Bilateral Cooperation & International Relations


Armena- United States Relations

United States attaches importance to further enhancement of mutually beneficial partnership with Armenia: PM holds meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
/Oct 15/ArmenPress/

YEREVAN – Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has held a meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent.

The PM welcomed Kent’s visit to Armenia and said it is a good chance to discuss the agenda of bilateral relations and possibilities for developing cooperation, the PM’s office said.

George Kent said he is happy to visit Armenia in the period of ongoing changes in the country, and that the United States attaches importance to further enhancement of mutually beneficial partnership with Armenia.

The Prime Minister addressed domestic political processes and stressed that Armenia is resolutely advancing on the path of developing democracy, which isn’t a foreign political orientation for the Armenian society – but an inner conviction and value.

The PM also spoke about the coherent work as part of the anti-corruption combat and the reforms in various areas.

Kent noted that the United States government is interested in Armenia having successes in developing democracy, economic progress, as well as in other priority directions of the country, and is ready to assist the Armenian government in the process of implementing reforms.

During the meeting the sides also exchanged ideas over the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the current international situation, regional challenges and several other issues.

US ready to work with Armenia – Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
/Oct 16/

The United States is ready to assist Armenia in different sectors, including education, culture, economy, George Kent – US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, told reporters in Yerevan on October 16.

He said the upcoming meeting of the inter-governmental group, which will be held during 2019, will observe the further process of the Armenian-American relations in a new way.

“The United States is ready to work with Armenia. We are also ready to continue the support to Armenia in fight against corruption”, the US official said.

He stated that during his visit he had a discussion with the Armenian-American chamber of commerce about the opportunities existing in Armenia. “We are also ready to work on the direction of diversification of Armenia’s economy, creation of new jobs. The American University of Armenia can prepare specialists of next generation”, he added.

George Kent also attached importance to the US investments in Armenia in the fields of hydropower and mining industry.

He informed that this is his second visit to Armenia during which he met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, state officials, as well as civil society and business community representatives.


Armenia-Russia Relations

Armenia-Russia trade turnover grows by 26% in January-June 2018
/Oct 15/Aysor/

In January-June of 2018 the trade turnover between Armenia and Russia has exceeded the figures registered in the same span of the past year by 26%, Russia’s trade representative in Armenia Andrey Babko told the reporters today.

He said Russia is trying to promote not only export to Armenia but import from Armenia as well.
“Besides the import of usual agricultural products import of fish, textile and shoes has also been intensified. These are high-taste things demanded in Russia,” Babko said.
He emphasized Russia’s serious role in Armenia’s economy and said that about 37% of direct foreign investments in Armenia come to Russia’s share.

¾ of Armenia’s economy comprises of Russian companies: Russian trade representative
/Oct 15/Aysor/

While making political reforms it is necessary not to forget about formation of favorable atmosphere for investments, Russia’s trade representative in Armenia Andrey Babko told the reporters on Monday.
As to whether the political developments in Armenia affected Armenian-Russian trade relations and volume of investments, Babko said, “Our cooperation has been established before the political developments. They did not have any impact as the process continues as usual. Besides, we see that Armenia and Russia preserve and implement the arrangements reached during the previous years,” he stressed, adding that no changes have been registered in this regard.
“We see activation of contacts between Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Russia’s PM Dmitry Medvedev. Another thing is that while dealing with political reforms it is necessary to continue assisting formation of favorable environment for investments,” Babko said.
He though added that certain developments and “revelations” do not have positive impact on the process but expressed hope that everything will settle down.
“The Armenian political figures must understand what Armenia’s economy is comprised of, what companies work here. Let us openly say that the ¾ of them are companies with Russian capital, subsidiaries of Russian leading companies, so the political figures should take it into consideration too,” he said.

Svetlana Zabelina: The trade turnover between Armenia and Russia may exceed $ 2 billion this year.
/Oct 17/Arminfo/Alina Oganesyan/

The trade turnover between Armenia and Russia this year may exceed $ 2 billion. Such a forecast was told by its director Svetlana Zabelina on October 17 at the opening of the eighth annual international industrial exhibition EXPO-RUSSIA ARMENIA.

“The common space, of course, facilitates the trade process. When we held the first exhibition, the trade turnover between our countries could not come close to the $ 1 billion mark. At the end of last year, the volume of mutual trade between Armenia and Russia amounted to $ 1.7 billion. According to the latest data of the current year growth has already been fixed at 26%. In particular, thanks to the holding of such events, I think we will be able to increase the volume of trade even more, “she noted.

However, according to her, this year there were certain difficulties with the organization of the exhibition. “Many large companies canceled their trip to Armenia based on the political situation, but small and medium businesses are here. We hope that everything will be fine, since Armenia is a friendly country for Russia,” she explained.

According to the director of EXPO-RUSSIA ARMENIA, over 10 years of the exhibition, representatives from more than 1,000 enterprises, about 5,000 business people, came to Russia from Armenia. In particular, this year about 100 enterprises from 7 regions of Russia are participating. Moreover, the geography of the participants has changed. “Initially, in the first year of the exhibition opening, only Russian companies participated. The following year, the Armenian side joined. This year the exhibition also features pavilions of Kazakhstan and Belarus,” S. Zabelina said.

As part of the EXPO-RUSSIA ARMENIA exhibition, as she noted, a business forum is expected, as well as a cultural program, namely, show 2

Russian films, master classes in floristics, and there will be a big presentation of Russian universities – Russia Study for Armenian students, applicants and schoolchildren.

According to the RA Statistics Committee, the foreign trade turnover between Armenia and the Russian Federation in January-August 2018 amounted to $ 1.2 billion, with an annual growth of 22.3%. In particular, exports increased by 31.7% to $ 424.2 million, while imports grew by 17.9% to $ 805 million.

Sergei Tsyb: Despite any political decisions, we intend to further develop cooperation with Armenia
/Oct 17/Arminfo/Alina Hovhannisyan/

 “Despite any political decisions, we intend to continue to actively develop cooperation with Armenia,” First Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Sergey Tsyb told reporters on the margins of the opening of the annual industrial exhibition EXPO-RUSSIA ARMENIA on October 17 in Yerevan.

“Despite what political situations arise, I am sure that friendship between our countries and friendly relations that have been stable for many years is the main key to success, including the development of joint business. The Armenian people are friendly to us, and partnership with Armenia is strategic for Russia, “he said.

The Deputy Minister stressed the importance of expanding cooperation between the countries, but not only from the point of view of partnership at the company level, but also in terms of the transfer of technologies in Russia to Armenia. In this light, he noted that today Russian pharmaceutical companies are very active in positioning themselves on the Armenian market. “Over the past 7 years, substantial technological opportunities have been created in Russia for the production of complex drugs. We are ready to share this with our Armenian colleagues, to offer high-tech medical products to the Armenian population, which will strengthen the health of citizens,” said Tsyb.

He noted that today there are many areas with the opportunity to establish partnership between Armenia and Russia, expanding the penetration of small and medium business, which, according to the deputy minister, is a litmus test in the development of the economy as a whole. Answering the question of ArmInfo, the deputy head of the department noted that Armenia and Russia should work on creating highly competitive products and their export to the markets of third countries. “In my opinion, our joint task is to promote the interests of Russian and Armenian companies to other markets,” S. Tsyb stressed.

Speaking about the exhibition, the deputy minister noted that such events only bring together the interests of the parties, contributing to their strengthening. “The exhibition will make a worthy contribution to the development of trade and economic cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia. This year, a large number of enterprises from various industrial areas, in particular in the fields of transport, energy, medicine, telecommunications, finance, etc., have shown particular interest in participating in the event. . that work by strengthening trade and economic cooperation between our countries, strengthen strategic partnership. In addition, participation in the exhibition provides us and our Armenian partners from ary to expand bilateral trade, strengthen trade, find new points of development, to expand bilateral economic cooperation as a whole “, – he concluded.

The exhibition EXPO-RUSSIA ARMENIA is held in Armenia for the eighth time with the support of the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, the Embassy and the Trade Representation of Russia in Armenia, ministries and departments of the Republic of Armenia.

The event is attended by representatives of industrial enterprises, scientific and educational organizations in the fields of energy, engineering, metallurgy, automobile industry, mining, construction, transport, telecommunications, agriculture, medicine, education, etc. from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia.

An extensive business program has been developed for the participants, which includes presentations, round tables directly at the ministries of the Republic of Armenia on energy and mining, transport and communications, agriculture, medicine, science and education with the participation of heads of departments and main divisions. On the margins of the exhibition will be an exchange of contacts in B2B format.

According to the RA Statistics Committee, the foreign trade turnover between Armenia and the Russian Federation in January-August 2018 amounted to $ 1.2 billion, with an annual growth of 22.3%. In particular, exports increased by 31.7% to $ 424.2 million, while imports grew by 17.9% to $ 805 million.


Other Bilateral Relations

Armenia and Taiwan can learn from each other
/Oct 12/Digitimes/Willis Ke/

Armenia, with 96% of its terrirtory covered by mountains, has a population of some three million, but the Armenian diaspora amounts to about 10 million people who have had to leave the mountainous homeland to seek opportunities abroad.

Many do find opportunities at home. A Ucom manager who obtained her master’s degree in Greece, chose to return home. She told us how she had to travel six hours for a trip back to her hometow, which is some 50 kilometers away from the capital city of Yerevan, while studying in college.

The emergence of digital economy has given her the opportunity to work at the present firm. But she said that many Armenians studying and working abroad usually have to split their incomes into three parts: their own tuition fees, living expenses, and sums sent back to their families in Armenia.

Armenia and Taiwan seem similar in some ways. Both countries have powerful neighbors: Armenia and Turkey are separated by Mt Ararat, while Taiwan’s major rival China lies across the strait.

Armenia may be lacking the kind of tech development experience that Taiwan is proud of, but the island nation in East Asia seems to be gradually losing the kind of ambition and vibrancy that the landlocked South Caucasus country is showing in the face of challenges.

(Editor’s note: This is part of a series of stories about the IT industry development in Armenia.)

Deutsche Welle.Ֆրանկոֆոնիայի գագաթնաժողովը`մեծ իրադարձություն ՀՀ-ի համար
/Oct 12/

 Հոկտեմբերի 11-ին Երևանում մեկնարկած Ֆրանկոֆոնիայի միջազգային կազմակերպության գագաթնաժողովին ավելի քան 84 երկրի պատվիրակություն է մասնակցել: 17-րդ գագաթնաժողովն անցնում է «Ապրել միասին» կարգախոսով և զգացվում է ամենուր Երևանում, գրում է Deutsche Welle-ն:

Ներկայացվածության և ծավալների առումով այս միջոցառումը խոշորագույնն է Հայաստանի անկախությունից ի վեր: Երևանում արդեն տեղի է ունեցել ՖՄԿ մշատական խորհրդի նիստը, մասնակից երկրների ԱԳ նախարարների հանդիպումը, գործարար համաժողովը, լրագրողների կոնգրեսը, գործում է ֆրանկոֆոնիայի ավանը:

Ինչպես նշում է պարբերականը, գագաթնաժողովի երկու օրերը ոչ աշխատանքային են հայտարարվել Հայաստանում, փակ է քաղաքի ամբողջ կենտրոնը, սակայն երևանցիները չեն բողոքում՝ նրանք միշտ ուրախ են հյուրերին:

Ըստ կրթության և գիտության նախարարության, ֆրանսերեն ուսանող մարդկանց թիվը Հայաստանում մշտապես աճում է՝ մոտենալով 200.000-ի, լեզուն դասավանդվում է ՀՀ 300 դպրոցում:

Official emphasizes Iran-Armenia coop. to invest in Aras, Mogri free zones
/Oct. 13/Mehr News Agency (MNA), Iran/

TEHRAN – Presiding Board Member of Parliament Plan and Budget Commission Hadi Ghavami placed special emphasis on the necessity of cooperation between Iran and Armenia to invest in Aras and Mogri free zones.

By launching equipped refineries in Aras and Mogri free zones, huge revenues will be earned in the country, he said, adding, “under such circumstances, the country can overcome sanction conditions successfully.”

In the current situation, economic diplomacy especially with neighboring countries is of paramount importance, so that economic situation of the country will be promoted through identifying economic capacities and potentials of neighboring countries, he maintained.

Establishing amicable relationship with Armenia should be taken into consideration, so that identifying potentials between the two countries will help promote bilateral trade and economic relationship considerably, Ghavami reiterated.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he pointed to the trade exchanges between Iran and Armenia and reiterated, “presently, Iranian gas is bartered with Armenia’s electricity and with the expansion of cooperation in the field of supplying fuel, many problems facing ahead in sanctions period can be settled.”

Ghavami emphasized on the necessity of cooperation between Iran and Armenia in Aras and Mogri free zones and added, “once we could set up a refinery with the production capacity of 200,000 barrels in Aras and Mogri free zones, the country will earn huge revenues in this respect.”

In other industries such as plane manufacturing, capacities and potentials of regional countries should be used optimally through strengthening economic diplomacy, he said, adding, “such similar projects can be put into operation in other neighboring countries.”

Presiding Board Member of Parliament Plan and Budget Commission Hadi Ghavami added that strengthening economic diplomacy with the neighboring countries will help diversifying and creating added value in the country significantly.

EU-co-funded project to strengthen civil society organizations completes in Armenia
/Oct 16/ARKA/

YEREVAN – The STRONG Civil Society Organizations for Stronger Armenia project, co-funded by the European Union, designed to help increase the capacities of Armenian civil society organizations to be independent development actors, more competent and more responsive to citizens’ needs, has been closed today.
The project with the total budget of 2.777 million euros, was launched on 1 October 2015 with the implementation period of 3 years. The target groups included civil society organizations across Armenia and their client groups, the private sector, state institutions, and different segments of society. 
A senior official from the EU Delegation to n Armenia, Gregory Zoris, said today during the closing ceremony that this project was one of the largest in Armenia. 
He said its goals are difficult to achieve, but the European Union is ready to support it further to achieve great results. He said the implementation of the project not only brought about positive change, but also strengthened civil society in Armenia by building a strong CSO network across the country. 
The head of the project Jaroslav Zarikhta said despite the official closing of the project it is still underway. “We are evaluating now the results of the project,” he said.
According to the results of a survey conducted among the program participants, 90% of them said their participation has changed for the better their work. They agreed that the project has improved the work of their organizations.

China donates 200 ambulance cars to Armenia
/Oct 17/Public Radio of Armenia/

China has donated 200 ambulance cars to Armenia, of which 65 are reanimobiles. The vehicles are equipped with modern devises and auxiliary equipment. Forty-nine ambulances have been provided to the Yerevan ambulance company, 10 have been given to medical centers in Yerevan, the remaining 131 ambulance cars will be sent to provinces.

Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his spouse Anna Hakobyan were present today at the ceremony of handing over the vehicles to the Armenian side.

Addressing the event, China’s Ambassador to Armenia Tian Erlong said the program is one of the largest ones in China’s international charity projects. He informed that a group of Chinese specialists have arrived in Armenia to present the equipment to Armenian colleagues.