Foreign visits

RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s working visit to the Swiss Confederation

21.01.2019 - 24.01.2019

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On a working visit to Switzerland, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today met with a group of business people in Zurich to discuss ways and prospects for implementing investment programs in Armenia.

At the meeting with Swiss-Armenian Chamber of Commerce President Mike Baronian Nikol Pashinyan discussed investment programs in pharmaceutical industry. Mike Baronian advised that their Yerevan-based company is currently engaged in the processing of raw materials in a bid to produce and export medicines in Armenia. About USD 10 million will be invested over the next five years to result in several high-paid jobs. Mike Baronian talked about other investment projects related to the production of energy through the use of advanced technologies and copper recycling.

Swiss businessman Hans Schweigard came up with a major investment project for solar energy production. Welcoming the businessman’s initiative, Nikol Pashinyan outlined his government’s strategy in the energy sector and the prospects for developing this sphere. The head of the Armenian government suggested discussing all relevant issues with the Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources to implement it efficiently.

Nikol Pashinyan next met with a group of business people from Franck Muller Group, led by Swiss-Armenian businessman and philanthropist Vartan Sirmakes. Issues related to the implementation of a number of investment projects in the fields of agriculture, food industry, construction, banking, jewelry, watch-making and vocational education were discussed during the meeting.

The Prime Minister assured of his government’s willingness to support the proposed investment programs within the framework of existing instruments. Nikol Pashinyan said the steps aimed at improving the business environment will be continued as Government of Armenia is eager to attract new job-extensive investments into the country.

Nikol Pashinyan took the opportunity to discuss the implementation of Old Yerevan project Vartan Sirmakes. The Head of Government stressed the need for safeguarding historical and cultural monuments and caring for such buildings.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had working dinner with representatives of the Swiss-Armenian Chamber of Commerce and Swiss businessmen in Zurich. Former President of the Swiss National Council Dominique de Buman was in attendance.

Nikol Pashinyan made a speech, after which he answered the participants’ questions. In his remarks Nikol Pashinyan stated, in part:

“Dear Guests,
Fellow Armenians,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to meet all of you here and discuss issues of mutual interest. This forum and this venue presents an opportunity for us to ask questions, identify problems and come up with solutions that will enable better economic relations between our countries. And we can and should do this together.

The first question we should answer is as follows: Where are we? Before we go into our vision of the future we first need to take a step back, look at the path that our country has followed, and ask ourselves whether we want to keep walking down this road.

Now Armenia stands at the crossroads between economic prosperity and stagnation. Historic transformations have recently happened in Armenia. Non-violent velvet revolution held last spring led to the victory of democracy in our country.

The snap parliamentarian elections held last December further strengthened democratic achievements. These fundamental changes are irreversible - they are based on the will of our people and the overwhelming consensus in our society.

Today our Government has an unprecedented high level of legitimacy and public support. Based on this high-level public confidence Armenian Government adopted an ambitious reform agenda. As a result, the situation in Armenia already fundamentally differs from the one that we had before the revolution. In particular, the level of corruption has been drastically reduced; we have almost eradicated monopolies; very serious measures have been taken to strengthen independent judiciary system, establish rule of law and a level playing field for all economic and political actors.

Despite significant progress made in some crucial areas such as ensuring market contestability and eliminating corruption in the public sector, there is still a vast amount of work to be done.

Today we have to complete another revolution – the economic revolution – in order to justify the trust and expectations of our people.

GDP growth over the past years has been promising with 7.5% registered in 2017 and persisted during 2018 with estimates exceeding 5%, the foreign exchange rate of the Armenian Currency and the inflation have remained stable thus showcasing the resilience of our economy to both external and internal shocks.

The export to GDP relation has topped 37% in 2017 and has continued with record breaking figures in 2018. Those promising trends, however, cannot be enough if we want to ensure Armenia’s rightful place in the global economy.
Assumedly, the second question is- where do we want to be?
The cornerstone of our future growth will be an investment policy framework that drives productive job creation and export competitiveness.

The government and the people are united in this vision. Indeed, recent surveys have shown that the 2 things that Armenian people want and expect the most are: more jobs and less corruption.

The results can be interpreted as follows: Armenian citizens do not want more redistribution of income: they have seen enough of that. What we, as Armenians want, is the ability and opportunity to earn and contribute to economic growth and prosperity of our homeland.

And here comes the role you are playing, since the ability of individuals to be productively employed depends on YOU.

To facilitate this process, on its part, the Armenian government has adopted:
Open doors policy towards foreign investors – our policy motto is to get rich and enrich;
A growth-friendly tax code based on investors wills and needs;
Export and industrial modernization support mechanisms, such as tax and customs incentives;
A policy principle ensuring an unbiased and much less restrictive regulatory environment for doing business

We have ensured that the economic agents operating in our country have access to markets around the world. (Armenia is a member of EEU and benefits from GSP (with a number of countries including Switzerland) and GSP+ (with EU)).

And of course, we guarantee free movement of capital and protection of property rights (including intellectual property).

Thus, the next question to be asked is what can the Armenian people offer to reach the place it wants to be?

It has been said on many occasions and we continue to believe that Armenia has a small internal market with a lot of value-creation potential. And there are both a market to monetize this potential and a demand for Armenian products, ideas and culture. We must satisfy this demand and present value to the world. This means higher export of goods, services and, last, but not the least culture.

The cornerstone of Armenian economy is the creativity and ingenuity of the people. This translates into our increased competitiveness in niche, high value added products and services.

Armenians are responsible for a number of innovations, such as the MRI machine, the oxygen mask, the automatic gear-box, to name a few. To put it concise, if Germans are engineers and Italians are designers, Armenians are creators.

Considering all the above-mentioned we have developed the priorities for our government:

Industry: Biotech and pharmaceuticals
Armenian government is committed to increasing competitiveness in the manufacturing sector. We will engage in constructive dialogue with businessmen across the sectors to identify the bottlenecks to competitiveness where coordinated effort of the public and the private are needed. In order to be competitive we must integrate innovative technologies into the industrial processes. High-tech will serve as the pillar of industrial development and inclusive growth.

The industry is quite diverse with competitive sectors ranging from textiles and shoemaking to pharmacy, from biotech to finely crafted jewelry and watch cases. There are many great examples of successful investments leveraging the competitive advantages of Armenia. A number of those companies have grown from manufacturing to include R&D centers, with some exciting innovations in the pipeline.

To ensure this, we are:
Developing an industrial modernization toolkit: this may include creation of free economic zones to facilitate investments in, pharmacy as well as high- and bio-tech;
Establishing venues of dialogue between the government and the business community;
Supporting skill development and creation

The first targeted sub-sectors could be jewelry, diamond cutting and watch-making;
Ensuring business-friendly tax and regulatory environment;
Supporting exporters through improved representation in external markets and removal of logistic bottlenecks

Armenia has great potential in high-tech and engineering fields. The government is committed to enhancing this potential through high-low doctrine. That is enhancing the STEM subjects in schools and higher education institutions as well as supporting creation and operation of centers and clusters of excellence such as Tumo.

I am proud to announce that in 2018 Tumo has established a branch in Stepanakert, Paris. Branches in Germany and Russia are on their way.

Agriculture, processed food and beverages
With around 15% of Armenia’s economy being agriculture we must pay special attention to this sector. The Agro sectors future will rely on a mix of strong traditions and innovation.

Integrating cutting edge technologies into Armenia’s agro sector will be a priority for our government. The organics and widespread use of intensive farming methods, such as drip irrigation, will spearhead the development of this sector.

The tradition of wine making plays a special role in our culture. Armenia has over 6000 years of wine making experience and the trends are continuing until today with the wine making sector growing at an astonishing rate of almost 80% in 2017!

As mentioned above, Armenia has a lot to offer to the world. One of the crucial aspects is the culture itself. And I think we all agree that the best way to learn about a culture is to dive into it headfirst. That is why Armenian tourism sector has been booming and still has tremendous potential for growth. Furthermore growing tourism sector has the highest potential for improving economic situation in the regions, considering that there are lots of unique experiences, situated outside of large cities.

To this end we are:
Raising awareness about noteworthy touristic attractions as well as small-scale hotels in the regions
Developing of the niche fields such as eco and gastro tourism
Development of transport and relevant supporting infrastructure to enable access to the far situated high interest locations
Decreasing the financial and time costs of travel to, from and within Armenia

To ensure free movement of people, skills and knowledge across and within our borders the government is going to embark on a long-term program to improve transport and quality infrastructure.

The importance of diversification of electric power generation is an issue of extended attention in the international community. For Armenia it is not only a question of economic need but also strategic necessity.

We see this as a question that can be resolved in the observable future, as Armenia has tremendous potential for renewable energy generation. In recent years the field of solar power has seen rapid development and Armenia is on the way to leverage its natural endowment to increase the share of solar power generation in electricity consumption.

We know that we cannot address our infrastructure needs alone. We need the know-how and the resources of the private sector. Thus the government is rolling out PPP legislation and procedures to enable effective cooperation between the private and public sectors.

Dear friends,

We could go on and on about the vision, strategic objectives, priorities and concrete actions of the government to be undertaken and addressed in the upcoming 5 years. However, those objectives can only be achieved through coordinated effort on of the government and our private and public partners both within and outside of Armenia.

The only fact, which is not contestable, is that Armenia will continue the upward trajectory of its development. We have the potential, we have opportunities and we have the political will to become a regional and global economic player. The question is whether you are ready to join us and befriend us on this interested and not an easy path; if you are ready to make your move, come to Armenia, get rich and enrich! Thank you.”

During the question and answer session, Nikol Pashinyan touched upon tax administration in Armenia, improving the investment environment, strengthening of democracy in the fight against monopolies, building a free and independent judicial system, and optimizing the public administration system.

After the meeting, Nikol Pashinyan left for Davos to attend the World Economic Forum.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held bilateral meetings with foreign partners in the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos

On the morning of January 22, the Prime Minister first met with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries board member Christina Ahmadjian, followed by a meeting with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President Shinichi Kitaoka.

Addressing Christina Ahmadjian, Nikol Pashinyan said the Armenian government is interested in cooperating with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. He noted that the Government seeks to turn the political revolution in Armenia into an economic one, and real and drastic changes are expected in the economic sphere. Nikol Pashinyan underscored that there is great potential for technological development in our country, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ involvement in our country might be promising in this regard.

Christina Ahmadjian hailed the transformations underway in Armenia in terms of attracting investment programs and expressed readiness to assist the Armenian government in establishing contacts and cooperation with Japanese companies. She noted that she was going to visit Armenia in the near future to discuss further cooperation.

Nikol Pashinyan and Shinichi Kitaoka discussed issues related to JICA’s programs in Armenia and the opportunities for future cooperation. Prime Minister Pashinyan stressed that the Armenian side is keen to expand cooperation with JICA and stands ready to take all necessary steps to implement new mutually beneficial projects and provide new directions for cooperation.

In turn, Shinichi Kitaoka pointed out that their programs will be continued in our country. He advised that an expert group will arrive in Armenia in the near future to outline the prospects of cooperation.

The parties attached importance to the deepening of trade and economic relations between Armenia and Japan as there is great potential for development.

Nikol Pashinyan next met with eBay Vice President Cathy Foster. Appreciating eBay’s activities, the Premier said they go in tune with the global technological transformations. The head of the Armenian government noted that eBay’s activities in the field of Internet trading, electronic payments and telecommunications are in great demand in our country and highlighted the expansion of such services in Armenia. Nikol Pashinyan added that Armenia will be hosting the World Forum of High Tech Technologies in October, 2019, and invited eBay to participate in the forum. Nikol Pashinyan underscored the fact that the IT sphere is developing at a faster pace in Armenia.

Cathy Foster expressed readiness to visit Armenia in order to discuss prospects for eBay’s operations and investment opportunities in our country.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao in Davos.

Discussed were a number of ADB projects in Armenia, including construction of roads and in particular, the construction of North-South Highway, infrastructure development, seismic safety, etc.

Hailing the close ties of cooperation between the Government of Armenia and ADB, Nikol Pashinyan gave details of those positive developments taking place in Armenia’s economy. The head of the Armenian government underscored that his government is firmly determined to implement drastic reforms and carry out an economic revolution in our country.

The parties discussed issues related to ADB-supported projects for the development of small and medium-sized businesses in our country. The ADB President assured that they are prepared to discuss with the Armenian government ways of implementing ever larger projects that would cover new spheres.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today met with President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Suma Chakrabarti on the margins of the Davos World Economic Forum.

Highly appreciative of the ongoing cooperation between the Government of Armenia and the EBRD, Nikol Pashinyan stressed the need for its expansion. Pashinyan said the EBRD-supported programs are crucial to his government’s reform agenda and Armenia’s economic development. He made a point of those programs supposed to enhance the private sector’s competitiveness, develop the capital markets, improve solid waste management and water supply efficiency, provide urban lighting, etc.

The Premier singled out the small and medium-size business-targeted programs. He said the Armenian government seeks to give new impetus to business sector’s development and activation. Noting that his government is going to carry out an economic revolution, Nikol Pashinyan stressed that closer and productive cooperation with the Bank could play a great role in this respect.

Suma Chakrabarti assured of EBRD’s readiness to continue assisting the Government with the proposed programs and reforms. The EBRD President imparted his intention to visit Armenia this March to discuss the new bilateral cooperation strategy which implies greater focus on SMEs. He pledged the Bank’s support for the Government’s reform agenda in both financial and technological terms.

The parties exchanged views on various issues related to further interaction.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today had brief meetings with President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Egyptian Premier Mostafa Kemal Madbouly on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Prime Minister Pashinyan and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro referred the bilateral cooperation agenda. They hailed the current status of Armenian-Brazilian friendly relations, stressing the importance of closer interaction.

Nikol Pashinyan and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel discussed issues related to bilateral relations. They highlighted the development of economic cooperation and the strengthening of trade and economic ties. Both sides stressed the need for taking practical steps to catalyze relations between the two governments.

Prime Minister Pashinyan next met with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Kemal Madbouly. The parties focused on the economic cooperation between the two countries, inclusive of issues related to business ties.

Nikol Pashinyan and Mostafa Madbouly stressed the need for holding business forums to identify possibilities and potential areas of joint investment programs.

The interlocutors highlighted the possibility of signing a free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and Egypt. Mostafa Madbouly said he looked forward to having the Armenian government’s support in that process.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had an informal meeting with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in Davos.

During the meeting, the parties exchanged views on the current status and the prospects of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement negotiations.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan continues his meetings with business people and investors from different countries on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

On the second day of the Forum, the Prime Minister discussed with the President of Marriott International Arne Sorenson the possibilities of expanding the company’s activity in our country. Highly appreciative of Marriott International’s Armenia operations, Nikol Pashinyan said the Marriott Hotel enjoys great popularity in Armenia. The Premier noted that the Armenian government is interested in the development and expansion of the internationally renowned hotel chain in our country.

Arne Sorenson advised that they are considering new investment projects by Marriott International and the opening of new hotels in our country. Hailing the Government’s efforts aimed at improving Armenia’s business environment, he expressed confidence that they would help effectively implement the proposed projects.

At the meeting with Russian Direct Investment Fund Director General Kirill Dmitriev, Nikol Pashinyan stressed that the transformations underway in our country provide good opportunities for direct investments. The Prime Minister noted that his government is prepared to support the ongoing programs implemented by the Fund and discuss the possibilities of implementing new investment projects.

Kirill Dmitriyev briefed Nikol Pashinyan on the programs implemented in the fields of agriculture, industry and power engineering. Noting that the Fund will continue to implement new projects in Armenia, given the favorable conditions available in Armenia, he advised that they are going to take steps to get their international partners involved into our country.

Prime Minister Pashinyan next met with Corporation America’s General Manager Martin Eurnekian. The interlocutors discussed upcoming investment projects in aviation and other spheres in Armenia. In this context, they touched upon the planned activities at Zvartnots and Gyumri’s Shirak airports, further management and development of HayPost, as well as plans for the former building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia.

* * *

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today attended a panel discussion, referred to as “Shaping the Future of Democracy.”

Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez, Nepal’s Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, New York Times publisher Arthur Gregg Sulzberger and Director of Management Today project Daniella Ballou-Aares were among the keynote speakers. Martin Wolf, Deputy Editor and Chief Economist for The Financial Times magazine, acted as the moderator.

Answering Martin Wolf’s question, Nikol Pashinyan noted that parliamentary elections were held in Armenia a month ago, which were assessed as free, democratic and transparent.

“And now as we have recorded great success in the field of democracy, we are facing serious challenges, and the biggest challenge is to empower our democracy economically. You may know that we had a big problem for a long time because of electoral bribes that people were forced to take due to their poor living standards. Of course, the revolution liberated people from that obligation. But now we have to make our citizens even stronger and more independent in economic terms.

We know that there is small and medium-sized business, but we are going to create a new category like micro business and get it rid of taxes in the hope that we will be able to encourage our people by making it clear that overcoming poverty is not only the task of the government: they themselves will have to do something, too. We want to encourage our people by providing opportunities to curb their own poverty.

Thus my answer is as follows: the greatest challenge is to strengthen our democracy economically, and we hope to attract new foreign investments because we have been able to fight corruption, reinstate the rule of law, and we are going to simplify the regulations in order to attract more investments,” Nikol Pashinyan said.

With reference to media freedom in Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan noted: “You know, I am a journalist, chief editor and former political prisoner. I can assert that media now enjoys more freedom than ever in Armenia. Not all journalists may agree with me because many believe that media is not completely free in Armenia, but I can insist on it. I think it is just normal that media and the government are somewhat at odds as we can witness that there is now little trust in governments around the world due to the fact that people nowadays know much more about high-ranking officials than before.”

Nikol Pashinyan expressed conviction that full transparency in government workings is the key to increasing the level of trust towards the government. Nikol Pashinyan next spoke about the role of social media in the modern world. “As a matter of fact, we succeeded our revolution owing social media because we were caught in media blockade, but we managed to bring about a breakthrough in this field. Now, I continue to hold live broadcasts on my Facebook page.

As regards the interconnectivity between media and free, unbiased elections, it is necessary to check the factors that affected the election results, as the release of a couple of biased materials can affect election results, which, of course, is a big problem.

What can be done in this case; it seems to be a serious challenge. I am proud to state that our country has been recognized as a free Internet country, which in turn opens up news exchange opportunities or transparency.

Indeed, it leaves a huge loophole for fake news, which adversely affects our country’s image around the world. Frankly speaking, I do not know what to do in such situations. And I would be happy if anyone could tell us which way to go.”

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Boris Titov, Commissioner for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights under the Russian President in Davos.

During the meeting Nikol Pashinyan stressed the need for continued development of Armenian-Russian economic relations and further deepening of trade and economic exchanges. In that regard, the interlocutors discussed issues related to the strengthening of ties between the business people and attracting new Russian investments.

Nikol Pashinyan next met with Global Energy Siemens CEO Liza Davis. The parties touched upon the Company’s investment programs implemented in Armenia and the possibilities of implementing new projects.

At the meeting held with Russian VTB Bank President Andrey Kostin, Nikol Pashinyan highly valued VTB Bank’s involvement in Armenia’s financial market and in different branches of the economy.

Introducing his government’s priorities concerning the business environment and economic development, the Premier highlighted the need for the banks, including VTB Bank, to adequately respond to the indications coming from the business sector.

The interlocutors discussed ways expanding VTB Bank’s activities in different spheres of Armenia’s economy.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam in Davos.

Noting that Armenia is interested in the continued development of cooperation with Singapore in various fields, Nikol Pashinyan said Singapore’s development experience is exemplary for our country. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of continued development of commercial and economic relations, as well as cooperation between respective business communities.

With reference to business climate improvement in our country, Nikol Pashinyan stressed the need for giving Singapore businessmen indications about the possibilities of implementing investment projects in Armenia. The interlocutors discussed the export possibilities of various Armenia products, such as brandy, wine, beer, fruit juices and other products to Singapore.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam noted that the government of his country understands the importance of developing cooperation with Armenia, given the recent positive changes in Armenia. He conveyed to Nikol Pashinyan the invitation of Singapore’s Prime Minister to visit Singapore and stressed that it could give a new impetus to bilateral cooperation in different directions. He noted that the Armenians are considered to be good citizens in his country. Tharman Shanmugaratnam assured that he will convey to the business community of his country the possibilities of implementing investment projects in Armenia. At the same time, he considered ambitious the Armenian government’s programs aimed at fighting corruption, improving the business climate and modernizing the management system.

In this context, the parties agreed to continue discussions on cooperation in these areas. Nikol Pashinyan advised that a World IT Congress will be held in Armenia in October and stressed the importance of Singapore-based companies’ participation in this important event.

The parties discussed issues related to the implementation of concrete projects in tourism, environmental protection and aviation. The interlocutors also discussed issues related to the development and expansion of cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union and Singapore.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte in Davos. During the meeting, the interlocutors noted the importance of developing and expanding economic ties between the two countries, as well as taking appropriate measures to bolster business ties. They expressed confidence that there is great potential for economic cooperation that should be tapped in order to increase trade turnover between Armenia and the Netherlands.

The Prime Ministers of Armenia and the Netherlands exchanged views on the implementation of joint programs in the fields of agriculture, tourism and infrastructures. The parties also touched upon cooperation at the multilateral level, in particular, in the framework of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Nikol Pashinyan and Mark Rutte expressed confidence that the effective implementation of the Agreement will promote the reforms in the economy, the judiciary and other sectors, as well as will help expand interaction between Armenia and the European Union.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan continues to hold private meetings with the leaders of different countries and organizations on the margins of the Davos World Economic Forum.

Nikol Pashinyan and President of the Swiss Confederation Ueli Maurer hailed the current level of political relations between the two countries and touched upon issues related to the development of economic cooperation. The parties agreed to get the respective diplomatic missions to identify those economic sectors that can be promising in terms of developing cooperation. They expressed confidence that as a result, good opportunities would be provided for implementing specific investment projects.

Nikol Pashinyan noted that Switzerland’s experience in the development of democracy is highly appreciated, and Armenia is keen to promote bilateral cooperation with a view to implementing multifaceted reforms in our country. In turn, Ueli Maurer assured that his country is prepared to deepen ties with the Armenian government in that direction.

Nikol Pashinyan next met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame to discuss issues related to the development of economic ties and in particular, the implementation of investment programs. The parties agreed that cooperation in the field of information technology could be quite promising.

Noting that he was aware of Tumo Center’s successful activities, Paul Kagame said his country was eager to develop cooperation in that area. In turn, Prime Minister Pashinyan advised that the World IT Congress will be held in Armenia this October and invited Rwanda IT companies to take part in that important event.

The interlocutors also touched upon the cooperation within the framework of the International Organization of La Francophonie. Paul Kagame praised the Yerevan Summit, noting that it opened a new chapter in the relations of member states.

Prime Minister Pashinyan also had brief meetings with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with President of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Poland Mateusz Jakub Morawiecki in Davos.

The parties noted the importance of developing and expanding multilateral cooperation between the two countries, stressing the need to deepen trade and economic ties. The prime ministers of Armenia and Poland agreed to instruct the ministers of economy of the two countries to develop a new agenda for economic cooperation. The two heads of government deemed it necessary to rewind the activity of the Armenian-Polish intergovernmental commission.

Nikol Pashinyan and Mateusz Morawiecki made a point of bilateral interaction at the multilateral level, and in particular, in the framework of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Prime Minister Pashinyan advised that multifaceted and comprehensive reforms are being implemented in Armenia. He pointed out that the programs specified in the aforementioned agreement will provide for effective implementation of his government’s reforms. In this context, the Armenian Premier stressed the importance of ratifying the agreement by the EU as soon as possible.

Welcoming the democratic transformations underway in our country, Mateusz Morawiecki assured that Poland will do everything in its power to promote the process of ratification and support the ongoing reforms. At the same time, the head of the Polish government noted that he was impressed by the recent developments in Armenia. Mateusz Morawiecki invited Nikol Pashinyan to visit Poland for a more detailed discussion of issues on the agenda of bilateral relations.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan took part in “The World in Time of Globalization” informal dinner as attended world economic leaders, which was held on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made speeches during the event.

Nikol Pashinyan also attended the World Economic Leaders’ informal meeting, held under the motto “The turning point in Europe.” Speeches were delivered by Spanish Premier Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón and German Defense Minister Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a series of meetings at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

During his meeting with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Nikol Pashinyan discussed issues of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The parties touched upon the development of Armenian-Lithuanian political and economic relations, EU-Armenia relations, including the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Nikol Pashinyan stressed the importance of soonest possible ratification of CEPA by EU countries and thanked the Lithuanian President for completing the ratification process in Lithuania’s parliament.

The head of the Armenian government touched upon the reforms carried out in Armenia, noting that the snap parliamentary elections held in December were of historical significance to our country, since the polls’ results did not raise any doubt for the first time over the past few decades. According to Nikol Pashinyan, the international observer organizations had unanimously confirmed that the elections were free, fair and transparent.

Dalia Grybauskaitė welcomed the steps taken by Nikol Pashinyan’s government toward developing and strengthening democracy. She expressed her country’s readiness to assist Armenia with the reform process.

Prime Minister Pashinyan next met with Prime Minister of Slovakia Peter Pellegrini to discuss development of Armenian-Slovak relations and other issues of mutual interest. Both sides stressed the need for closer cooperation between the two governments in order to give new impetus to trade and economic exchanges.

Noting that the Speaker of the Slovakian Parliament is scheduled to visit Armenia in the near future, Peter Pellegrini said it may help expand the ties between the two countries. At the same time, he noted that the CEPA ratification is on the Slovak Parliament’s agenda, and the process will be completed soon.

In conclusion, Nikol Pashinyan held brief meetings with King Phillippe of Belgium, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez and Georgian Premier Mamuka Bakhtadze.

Prime Minister Pashinyan’s visit to the Swiss Confederation is over.

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