PRESIDENT ARMEN SARKISSIAN MET WITH A GROUP OF ENTREPRENEURS: LABOR MARKET IS VERY IMPORTANT
President Armen Sarkissian met today with a group of Armenian entrepreneurs and members of the Board of the Union of Manufacturers. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss difficulties and problems in the economic area created by the pandemic, avenues to address them, and opportunities for development. The meeting was attended by Arsen Ghazarian, Chairman of the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia, Board members Norayr Khatchatrian (Imex Group), Armen Mkoyan (Elit Group), Vahagn Mkrtchian (Armenia Wine Factory), Armen Ter-Tachatian (Ter-Tachatian legal and business consulting company).
“It is obvious that because of the pandemic, the economy will be having hard times. Problems are plenty. There are expected problems against the general backdrop of the existing difficulties, especially in the economic area and labor market,” the President said. “I worry for all – for those who work from home, unregistered workers, and future workers. We have to try to help individual entrepreneurs and large companies which have great responsibility. Labor market and wellbeing of our every citizen are very important.”
Beside the mitigation of the economic consequences of the pandemic, the President stressed the importance of food security. “With regard to that area, we are in a very sensitive situation. Nowadays, all countries of the world have food security problem. There are very big countries which can be self-sufficient in principle, but middle-size countries today are already experiencing difficulties and face logistical, trade, and labor divisions problems.”
President Sarkissian noted that in the world altered by the pandemic, the roles and markets will be redistributed. “We need to face the reality and be able to find solutions – in the domestic and foreign areas.” In this context, he spoke about Presidential initiatives, particularly ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) which is aimed at creating locomotives for the industrial development. It relates to modern technologies and artificial intelligence. Preliminary agreements have already been reached with more than 15 companies. The President noted that another Presidential initiative related to the creation of food security “corridor”. “I use my personal ties and try to create a food security “corridor,” the President said. “The purpose is the following: in cooperation with UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and other countries to open a new corridor so that we have not only the big Russian market but also markets in the South. My role is to assist in making that corridor a two-way street so that we are able to export as well as import.”
The entrepreneurs presented to Armen Sarkissian various problems existing in their areas, ranging from legal to reform related, as well as their approaches and ideas for the resolution of the existing problems.
Arsen Ghazarian, Chairman of the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia spoke in particular about the importance of having a vision for Armenia’s development and creation of a group which will provide fast response to the inquires of investors. He noted that this topic is raised also in the UNCTAD report prepared at the proposal of the President and related to Armenia’s investment policies.
Responding to the raised questions, President Sarkissian underscored that it is necessary to have a precise vision for development and emanating strategy and program. “You’ve mentioned our works with UNCTAD. Soon that document will be augmented with a section related to coronavirus; it was prepared jointly with the Presidential Administration,” the President said. “And, yes, the creation of a group of fast response at this moment is a must, since one is compelled to reintroduce oneself in this new world, presenting who you are and what you’ve got. It is significant while starting something to see the future of that process, to be able to see what will happen 10, 20 years from now. It is also important that each successive program is aimed into the future.”
Armen Sarkissian informed that he was planning under the auspices of the institute of presidency to organize a conference aimed at the establishment of ties and assistance to the Armenian entrepreneurs. In particular, Horasis-China international investment conference will be held in Armenia come October which will be attended by the heads of dozens of major Chinese companies. This is a good opportunity to introduce to them investment opportunities in Armenia and our potential.
Concluding the meeting, the President suggested that the entrepreneurs presented their ideas, thoughts, and problems and underscored that was ready to assist in their resolution in the scope of his abilities.