Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   24 January

Government should work more intensively and efficiently during the pre-election period - Nikol Pashinyan

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 17, ARMENPRESS. A Cabinet meeting was held on October 18, chaired by Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, ARMENPRESS reports, citing PM’s official website.

Before discussing the agenda items, the Acting Prime Minister said: “You know that we are preparing for snap parliamentary elections and the political situation has a clear impact on work and moods. I hope that during this time the government will not change the logic of its work; on the contrary, our work has to become more intensive and effective because we have entered the pre-electoral stage. But, on the other hand, this time should be used effectively to organize activities and reach a level of greater efficiency. Also, whereas the public administration system is not supposed to get involved in the pre-election process, this seems to be the right moment to work in calm conditions. I hope that those in our government and the public administration system, who are not politicized and should not be politicized, will avail themselves of this opportunity to do constructive work.”

The Government amended a previous decision on the customs duty exemptions granted to Armenia Wine Ltd, Arman and Partners LLC. Note that Armenia Wine is going to expand its investment portfolio. The cost of new equipment and raw materials makes 3.4 billion drams. The project will provide 144 new jobs with an average salary of 204 thousand drams. The company has actually invested 4 billion 737 million drams.

Commenting on development opportunities in the spheres of winemaking and brandy production, Nikol Pashinyan said the Government should do everything in its power to help the local producers enter new sales markets.

“During the Francophonie Summit in Yerevan, our guests were impressed by the quality of Armenian wines and brandies, which was important and good news for me. There were many heads of such states as are considered to be leaders on the global wine and brandy market. It was a pleasure for me to hear the French President and the First Lady praise Armenian wine and brandy,” the Acting Prime Minister said, noting that this means that we have managed to meet specific international standards in this field. He stressed that the Government should take all necessary measures to wind up the existing production capacities.

“I think the biggest obstacle to this is the rate of production, and we should support our winemakers and brandy producers to boost the output level through new investment programs. On the other hand, we may have problems with the cultivation of grapes in Armenia over the medium term, and in this respect, the Ministry of Agriculture should work more extensively in order to upgrade the local vineyards, the culture and quality of their cultivation, as well as the anti-hail and irrigation systems as it seems to be obvious that winemaking is a very promising branch in our country,” the Acting Premier said.

Nikol Pashinyan pointed to serious problems faced in brandy production. “We consider our brandy industry to be a success story, but we have serious problems there, too. I mean the consumption and distribution of fake products, especially in the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union. Here we have to be very careful in terms of sales volume so that a few unscrupulous manufacturers could be prevented from importing alcohol from third countries, or even brandy spirits of non-Armenian origin, and export them under the name of Armenian brandy, which may have the most negative impact in terms of brand reputation.

I should note here that we usher in a nice tendency in focusing on investment programs at this Cabinet meeting, which means that we are set to cooperate with the business community, that is, we will continue to deepen our interaction. In the near future, we also need to hold serious discussions with business people over the proposed Tax Code amendments. I hope that we will be able to reach a common understanding on the steps to take ahead in the spirit of partnership and according to our mutual commitments,” the Acting Prime Minister emphasized.

Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan

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