ArmInfo. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan held a meeting on the agenda of the Armenian-Italian economic cooperation.
According to the press service of the Armenian leader, the agenda of the Armenian-Italian economic cooperation, promising areas of mutual interest such as energy, tourism, education and science, the food industry, as well as deepening and expanding cooperation, implementation of agreements, reached in the last period, the RA Ambassador to Italy Victoria Baghdasaryan reported to the President.
Having stated that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Sargsyan stressed that the Armenian-Italian relations are based on a joint history, with a number of friendly elements, which is extremely important from the point of view of interstate relations. In this context, Sargsyan did not consider it a coincidence that Armenia has recorded tangible results of cooperation with Italy in almost all spheres. "It is no secret that Italy is one of our most important partners in Europe also in the trade and economic sphere. It is also not a secret that we are deeply interested in developing these relations with Italy, as it is among the countries with a high level of development, and our cooperation with Italians leads us to a new management culture, with modern, efficient management. In this area, we must make serious efforts. Undoubtedly, it is encouraging that the trade turnover between our countries has grown significantly over the past two years. Compared with the data of the first half of last year this year, the indicators for the same period increased by 26%, and exports from Armenia to Italy increased by 21%. All this shows the great potential of our relations," the head of state said.
At the same time, he noted the importance of identifying new directions of interaction together with traditional directions. He recalled that cooperation between the two countries is developing in such areas as construction and food industry. According to him, now the interaction is being replenished with such major investment directions as high technologies, energy. "I am convinced that in a few weeks the Italians will begin to implement our agreement on the construction of a new and efficient thermal power plant, which is essential for us. We must work towards presenting our capabilities and our products in Italy. I would like to pay special attention to the possibilities in the sphere of light industry. If we take into account the fact that Italy is our third trading partner in Europe and the light industry occupies 90% of our turnover, this should give us great hopes and food for thought, as we are exporting goods in demand in Italy and Europe. It is important to maintain this pace," Sargsyan said, adding that this direction is given serious attention within the country. The Armenian leader expressed his belief that the sphere of light industry in the country should get a sharp rise.
He noted that the day before he was present at one of the local enterprises, where new types of production in this area were launched. According to him, only thanks to the activities of this production alone will 3,500 to 4,000 new jobs to be created. According to him, the emphasis is not only on tailoring products, but also on the production of own fabrics, threads. "Of course, we in Armenia can not grow cotton, but we can implement all other processes and develop some projects. I believe that we should explain to the Italian businessmen the competitive advantages of Armenia in comparison with other countries. I mean our membership in the Eurasian Economic Union. Italians are good businessmen and know the skills of selling their products, and in this sense I believe that Armenia can be considered as a platform for maintaining its positions on this 170 million market," the head of state said.
The Armenian leader also considered cooperation in tourism as a promising area, since this industry is very developed in Italy. According to Sargsyan, Armenia could adopt the Italian experience and record a sharp rise in this area, especially given that this year the tourist flow to the republic has increased by more than 20%.
At the end of the meeting, the Armenian President gave a number of instructions on the full use of the Armenian-Italian economic potential and the development of cooperation in promising areas.
According to the National Statistical Service, Armenian-Italian trade turnover for January-August 2017 was $ 130.7 million, with annual growth of 25.3%. Exports totaled $ 24.4 million, with annual growth of 20.5%, imports - $ 106.3 million, with an annual growth of 26.4%.