Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   20 January

We had our place at the International Economic Forum in Davos and made our voice heard – Armen Avak Avakian

YEREVAN, JANUARY 26, ARMENPRESS. World Economic Forum in Davos is underway these days, which was attended also by the Armenian delegation led by Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan. Executive Director of Armenia Development Fund Armen Avak Avakian gave an interview to ARMENPRESS on the participation of the Armenian side and the results.

- You participated in a number of important meetings as part of the Prime Ministers’s delegation. Particularly which meeting would you highlight?

- In fact, all the meetings were important. The meetings could be theoretically divided into three groups. The first is the meetings with Heads of State – President of Switzerland, Prewsident of the National Council, Prime Ministers of different countries, Deputy PM of Singapore and so on, the topic of discussion with whom was the broader cooperation, activation of bilateral trade. The results of these meetings will be visible in a long-term period. But there are already some specific results. For example, we agreed with the President of the National Council of Switzerland what kind of business delegation to include during his upcoming visit to Armenia, we accepted Saad Hariri’s invitation to pay a working visit to Lebanon.

The second group of our meetings was with the heads of major donor organizations – the Asian Development Bank, UNDP, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), etc. During the meetings with them we presented the priorities of the Government for the future years, so as they would direct their projects, technical assistance, consultations to those targets.

The third group of our meetings was with the representatives of major businesses – “Mitsubishi”, “AECON”, “VEON” and so on, the subject of talks with whom were more concrete, business projects. We have planned a range of public-private cooperation projects for 2018, in the sidelines of which there may be some interesting partnerships.

- What results can we record from those meetings?

- If we look from the viewpoint of goals, one of the results is that we had planned to meet and we did it. Under other conditions, if we wanted to meet with Prime Ministers, or so many decision-making officials of the level of the Heads of State or presidents of the parliaments, their organization might last very long time and require huge resources, even if they were official or business visits. Therefore, the result of our participation in the forum was huge from that perspective.

And the economic results depend on our follow up steps. We just start and we have still to understand what is necessary. Some have already given consent to come to Armenia, while it’s necessary to work with others for attracting investments.

-What else did the participation in the Davos World Economic Forum give to Armenia?

- Another point that is more important for me is that Armenia was invited after 9 years of pause, and the interesting thing is that just our presence was a matter of reaction, deserving attention by our colleagues. I mean Armenia’s economy is part of the global economy. This time we had our place at that global forum. Generally, if we want to be part of the global economy, we have to participate in such events.

In other words, world economic trends will be discussed – be it with or without us. In case of participating our voice becomes heard. So we participated and made our voice heard.

- What did Armenia voice for?

- Those discussions, the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders (IGWEL), are behind doors, and are attended only by Presidents or sometimes Prime Ministers, and the Armenian Premier participated. They hold discussions behind closed doors, without telephones, media, assistants, or even body guards.

Following these successful discussions and negotiations we have to make the next step, to make lists with whom will we link, what will we offer, what’s the PM’s message, what does the Center for Strategic Initiatives do, what does the Armenia Development Fund do? We should launch correspondence, organize visits. We launch a great work and its results will be undoubtedly very visible.

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