PM highlights digitalization, military and high-tech industry development strategies
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Chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, another hearing on public agencies’ performance reports was held in the Office of Government. Minister of High-Tech Industry Hakob Arshakyan reported the activities implemented in the period under review.
Established in late May, 2019, the Ministry has been active in the fields of high-tech and military industry, digitalization and stimulation of telecommunications. In the meantime, the total turnover rose by 30%, while the share of high-tech industry in GDP increased by 2.4%. The number of companies working in this field increased by 25%, which, according to Arshakyan, is due to the provision of tax benefits and grants to startups. Employment grew 21% in the period under review. From Idea to Business, Virtual Bridge, University-Private Sector, Potential, National Venture Fund and other projects have been developed and are being implemented.
The Minister noted that as a result of the efforts made in 2019, the roaming tariff with Artsakh has decreased by 52% since January 2020 and this process is to be continued. Within the frames of international cooperation, Armenian was represented with national pavilions at 4 international exhibitions. 7 memoranda were concluded to a total budget of USD 400 thousand in terms of signed contracts. Agreements were reached on developing cooperation with a number of countries and international organizations. Efforts are underway to promote technological development in Armenia’s provinces. In this context, 58,4 million drams were provided to the Gyumri Technological Center, and 90,2 million drams - to the Vanadzor Technological Center.
Minister Arshakyan next introduced the programs launched in 2020 - free distance learning courses, referred to as Programming Fundamentals; grants made available with a view to minimizing the pandemic’s adverse economic impact. The concept of management and development of national postal operator Haypost CJSC is being developed. The Military-Industrial Committee was placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of High-Tech Industry: the samples created in the military-industrial complex were mapped out and a corresponding catalog has been compiled. During the reporting period, the Ministry has been optimized: it was replenished with new specialists, who saw their salaries increased by 28% on average.
The status of Prime Minister’s instructions was next reported. In this connection, the Premier asked about the Ministry’s activities implemented in pursuit of the Government Action Plan for 2019-2023, including the development of per-sector strategies. Minister Arshakyan reported that the strategies for digitization, military industry and development of high-tech industry are almost ready.
The Head of Government stressed the importance of concept papers. He told the Minister to finalize and harmonize them with the government’s action plan and submit them for discussion as soon as possible.
In response to the Prime Minister’s question, the Minister reported on the steps taken in the field of communications: the Ministry of High-Tech Industry has initiated legislative changes aimed at developing communications and facilitating access to services. Discussions are underway in this direction. Prime Minister Pashinyan instructed to speed up the pace of infrastructure development programs in communications and in other areas, and set them into circulation.
The Premier stressed the need for continued action aimed at promoting the use of digital tools, online platforms and gave relevant instructions.