ArmInfo. The Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan held a meeting with representatives of the European Business Association and European companies operating in the republic. The press service of the Government told ArmInfo that the head of the EU delegation to Armenia Piotr Switalski attended the meeting.
Karapetyan noted the importance of cooperation between the Government and Business community, seeing business as a partner and pushing force of the economy.
"We sent you multiple signals and hope you are aware of them. 100 days work of the Government, diagnosis of problems and taken steps are aimed at improving the business environment. Be sure that we are committed to this issue. We attach importance to European business involvement to Armenian, both as a culture of management and investments. We are ready to listen to your suggestions", said the Armenian Premier. In this context he noted the importance of cooperation between Business sector and the Center for Strategic Initiatives.
Speaking about the Government's investment programs, Karapetyan said that the executive body carried out the collection and analysis of those investment programs, which have been received during the visit in the regions by the private sector and line ministries. He informed that by the results, 341 investment programs were collected amounting $3.2bln, which will be funded from various sources, particularly, from state budget and private sector. "These programs have financial sources and partners. We find real to implement programs amounting $840mln in 2017. Currently, there are more 79 investment programs amounting $5.3bln are discussed in the Government. We consider those programs to be logistical, we have preliminary agreements and they are open in terms of investment and partners", said the Armenian Government head.
In his turn, Switalski noted that the given meeting is a good possibility to present the problems, suggestions and interesting questions. At the same time he noted the importance of initiatives take by the Government to improve the business environment and the readiness to support the business in different issues.
Karapetyan also informed that considering the existing problems and complains of business, the Government will pay special attention on improvement of customs and tax administration. "In the near future the State Revenue Committee will submit a list of bona fide taxpayers. Banks will provide loans to these entities at lower rates, but not because we will act as intermediaries but because they are predictable, credible and understandable. We will do everything so that the business, working in the legal field has received benefits", noted the Premier. He also added that the Government considers its firs function not to create obstacles for business, and the second function to stimulate business, which is extremely important nowadays considering the lack of trade activities.
According to Armenian National Statistical Service data, the volume of foreign trade turnover between Armenia and EU increased by 2.1% in 2016 to $ 1.2bln, in particular, exports increased by 15.9% to $478.8mln, with a slump in imports by 5.2% to $739.9mln.