ArmInfo. The first major task of the Armenian Government is to establish contact with society so that the nation understands, believes and responds to the signals that the Government sends, Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan says in an interview with Financial Times.
"Frankly, the work of the prime minister assumes that everything is a priority. Economic growth, social issues, healthcare and the fight against corruption: one could not say that this area is a priority and the other one is secondary. Perhaps the difference between the actions and the job of the prime minister and a businessman is that you do not have the luxury of prioritising and focusing only on the most important issues. Here's what I think is our first major task - we need to establish contact with society so that our nation understands, believes and responds to the signals that we send. This relates to the businesses and larger public. It will be much easier for us to improve the situation, when our nation is our ally and supports the programmes that we propose, Karapetyan says.
"We have already presented a government programme where we have outlined what we are going to do. There are a few major topics I want to highlight. Number one, we need to create a truly free, competitive and fair business environment. We are confident that our nation's potential for creativeness and business acumen would allow our businesses to grow really fast in such an environment. In addition, if we send clear signals, then foreign investors would respond to that as well and would enter our market if they are comfortable with the rules of the game. Second, considering our current economic condition, we will stimulate the businesses, perhaps not in a very conventional way for the government. We are going to create funds that will be providing financing to different sectors, for example, the agriculture sector, IT, SMEs and so on. Third, we will create a centre for strategic initiatives, where, with the involvement of talented private and public sector representatives, we will be discussing and developing long-term strategies, programmes and reforms and, ultimately, deciding in which direction Armenia will be moving. To summarise, we will create the most favourable and comfortable conditions for creative and hard-working individuals and we will demonstrate to them the horizons of our future, so that everyone engages in building that future. We want to show everyone the country of our dreams," he notes.
The Prime Minister stresses that FDI is extremely important to Armenia, not only because it will affect economic growth and bring in more investments, but also because it will bring in a new management culture, and demonstrate the openness of Armenia, which will certainly have a positive multiplying effect on other areas of our life, such as tourism. "When it comes to privatisation, I think Armenia is one of the most liberal countries among the post-Soviet countries. There is really very little state property. However, I am confident that private management is always better than public. It reduces corruption risks, increases efficiency, etc. Therefore, our intention is to transfer everything that has business logic, except for very specific areas such as security and defence, either through privatisation or submission for management. I think our IT/hi-tech industry is very interesting and attractive - it has fantastic potential and opportunities. Our agriculture, jewellery, mining, light industry, energy and tourism sectors also have big potential of attracting foreign investment," he says.