Wednesday, September 20 2017 11:36
Naira Badalian

Armenian Premier and US Congress members discuss armenian-American economic agenda and Karabakh conflict

Armenian Premier and US Congress members discuss armenian-American  economic agenda and Karabakh conflict

ArmInfo. Prime Minister Karen  Karapetyan received a delegation of the House of Representatives of  the Congress of the United States of America that included  co-chairmen of the commission on Armenian issues of Congress Frank  Pallone, David Valadao and Jackie Spayer, Congressmen Anna Eshu,  Talsi Gubard and James Sensenbrener. The sides discussed the  Armenian- American economic agenda, as well as the peaceful  settlement of the Karabakh conflict.

The Prime Minister highly appreciated the work of US congressmen in  the development and strengthening of Armenian-American friendly  relations and thanked the United States Congress, especially the  commission of the legislative body on Armenian issues, for providing  external appropriations to Armenia and Artsakh.

The head of government discussed with US congressmen issues of  economic cooperation between the two countries. From the point of  view of investment promotion, the Prime Minister noted the importance  of signing the Framework Agreement on Trade and Investment, as well  as the inclusion of Armenia by the Congress and the US Government in  the number of countries using the GSP system. Karen Karapetyan also  considered the continued cooperation between Armenia and the United  States in the field of information and high technologies, which  already has a number of successful programs.

The parties exchanged views on improving the legal and regulatory  framework for the trade and economic sphere, in particular,  discussing issues related to the signing of an agreement on the  exclusion of double taxation. In the context of further stimulating  bilateral economic ties, Karen Karapetyan noted the importance of the  active work of the Armenian-American intergovernmental commission.

The meeting also touched upon the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh  conflict. Karen Karapetyan stressed that Armenia sees the solution of  the issue in an exclusively peaceful settlement and noted the  importance of the constant efforts of the US as a co-chair country of  the OSCE Minsk Group in this process. "We are building our strategy  so that we must be strong to ensure our security. I think that the  events taking place in our region are very clear and transparent, and  it will be useful for us if the international community, seeing all  this, expresses its clear attitude, "the head of government said.

The GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) program was adopted in  the US in 1974 with the aim of stimulating economic growth in  developing countries. Within the system, the import of goods (about  3500 names) in the United States is carried out on preferential terms  - in  duty-free regime, from 129 countries, including Armenia. As  Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Investments of Armenia  Garegin Melkonyan told ArmInfo a week earlier, according to  statistics, about 60% of Armenian exports to the US enjoy preferences  within the GSP, which is quite a high indicator. To date, as the  Deputy Minister noted, thanks to the Generalized System of  Preferences, sufficient growth in trade with the United States has  already been registered. In January-July, 2017, trade turnover  increased by 38% to $ 91 million. At the same time, as Melkonyan  pointed out, in the first half of this year exports recorded 66%  growth and amounted to $ 35 million.

To note,  the issue of excluding double taxation between Armenia and  the US has been discussed for over 20 years - since 1994, the  Armenian government has raised this issue. In 2000, during the  Armenian- American intergovernmental meeting, this issue was raised  again and since then preparatory work has been carried out, and  negotiations have not started. Earlier, ArmInfo informed that in  October Armenia will again propose the US to conclude a new agreement  on this matter. Armenia has similar agreements with 47 countries, the  last agreement was recently signed with Israel. The purpose of these  agreements is to eliminate double taxation in foreign trade between  two states, avoid tax discrimination with respect to economic  entities of the parties, exclude double taxation on property and  income, and create a predictable and stable tax environment for  business.

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