Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   17 July

It’s time to have direct flight between Armenia and Switzerland - Dominique de Buman

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 6, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian-Swiss diplomatic relations are at a high level, Dominique de Buman - President of the National Council of Switzerland (lower house of the parliament), told Armenpress.

“It’s already several years Switzerland has its own Embassy in Armenia. We also have bilateral economic relations which recorded a great progress last year. And the purpose of our visit is first of all to strengthen the economic ties. In the context of the development of bilateral relations we should not forget that the Swiss National Assembly reached the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in 2003, I was elected as an MP at that time, and this was my most important achievement. Almost 15 years after that we visited Armenia with an official representation”, he said.

Dominique de Buman said for him the important thing was that the discussions began based on the already existing results. He highlighted the spheres of industry, pharmaceutics, winemaking, as well as renewable energy as key directions for development of bilateral cooperation. According to the Swiss officials, Armenia definitely has a good investment environment; there is a problem of enlarging the market.

“I think firstly it’s necessary to solve the issue of direct flights which is very important in terms of developing the commercial relations. I also want to mention the tourism field, and direct flights play a key role for development of this sphere. There is a great potential in this field, the main preconditions are put forward, it’s just necessary to work in order to strengthen it”, he said.

Dominique de Buman stated that Armenia’s economic position provides an opportunity for major developments. In this context he highlighted Armenia’s membership to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), as well as the expansion of partnership with the European Union, in particular, the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed in Brussels on November 24.

“Switzerland is not an EU member, but has good relations. Armenia and Switzerland should have a development program of bilateral and multilateral relations”, the President of the Swiss National Council said.

He said he visited Armenia for the first time ten years ago. “I have an impression that the new generation understood that Armenia should be out of the isolation, and it’s necessary to do everything to stop the people’s flow and to create new jobs in Armenia. I also see steps towards strengthening of democracy. These are two important factors for future investments”, he said, outlining Armenia’s representation in Switzerland and the awareness issue.

“But please don’t view this as a criticism to Armenia, since it’s a small country: we also know that it has a great culture, this is just a picture, but people are not aware of what is behind it”, Dominique de Buman said.

Commenting on the upcoming Francophonie Summit to be held in Armenia in October, the Swiss official said it still unknown who will attend the Summit as a high-ranking official of the country.

“But it’s possible that if none of the government members is unable to attend, the President of the National Council as a representative will have a power to attend the Summit”, he said.

Syuzi Muradyan

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