Nikol Pashinyan: “We have erased the borderline between Armenia and the Diaspora because our main task is to create opportunities for everyone”
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Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today met with the participants of the “NerUzh” (“Potential”) program at UWC College in Dilijan. Welcoming those present, Nikol Pashinyan noted that this morning he read a text, the author of which was trying to answer the question what is the difference between a successful person and a loser.
“In my opinion, this question was given a very powerful answer. According to this hypothesis, a successful person is one who can force himself to do something, and not just stay in place waiting for someone else to that for do. Why do I quote this phrase? Because I think that the word “potential” is what best reflects the logic, because we are strong and successful as long as we have the inner strength to prompt ourselves to do something, and not wait for the other to do so. Therefore, this is the key logic that we are trying to implement today in the Republic of Armenia. We want to make sure that more and more people in Armenia were able to force and convince themselves to act instead of waiting for the actions of other people, we want the citizens not to wait for, say, the government to make an economic revolution,” the Acting Prime Minister said, noting that he considers today’s meeting in that context.
“I take it as an invitation to all of you to realize your economic opportunities in the Republic of Armenia. This is a very important question: what does the government give and offer the Diaspora? We offer the Diaspora the same as the citizens of the Republic of Armenia. We offer an opportunity, because if you look within the framework of the logic of accessibility, then tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of citizens of the Republic of Armenia, if not the majority of citizens living in the Republic of Armenia, in some sense used to be representatives of the Diaspora. Why? Because they did not have the opportunities that a citizen should have.
Today we are talking a lot about providing opportunities for the Diaspora. I do want to formulate this question this way as I do not want to give an impression that we are enabling young people from the Diaspora and, at the same time, forget about the youth living in the Republic of Armenia. This is a very delicate moment, because what is the main significance of our revolution in Armenia-Diaspora relations? The key meaning of our revolution is that the borderline is now obliterated, there is no longer Armenia and the Diaspora, there are united Armenians, and our task is to state that fact,” Nikol Pashinyan emphasized.
The Acting Prime Minister pointed out that his government’s chief task was to provide everyone with equal access to opportunities, both in the Diaspora and in Armenia.
“After all, when I say that many of those living in Armenia used to live in the Diaspora, I mean the following: many thought that there was no future in this country, and that living here was pointless as nothing was going to change. From that moment on, a person decides to emigrate. Leaving the country is not a momentary decision: it is not that you wake up in the morning, drink coffee and say: I will go, collect my things and leave. This is a long process, a chain of complicated psychological turnarounds and decisions. So, yes, we, too, in many cases, if not physically, then at least in our thoughts lived in the Diaspora in the sense that we felt that we did not have opportunities in our own country.
And that is why the key value of our revolution is that we have erased the border between the Diaspora and Armenia, because our main task is to create opportunities for everyone.
And the government’s most important mission is to lead people to success. The most important task of the government is to induce a person, help him break the deadlock, the feeling of despair and create in himself the potential that can make everyone act instead of waiting,” Nikol Pashinyan said, noting that revolution is then, when we do not expect anyone to act, as a result of which we will get something new, while we ourselves create something for our country.
“Therefore, I am convinced that we, as a people and as a nation, have enormous potential, and the expression of this potential is as follows: we should not wait for others to make decisions for us and decide our fate; we must understand and realize that we have enough will, strength, skills, wisdom and intellect to determine our own destiny, to build our own victories, because as a nation, we have already become accustomed to winning and cannot wean us of this habit. So I wish all of us new victories,” Nikol Pashinyan noted.
Then, the Acting Prime Minister answered a number of questions of interest to the NerUzh program participants regarding optimization and improvement of the effectiveness of state administration, Armenia-Diaspora relations, development of information technologies, attraction of venture capital and other topics.
After the meeting, Nikol Pashinyan familiarized himself with the activities and programs of several startups participating in the program.
NerUzh interactive startup program targets 18 to 35 years old young entrepreneurs from the Armenian Diaspora. This is a unique opportunity to enrich their knowledge in the field of business, expand partnerships, as well as present start-up programs, obtain financing and implement them.
About 70 startups are taking part in the program, 50 of which from the Diaspora. The program is implemented in Armenia, at the UWC Dilijan College on December 17-21, 2018. The winners will receive grants of up to 15 million drams, as well as free legal and tax advice, membership in the FAST startup studio with the ability to use all coaching programs and working space for four months, an eight-month internship at the Impact Hub Yerevan and so on. Funding will be provided from the State budget of Armenia and other sources not prohibited by law, in particular, with the support of a number of donor organizations.
The main goal of the four-day event is to create a platform for entrepreneurship and opportunities in Armenia for young entrepreneurs, provide favorable conditions for building an ecosystem of start-ups, inculcate development skills for key start-up businesses, as well as identify opportunities for cooperation and funding. The program’s target areas are agriculture, tourism, and innovative technologies.