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PM gets acquainted with Synopsys Armenia’s activities and comments on Government’s funded pension system-related decision


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 Today, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited Synopsys Armenia’s headquarters in Yerevan. The Premier toured the educational and production departments of one of Armenia’s leading IT companies to get acquainted with the ongoing and prospective programs and new IT development initiatives.

The Company’s top executives gave details of their production-university cooperation-based academic program being implemented jointly with the National Polytechnic University of Armenia, which allows them to provide the labor market with highly skilled graduates. The Company cooperates with the YSU, the Armenian-Russian (Slavonic) University and the European Regional Academy. Most of Synopsys Armenia’s graduates, as well as a significant part of the students at the educational department are employed in the company. In addition to scientific and research work, they are working on start-up projects.

During the tour of the production department, Nikol Pashinyan was briefed on Synopsys Armenia’s ongoing activities, their current achievements and the plans for the future. It was noted that the company introduced more than 70 new educational programs, each of which is estimated at USD1.5 million. The Prime Minister talked to the Company’s students and faculty in order to get a first-hand view of their achievements and welcomed the application of new ideas and approaches.

Then, the Prime Minister was presented with the opportunities for implementing new projects in the IT sphere, training highly qualified specialists for the development of this field, the opportunities and trends in the organization of the educational process, and the peculiarities of Armenia’s home market.

Noting the importance of developing Armenia’s IT sector, the Prime Minister stressed that it is one of his government’s priorities. Nikol Pashinyan suggested presenting to the Government a comprehensive program of activities on the above issues - a road map, which should clearly define the State’s and the private sector’s functions and commitments.

In his speech, the Prime Minister stated in part, “I am happy to be here. I know that this is the first time we have come together in the same office; we used to be together on the same street or square, and I think that this is a symbolic change in our relations. I have such a symbolic picture in my mind: if I see someone’s well-being improve noticeably, I think that it may be associated with two phenomena: either he or she is involved in corruption or is engaged in high-tech activities. That is why I am now focused on the problems of corruption and high technology.

In fact, leaving humor aside, I see something very symbolic in this. On the one hand, we face the fact that a person says that it is impossible to change anything; while on the other hand, we have the individuals the IT sphere who state that nothing is impossible. We attach such great importance to high technologies because they expand the scope of our possibilities both in terms of intellect and in terms of reality. That is, what would be considered impossible 10, 20 or 30 years ago, became a reality.

Now I am convinced and I hope that there are many things in your thoughts that today seem impossible for ordinary people, but within 5-10 years, of course, with our support, you will make it a reality and expand the limits of what is possible in our country.”

Nikol Pashinyan noted that the IT sphere is an important part of “emigration,” that is “migration from the old reality to a new one,” from old life to a new life. According to the Prime Minister, this sphere brings in a new culture of work.

“This model of “emigration” is extremely important: we must stay in our country, live in our country, but not stay in one place, and periodically move from one place to another, from one level of thinking to another, from the next level to a higher one, finally from one reality to another,” Nikol Pashinyan pointed out.

The Premier noted the importance of developing the educational sector, since education is necessarily present in the “road map” to addressing problems. “There is no such a problem that can be solved without resorting to the educational component. If the solution consists of two steps, then one of these steps is necessarily the educational component,” the Prime Minister stressed.

The Head of Government next touched on the government’s position on the issue of mandatory funded pension system. “You may know that in fact, we had inherited a specific situation where the relevant law was due to come into force this July 1. That is, we had very little time to change anything there.

Our decision does not convey our global position on this issue, but rather reflects a practical goal, namely to get time to discuss the matter with all interested parties in a calm atmosphere, without time pressure. And this is the most important statement, because you know that there are highly respected ministers in the government who insist that in general, this system has a problem in terns of its constitutionality.

Various problems are being raised, and the cornerstone of our approach is the following: we are gaining time to discuss the problem in a calm environment and reach a consensus, a coherent decision.

We had three options. The first option is to postpone the implementation of the law. Why did we not go that way? For the simple reason that the change we have made is called revolution of love and solidarity.

Here, the principle of solidarity might have been violated, because we had to tell those 207 thousand citizens who for one reason or another had been involved in the system that they should put up with the given situation when we could not help them in any way and, therefore, wanted to continue the reform with the other 80 thousand citizens. Thus, the principle of solidarity would have been violated.

The second option was to repeal the law: why did we not go that way? I noted many reasons in connection with the investment environment of our economy and so on, but the most important argument is the following: we can make a decision to call of the system in two months, for example, and no one will lose anything, but if we cancel it now, and then think about whether we were right in doing so, we will not be able to reverse the process any longer. That is, if we take a step and then think about whether we did the right thing, we can face a disaster.

It is crucial for us to take what is called a “well-advised decision” in this matter. That is, we can gain time in order to understand all the details at a representative level, and if, for example, it seems to be obvious in three months that the system should be called off, we can do it in three months, and no one will lose anything: people will get back their money, including interest.
The third option is as follows: leave everything as it is, that is, do not change anything. This would mean that we, as the saying goes, go down the river and say that we are not going to change or discuss anything. Therefore, we came to this option to demonstrate solidarity and a balanced approach.

I know that the given decision is painful for many here, I am really very sorry that we were forced to make such a decision, but this is the most balanced decision, provided that we have the opportunity, and our task in the coming months will be to discuss the matter in a cool atmosphere in order to make a decision that will be either a consensus or very close to that,” Prime Minister Pashinyan emphasized.

The Head of Government thanked Synopsys Armenia for inviting and organizing a meeting with representatives of the IT sphere. The Premier welcomed the fact that women make up 30% of the staff.

“This is information of political significance; youth is the most important driving force behind our revolution, but in my opinion, one of the most important political factors that led to the victory was our women’s unprecedented activity. I had been attending rallies for 28 years and could never see such rallies where women accounted for 30-40 percent of participants.

In my opinion, this was a decisive factor that led to a change in the situation. I believe that as much decisive was the fact that the whole process was peaceful and proceeded at a completely different level. I welcome Synopsys Armenia and all those women who have decided to get simultaneously engaged in professional, political, and civic activities. I hope that women’s participation in decision-making will grow in the near future. I am convinced that this is the path that will lead us upward toward quite a new level and dimension,” Nikol Pashinyan concluded.

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