Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan holds press conference
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On July 25, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a press conference at the President's residence, which was attended by about five dozen mass media representatives.
Before answering the questions of media representatives, the Prime Minister made an opening speech, in which he particularly said,
"Dear representatives of the mass media,
The international and geopolitical situation in the world continues to be tense and unstable. The world order, which was considered to be one of the main factors of stability, including for our region, actually does not exist. No one knows what the new world order will look like. Armenia's influence in the process of forming the new world order is uncertain and immaterial, and the threats arising from geopolitical instability are visible and real.
Due to the events in Ukraine, geopolitical influences in our region have decreased, and the traditional "East-West" formulas do not work sufficiently for us.
In the current situation, the elaboration, development and implementation of a regional non-confrontational policy and the clarification of the position and role of the Republic of Armenia in the architecture of the regional future become vital for us. None of the countries bordering Armenia, that is, surrounding Armenia, has confrontational relations with the other, and the formula for solving even the most sensitive issues is considered to be the policy of cooperation, which becomes more effective as a result of balancing interests. In this regard, the signing of the peace treaty with Azerbaijan and the normalization of relations with Turkey is a necessity with the understanding that our relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and Georgia are developing normally and should continue to develop.
I considered it appropriate to start today's press conference with this message, realizing that the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh has created a highly emotional background. And although the implementation of the theory described above is not easy under these conditions, it is strategically important to emphasize the immutability of the peace agenda and the commitment of our government to that agenda.
I refer to the humanitarian crisis established in Nagorno-Karabakh and the ways to overcome it practically every week and have referred to it in my speeches at Cabinet meetings. Therefore, I will touch on that topic today during the question-and-answer session, realizing that a significant part of the questions will be devoted to that issue.
Today, the Statistical Committee published the indicator of economic activity for the first quarter of 2023, and I am happy to report that Armenia continues to be in the orbit of high economic activity.
The creation of new jobs continues, and in June, a new historical record of registered jobs was recorded in Armenia: 719,224 jobs. Accordingly, from May 2018 until today, around 171,000 new jobs were created in Armenia.
Salaries continue to rise. In June of this year, for example, compared to June of last year, the average monthly salary increased by 13.7 percent or 34,469 AMD. Voluntary certification process among pedagogues and military personnel plays a significant role in raising salaries. Today, there is a teacher in Armenia who receives a salary of 507,000 AMD as a result of voluntary certification. Today, 22 teachers in the Republic of Armenia receive more than 400,000 AMD monthly salary.
As a result of voluntary certification, we have private contract servicemen in the army, who receive a salary of up to 599,000 AMD. The salaries mentioned above include taxes, but I want to emphasize that this is more than a double increase in salaries compared to before.
In the first quarter of 2023, we managed to overperform the tax revenues by about 50 billion AMD.
Pensions have increased since July 1, 2023. For the first time in the history of the Third Republic, the minimum pension has come close to the minimum expenditure basket. And in the case of non-cash trade, the actual minimum income of pensioners, based on the cash-back system, exceeds the threshold of the minimum expenditure basket. This is a historical figure.
Developments in the field of information technology are encouraging. In the first half of this year, the turnover of the information technology sector increased by about 90 percent compared to the previous year, the number of employees by about 40 percent, and the number of companies by about 70 percent.
The government will continue the implementation of reforms aimed at promoting economic development and competitiveness, considering it one of the important directions of serving the state interest of the Republic of Armenia.
Now I am ready to answer the questions of media representatives.
Then Nikol Pashinyan answered numerous questions of media representatives.