Nikol Pashinyan’s working visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who is paying a working visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan, met with newly appointed Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Ulukbek Maripov early on February 5.
Nikol Pashinyan congratulated Ulukbek Maripov on his appointment to the post of Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan and wished him every success in his activities. The Armenian Prime Minister said Armenia and Kyrgyzstan boast close cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral formats within the framework of integration unions. In this context, he stressed that our country is interested in the furtherance of cooperative ties.
Thanking his Armenian counterpart for appreciation and kind remarks, the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan noted that his country is keen to build closer ties of partnership with Armenia. In his words, the two countries traditionally boast warm relations and extra efforts should be made to deepen cooperation, including the trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian spheres.
Highlighting the current high level of political dialogue, the parties reaffirmed their willingness to further strengthen the bilateral relations. Nikol Pashinyan and Ulukbek Maripov exchanged views on the development of trade and economic cooperation. In this context, they referred to the opportunities that can be created following the reopening of transport communications in the region, and the prospects for infrastructure development.
Information and views were exchanged on the ongoing measures to counter the global pandemic. The parties agreed to intensify the high-level mutual contacts in parallel with the stabilization of the epidemiological situation.
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On the margins of his working visit to Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today attended the Almaty Digital Forum 2021, which is held under the motto: “Digital Reset: The Leap To The Next Normal.” Among the participants are the heads of government from EAEU-member states, Eurasian Economic Commission Board Chairman Mikhail Myasnikovich, CIS Executive Committee representatives.
A ceremonial video session was held prior to the plenary session, after which the Armenian Prime Minister joined the heads of government of other participating countries to get acquainted with the exhibits displayed in the Museum of Digital Projects.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia delivered a speech at the plenary session of the Digital Conference, in which he stated:
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to start my speech by thanking Kazakhstan for hosting this digital conference. The conference has become a traditional platform for discussing issues relevant to the digital economy.
It is obvious that high technologies play a decisive role in enhancing the state’s competitiveness and security, as well as in raising people’s living standards. The highly technological nations are at the forefront of the international arena.
The Government of Armenia considers digitization, innovation and the latest technologies to be the most important tool for engineering an efficient and representative system of public administration, a favorable business environment and ensuring progressive economic growth.
The high-tech sector and digital technologies are the fastest growing sector of our economy. The turnover of IT companies in Armenia amounted to more than USD 400 million in 2020. It grew by about 20% as compared to the previous year. Staffing has grown by 22% in this area. More than 1200 operating IT companies are registered in our country at this point of time. Tangible tax benefits are available in accordance with the policy pursued by the Armenian government.
The pandemic posed highly challenging problems for society, businesses and the state, in general. They had to be addressed in conditions of quarantine or all-out lockdown. The need to work under such conditions led to the introduction of both a new management culture and the widespread use of digital technologies and solutions. The latter turned out to be the most important amid limited opportunities for physical contact practically along the entire chain of government and socio-economic activity.
We have been using digital technologies, electronic document management systems and e-government tools in Armenia. I would like to note that the social groups in need of support were identified with a high degree of accuracy and transactions on support measures were completed in the shortest possible time thanks to the use of appropriate technologies.
We provide for the implementation and development of government data policy, electronic services, e-government systems, coordination of digital processes, creation of common standards and digital environment. The government encourages the use of electronic tools to facilitate the introduction of digital technologies in the private sector.
The digitization process goes in tune with the common EAEU digital agenda. A platform for interaction between databases is being created, which optimizes data exchange processes between different systems and the digitization of a large number of public services.
I am pleased to state that the EAEU countries were able to use digital technologies in overcoming some of the problems caused by the pandemic. I mean the “Traveling without Covid-19: digital platform, which kicked off on February 1, and actually restored the free movement of citizens between Armenia, Russia and Belarus.
Armenia supported the EDB Digital Initiatives Fund project from the very outset, and we are grateful to our colleagues from the Fund and from the governments of Russia and Belarus for the joint work done under this project.
We need to move actively towards the implementation of other joint digital projects by using the capabilities of supranational institutions and development institutions. In addition to implementing joint projects, we should also work to scale successful solutions. There are many of them in each of our countries.
We should strive to achieve full-fledged and all-encompassing digitalization of services provided to citizens by the state. To this end, we need to use the entire range of electronic services - mobile phones, network services, cloud technologies, and so on.
We should strive to ensure that the borders between the EAEU states disappear at the digital level, and that existing restrictions are minimized. We see that the opportunities opened up through digitization can be used to increase the efficiency of free labor movement. The appropriate mobile application can collect and store within a one-stop-shop all information on available jobs throughout the EAEU, enabling people to fill out and submit the necessary documents to get the job of our choice.
I am confident that our joint work and exchange of experience will help us move confidently forward in all sectors of digital technology, to achieve success and the desired results. Thank you.”
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On a working visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today attended a regular session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council (EIC) in Almaty. The event was also attended by RF Premier Mikhail Mishustin, Belarus Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Ulukbek Maripov, as well as by heads of government from Eurasian Economic Union observer states: Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba Manuel Marrero Cruz and Acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Aureliu Ciocoi (both via videoconference), and Eurasian Economic Commission Board Chairman Mikhail Myasnikovich.
After a joint photo session, attended by the heads of government, the EIC meeting kicked off, first in a narrow and then in an expanded format. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan delivered a speech at the expanded-format session, in which he stated:
“Dear Eurasian Intergovernmental Council Members,
I would like to start my speech with a vote of thanks to Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin for the invitation and for hosting today’s important event. I take this opportunity to once again congratulate Askar Uzakpayevich on being re-appointed to the post of Prime Minister. I am confident that your activities will help further strengthen relationships between our countries, as well as develop and implement the mutually agreed decisions in a multilateral format, including the development of the EAEU potential.
I would also like to congratulate Ulukbek Asamidinovich Maripov on his appointment as Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic and wish him every success in his activities.
I extend my heartfelt greetings to the representatives of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Republic of Moldova and the Republic of Cuba who are participating as observers. Your attendance comes to demonstrate once again the growing international importance of our organization. This is another good reason to reaffirm our readiness to cooperate with the observer states in the framework of joint programs and projects of mutual interest.
Among the key outcomes of the preceding period, I would highlight the final approval of the Union’s development strategy by 2025. We hope that this year will be fruitful in terms of further implementation of those integration vectors reflected in the document. In this regard, I would like to highlight the measures aimed at expanding cooperation in the sphere of high technologies and digital technologies, in particular.
Armenia has traditionally actively participated in and supported the process of creating and implementing the EAEU Digital Agenda. We welcome the holding of a digital forum on the sidelines of today’s meeting, in which I had the pleasure to participate. I am confident that the Forum will go a long way towards identifying the priority areas and developing effective tools for cooperation between our countries in the field of high and digital technologies.
In this context, I should state with satisfaction the successful launch of a pilot mobile application project, referred to as Traveling without COVID-19. Launched on February 1, 2021, the project allowed us to find mutually acceptable solutions to resuming passenger traffic between Armenia, Belarus and Russia, which is of paramount social and economic significance to our country. Obviously, this project is also important in terms of reducing the risk of coronavirus infection and occupies an important place among the measures taken to combat the pandemic.
Dear colleagues, coming to the agenda of today’s meeting, I would like to weigh in on the following topics. There is no doubt that the improvement of mechanisms for the application of special protective, anti-dumping and countervailing measures in the EAEU can be effectively used to protect domestic producers from the negative impact of increased imports or unfair competition from third countries. Here, both a unified approach and the final result are important as reflected in the competitiveness of the goods of the Union states in relation to the goods of third countries.
The Armenian side is prepared to work closely with its integration partners to develop a common approach to the application of such measures. In the context of mechanisms aimed at protecting the Union’s internal market, we should also consider the possibility of developing and implementing a retaliatory mechanism on the territory of the EAEU in accordance with existing international treaties.
We attach great importance to the assessments and generalizations provided in the report “On Macroeconomic Situation in EAEU-Member States and Proposals for Ensuring Sustainable Economic Development.” I am confident that they are useful for analyzing the financial and economic situation in our countries and forecasting the development scenarios.
Finally, I would like to thank you for the constructive approach shown by the EAEU countries to Armenia’s initiative to revise the list of countries-users of the unified system of tariff preferences. I am pleased to note that the issue of granting tariff preferences for goods and services from developing and least developed countries has already been included in the agenda of our organization and will soon be given an appropriate decision based on the criteria we have adopted.
In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm Armenia’s readiness to endeavor towards implementing the EAEU priority areas as identified by the Kazakh Chairmanship to further promote Eurasian integration and develop our union. Thank you.”
The prime ministers of EAEU-member states discussed several agenda items. In particular, they outlined ways of improving the mechanisms for protecting the Union’s internal markets and a mechanism for applying retaliatory measures in the EAEU customs territory.
The meeting approved a procedure for coordinating and providing analytical support to selection and breeding activities in the field of livestock breeding. The heads of government were presented a report on the macroeconomic situation and proposals to ensure sustainable economic development in the EAEU-member states.”
A number of documents were signed on the results of the meeting.