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Official News

Friday, 20 January 2017

Karen Karapetyan: “Our goal is not just progress, we mean such progress as every citizen of Armenia can see the quality of life improve day by day”










Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan visited the American University of Armenia. Accompanied by university officials, the Premier toured the educational institution inspecting the university’s current activities, getting familiar with the amenities and academic programs. Karen Karapetyan called at the University Library, which serves not only the students and the faculty, but also the public at large. While calling at the student registration unit, Alex and Marie Manoogian conference hall and laboratories, Karen Karapetyan talked to the staff asking them about their duties.

The Head of Government noted that by ensuring quality education and creating equal conditions for everybody we will boast progress in the country. “Our goal is not just progress, we mean such progress as every citizen of Armenia can see the quality of life improve day by day,” Karen Karapetyan said.

The Prime Minister next met with the students and answered their questions. The Premier said he was impressed by the achievements of the American University of Armenia, adding that he had already discussed with the management issues related to the developments in the educational system, AUA future activities and ways of introducing the atmosphere of the University in other institutions.

“Once I was asked which was my vision of tomorrow’s Armenia. I had not prepared any answer to this question since I did not expect such a question. I gave the following answer: independent, safe, just and intellectual Armenia. This answer actually reflects my worldviews and is not aimed at making a better impression for the audience. I am more than convinced that the “intellectual” component is crucial to our country. If we fail to have educated citizens, we will not have a good country. Can we succeed? Yes, of course. For this very reason, my government will pay as much attention as possible to the educational system. We cherish great hopes and wish you every success so that the atmosphere of the AUA could proliferate nationwide,” the Premier said.

Referring to the question of creating more attractive conditions for investment, the Prime Minister noted that in order to attract investment it is necessary to have clear-cut, transparent, reliable and predictable conditions in tax, customs, judiciary, and legislative spheres.

“Do we have ideal conditions for that at the moment? No, of course not! We have a plan of how to reach that goal step by step. Moreover, recently we established a strategic initiatives center with the majority of the members of the Board of Trustees representing the private sector from Russia, the USA, Diaspora, in the sidelines of which we will work out our strategies, visions and reforms. And one of the key responsibilities of the center will be changing the business environment. Here we do not need to invent a bicycle; we just have to ensure the conditions under which business will flourish. Ratings show that happiest are the countries where businessmen, workers and creative persons feel good, and not the countries that have oil, gas or other natural resources. We will do everything to ensure that investments come to Armenia,” the Prime Minister underscored, adding that next week the Government will be exploring investment projects relevant to different sectors of the economy.

“I think there will be pretty interesting answers; division will be done according to individual sectors, and culture will be a highlight. The Minister of Culture has stated that our culture needs to be capitalized. In that sense, we know which way to go,” Karen Karapetyan said.

Dwelling on the question of making Armenia’s educational system attractive for foreign students, the Premier said that the educational system is to be modern and up to date. “Having a good educational system is the first pledge for attracting foreign students, and above all it is crucial in terms of overall development. The target will be met if we manage to improve the regulatory and infrastructure framework so that foreigners might feel comfortable in Armenia. This calls for hard work, but I definitely believe in it. Moreover, I am convinced that it will be so.”

The students asked the Prime Minister about his expectations of 2017 and his plans for the future. “I see 2017 as a year for diagnosis, clarification of mechanisms and stabilization. This will help us create a good basis to have a regular stable growth from 2018 onward. It would be hard to expect a sharp growth amid the ongoing optimization and reform efforts and spending cutbacks,” Karen Karapetyan said. As to the fight against corruption, the Head of Government stressed the importance of a climate change.

“The rationale behind our steps is as follows: we must change the environment as much as possible in order to minimize corruption risks. I am convinced that by creating another anticorruption body we cannot combat corruption: corruption will not be curbed unless we change the environment,” the Prime Minister stressed, adding that 9% of those decisions made during the 100 days of the new government focused on corruption, while 10% was aimed at improving the business environment. “That is how we will work in a bid to periodically reduce the risk of corruption,” the Prime Minister concluded.

As to what the Premier would advise the graduates, Karen Karapetyan said, “Be independent, active and love your homeland. I wish you every success. Please be assured that no country is better than ours, and we must address its shortcomings.”
 

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