03, 2015

Address by President Serzh Sargsyan at the Boao International Economic Forum


 Distinguished President Xi Jinping,
Honorable businessmen,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am glad that my state visit to this wonderful country – hospitable China – is ending with my address directed to the prestigious Boao Forum for Asia. This institution has truly become a unique impetus for the development of the Asian region, economic cooperation and progress. Such kind of representative forums also provides an important platform for dialogue and mutual recognition.

Armenia, a country which lies on the crossroad of Europe and Asia, has been a connecting link between the two continents for millenniums, thereby representing itself as an amalgamation of eastern and western values. The vivid illustration of that link was the historical Great Silk Road, an indissoluble part of which was Armenia. And it is no accident that we deem it very attractive the idea of President Xi Jinping to restore the road unifying different peoples.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, Armenia is an attractive country in terms of its business environment: our government pursues an open door policy, imposing almost no restrictions on investing activities, which is guaranteed by law. Our steps directed at the improvement of the business climate are highly valued by prestigious international organizations.

Armenia is among the unique countries of the region that has not undergone serious political shocks domestically and considerably excels many countries in the region in the human rights, the rule of law and different development indices, which is an important prerequisite for investment attractiveness.

Today Armenia has free trade agreements with all the CIS countries with about 250 million populations. And by joining the EEU, Armenia has got a free entry to a 170-million common market, the right to duty-free import of raw materials and privileged conditions for import of 750 types of goods from third countries.

We also make use of the system of privileges provided by the EU, the USA, Switzerland, Japan and Norway, which implies zero-rate or significantly reduced rate of export duties for Armenian goods exported to these countries. Armenia also provides privileged conditions for large exporters, including exemptions from corporate tax.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have embarked on a path to building a knowledge-based economy, taking vigorous steps towards that goal. The striking illustration of our success is Dilijan International School of Armenia, the American university, the French and Slavonic universities and, of course, Confucius Institute that has become a unique platform for promoting cooperation between Armenia and China. As a result, the RA has sustained huge growth in information technology and precision engineering.

Today Armenia is a country of opportunities with its modern, educated and diligent human capital, geographic location and different formats of cooperation with numerous countries, as well as its approach “based on investor needs.”

Armenia is also ready to become a center for interests of Asian businessmen. I would also suggest that you explore the opportunities to found regional headquarters of Chinese and other large Asian companies in Armenia. Especially attractive areas for businessmen could be the energy sector, cooperation in the North-South Road Corridor and the Armenia-Iran railway construction projects in consistence with the initiative of the Silk Road.

There are also opportunities for cooperation in tourism, including as part of the “The Great Silk Road” traveling road, which is important both for economic and inter-cultural dialogue. With its annual 10 percent growth rate, tourism is one of the most dynamically developing sectors in Armenia. Armenia’s big potential for tourism, which rests on its geographic location and rich cultural heritage, is one of the crucial prerequisites to stimulate growth in aviation. For this purpose, we adopted a policy of open skies in 2013. As a result, we were able to foster passenger transportation and expand their geography. Moreover, in 2013 Zvartnots International Airport of Yerevan was recognized the best airport among those of the CIS countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am confident that our today’s meeting will greatly contribute to the strengthening of our friendship, by revealing new paths for mutually beneficial cooperation.

Thank you for your attention.

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