Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   19 June

“Now’s the most important phase to ensure economic breakthrough”, Pashinyan says in Paris MEDEF meeting

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 14, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan says he is convinced that the Armenian revolution wouldn’t have a meaning if achieving an economic revolution will not be possible.

The Armenian PM was speaking in Paris at a meeting with the Mouvement des entreprises de France (MEDEF).

“A non-violent, velvet, democratic revolution has taken place in Armenia. And I would like to say that not only is this a political revolution, but a revolution of values. But it is also very important to underline that this revolution will not have a meaning to a great extent if we won’t be able to achieve economic revolution. And in this context, perhaps, now is the most important phase of our revolution, when we must ensure economic breakthrough in the Republic of Armenia,” he said.

He said he agrees with opinions that very clear rules are required for economic activities. “And, basically, we have announced these rules on numerous occasions, but I suppose that not everyone is believing in them yet due to economic traditions in Armenia. After being elected Prime Minister I summoned business circles and I made the following statement, that all businessmen, all business circles, all companies, since I took office, are free of any corruption obligations. And, essentially, we have two conditions and two interests in relations with economic activity operators and investors: the activities must be legal, in full compliance with the law, and we will support everyone in order for them to create as many jobs as possible, and certainly, pay taxes,” Pashinyan said.

He stressed that the Armenian government has noted the signals voices by businesses that the Armenian tax code is too confusing and as a result now the government has commenced large scale amendments of the tax code.

“But we also come across a problem which is related to the political system which existed previously. No company can operate cut off from the reality of the given country. And we note that numerous companies which have operated in Armenia were forced to operate within the rules and logic which had existed, particularly broad corruption and patronage. By the way, let me say that in the capacity of Prime Minister one of my first actions was to visit the Carrefour supermarket, because at the time I took office Carrefour was the only supermarket operating lawfully. And as a result of this solitude, this huge supermarket began a process of getting smaller. And now I can say that that process has stopped and the expansion process is guaranteed, because all supermarkets are operating within the law, and there simply cannot be any other option,” he said.

He added that the government was forced to make certain clarifications with a number of companies of various origin – German, Russian, Italian, French etc. “But the goal of our actions isn’t to destroy anything, the goal is to make the cooperation between us and these companies more effective, more fair, and to protect their interests even more, including from abuse. When we have problems in any given field, we must understand what mistake the government had made, what mistake has the given partner made, because if there are problems it means that each of us has done something wrong,” Pashinyan said.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

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