The mission of the Foundation is the development and implementation of strategic investment projects, the formation of infrastructure and capacity required for those projects, and the development and, in partnership with ministries, the implementation of policy and reform projects aimed at creating a favorable enabling environment.

During the Board meeting, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia, Mr. Pegor Papazian, presented his proposals regarding the strategic approach, work plan, organizational structure and budget planning aspects of the Foundation. Among other issues, Board members addressed the recent developments of the world economic situation and the actions undertaken by the Government of Armenia to ensure the sustainable development of Armenia’s competitiveness in that context.

The Board approved the candidacy of Mr. Armen Hovhannisyan for the position of the National Competitiveness Foundation’s Tourism Office Director. Mr. Hovhannisyan was selected from among 81 applicants by a special committee composed of Board members, advisors to the Board and the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Mr. Papazian. The Tourism office of the Foundation already has a portfolio of projects that are in the planning or implementation stage, including the development of the area around the Tatev monastery into an important tourist destination in conjunction with the restoration of the Monastery and the construction of a ropeway across the Hali gorge undertaken in partnership with Armenia 2020. Another tourism project under consideration is the creation a Masters’ neighborhood as a tourist destination near the city of Spitak, which will showcase the work of master craftsmen from the region who would live and work in this special neighborhood.

Several projects in the health sector are under consideration in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy, including one project in the advanced planning stage aimed at establishing a major center for nuclear medicine in Yerevan. The Board also discussed plans in other target sectors, forming a working committee to begin developing the Foundation’s project portfolio in Education and deciding to take up the topic of initiatives in the financial sector and of Armenia as a center of business excellence during its next meeting.

The Board also discussed the issue of the Pan Armenian Bank, and requested that the Central Bank of Armenia assume responsibility for the selection of international experts who will assist in the design of the Pan Armenian Bank’s functional and institutional structure. Having examined more than 140 candidates from seven countries, a committee of the board made up of Ruben Vardanyan, CEO of Troika Dialog, Vache Gabrielyan, Vice Chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia, and Andrew Mkrtchyan, Managing Director of Ameria CJSC, concluded that although many candidates were of high caliber, none had the specific experience required to ensure the success of the Bank’s operations and to fulfill its vision. Based on the committee’s recommendation, the board decided to launch a broader and more specifically targeted international campaign to attract world class candidates for consideration at subsequent Board meetings.

The Board decided to create a working group together with the Ministry of Diaspora to develop mechanisms for collaboration with Armenians from the Diaspora who have high professional qualifications with the aim of foster a stronger and more competitive Pan Armenian world. The same working group will also address two other aspects of active collaboration within the Pan Armenian world, namely the interaction of Armenians in a virtual electronic environment and the creation of a network of prominent Diaspora Armenian advisors to provide the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenian with a powerful support structure.

The Board of trustees of the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia decided to hold its next meeting on March 21 and 22, 2009.
 

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