Military industry, banking sector, agriculture, tourism: Armenia and China have great potential for cooperation
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 5, ARMENPRESS. Armenia and China have a great cooperation potential.
Mher Sahakyan, Director of “‘China-Eurasia’ political and strategic research council’ foundation, expert on oriental and international studies, told ARMENPRESS that the cooperation directions can be different.
“There is a good opportunity for cooperation in the field of agriculture. Agricultural loans, equipment, as well as knowledge on how the Chinese can increase the volume of crops harvested from the same area via innovations and digitization of agriculture can be acquired from China. It’s also possible to receive investments for meat production. In China there is a big demand for beef”, Mher Sahakyan said.
According to him, the Chinese people can be interested in the Armenian honey, this field is also growing in Armenia, and the price of honey is about 4-5 times more expensive in China. In response to a question on what steps to take to export the Armenian hone to China, Mher Sahakyan said it’s necessary to establish a powerful laboratory. “A question will arise that if everything in that field is good in China, why do the Chinese people need the Armenian organic products, meat and honey. The reason is that the pollution of air, water and soil in China is high due to the heavy chemical production. The middle and rich class try to buy mostly imported products from countries where there is no pollution of environment. At the moment there is no chemical industry in Armenia and will not be in the near future, thus this fact can be considered”, Mher Sahakyan said.
Mher Sahakyan attached importance to the organization of direct flights – Yerevan-Beijing-Yerevan, Yerevan-Shangai-Yerevan and other directions. This step will facilitate the entry of Armenian businessmen to China, will increase the number of Chinese tourists. According to him, as there is a great interest in China toward Christianity, via the right advertisement many people will be interested in visiting Armenia, as the first country that adopted the Christianity as a state religion. Another possible option that will be of Chinese people’s interest can be ecotourism and the idea to breath ‘fresh air’. But this will be possible if the time of flights and ticket price are reduced.
The two countries also have a great opportunity to cooperate in the banking sphere. According to Sahakyan, one thing should be taken into account that the Chinese currency is already included in the International Monetary Fund. It’s necessary to try to include any Chinese bank in the Armenian banking sector which will make investments and will be established in Armenia. Or try to receive a right for any Armenian bank which will be able to make a transfer with the Chinese currency. This will also contribute to the activity of the Armenian and Chinese businessmen, they will have a chance to work with one currency.
Mher Sahakyan said this year Armenian defense minister Vigen Sargsyan’s visit to China changed the situation, certain activeness trends were recorded in the bilateral ties in the military field. The Chinese defense minister hosted the Armenian counterpart, they agreed that China will provide 10 million Chinese Yuan military aid to Armenia.
He stated that in the recent period China has significantly developed the military industry, it produces a number of competitive weapons. This means that Armenia can develop the cooperation with China in the field of ‘non-ordinary’ weapons. According to him, it’s possible to construct a military-industrial center of robotics arms and UAVs the products of which can be consumed in the Middle East and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
“The Armenia-China official relations have a history of only 25 years, this means that everything is still ahead and just begins, but, of course, 25 years is not less, and it needs a concrete, smooth analysis and further reconsideration”, he said.
Mher Sahakyan added that there is a partnership between Armenia and China, but the Armenian side should more actively act and try to be practically involved in the ‘Silk Road Economic Zone’ part of the One Belt, One Road initiative.