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Wednesday, 22 January 2020

EU-Armenia Investment Forum Organizing Interagency Commission Holds Meeting

Chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan, the first meeting of the EU-Armenia Investment Forum Organizing Interagency Commission was held on January 22. Tigran Avinyan delivered a speech in which he stated:

“Dear Mr. Maragos,
Dear Ambassador Victorin,
Dear colleagues,

I welcome you to the first meeting of the Interagency Commission on the Organization of the EU-Armenia Investment Forum.

I would like to talk about the goals that we need to achieve through this forum.
I mean first of all attracting diversified foreign investments, establishing new business ties, and, most importantly, deepening and further strengthening political and economic relations with the European Union.

The conference is the result of the agreements reached between Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and former EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Kahn. And I want to thank our partners in the European Union for being with us and supporting our forum.

Dear colleagues, first of all, I would like to dwell on some conceptual approaches and principles that will guide our future work. I attach great importance to determining the strategic goals of the investment forum, which should be based on the long-term economic priorities of the state and be harmonized with other measures and policies. Therefore, it is expected that there should be clearly articulated indicators.

The aim of the forum should be not so much raising investor awareness about Armenia as creating more specific and real business ties and attracting foreign investment in our target areas. Armenia boasts some successful experience in holding investment forums. The lessons learned from previous forums should be taken into account, avoiding repeating past mistakes and relying on successful examples.

In order to increase the efficiency of the forum, we need to select two or three, maximum four target topics, where we have great potential for attracting investments and further development. Our goal should be to appear as an advanced and future-oriented state that takes advantage of the possibilities of technological development and has great potential for developing human potential. We also need to focus not so much on short-term as on long-term opportunities, in particular, on research and development, innovation and a green economy.

A feature of this forum should also be the provision of multilateral cooperation. The forum should be seen not so much as a platform for numerous state programs, of which there are many, but as an exceptional opportunity to attract financing for large private sector investment projects, where the state will become a partner and create a favorable environment for investments and guarantee their protection.

It is not at all by chance that we have involved representatives of industry associations in the Commission’s proceedings, since we are convinced that you will be the beneficiaries of the forum together with us.

Moreover, the given format will allow us to intensify our daily contacts with the private sector, expert groups and development partners. I think that the relevant agencies should use the opportunity to address such problems as may reduce our investment environment’s attractiveness, and at the same time offer specific solutions.

And finally, the forum’s impact will be visible only after feedback and monitoring. Mr. Khachatryan, I feel that in cooperation with its subordinate bodies, the Ministry of Economy will implement the preparations for the events, as well as the relevant feedback and investments coordination in the best possible manner.”

Remarks were delivered by Minister of Economy Tigran Khachatryan, head of the unit responsible for Armenia at the European Commission's Directorate General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations Vasilis Maragos, and Head of EU Delegation to Armenia Andrea Victorin.

The Minister of Economy noted that the government is set to introduce a new model for organizing investment forums: the first in this series is the EU-Armenia forum. He noted that among the preliminary proposals of the forum topics were the infrastructure of the Green Economy, agriculture and financing systems for high technologies and innovations.

Following the speeches, the meeting touched on the conceptual approaches and the budget for the organization of the forum; the schedule of activities was agreed upon. It was also decided that the preparations for the forum would be coordinated by the Ministry of Economy. The Deputy Prime Minister gave relevant instructions to those responsible.

February 2020