Working visit of the President Armen Sarkissian to French Republic
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in Paris on a working visit, is meeting with the heads of the French public, business, and cultural circles to discuss opportunities and prospects for cooperation in these areas.
With the Vice President of the renowned French Dassault Systèmes company Christian Nardin the President of Armenia discussed the course of implementation of the agreements reached during the previous meeting.
The interlocutors stressed in particular the great potential for cooperation in the areas science, education, and technologies and readiness to implement joint programs.
President Sarkissian said that Armenia, with its educational, scientific and innovation institutions and experts, might become a good partner for the French side. The parties reached an agreement that representatives of the company would visit Armenia in April to outline more precisely the programs of cooperation.
Dassault Systèmes is part of the large Dassault Group French company. It provides program support to the area of military industry, particularly, to space aviation, defense, and energy systems. The Group works also in the area of logistic systems, hybrid electrical transportation vehicles, real estate, wine production, and other areas.
In Paris, President Sarkissian will participate also in the works of the 90th conference of the Armenian General Benevolent Union. Armen Sarkissian has been a member of the Central Board of the AGBU since 2016.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is France on a working visit, met with the famous French entrepreneur, former Chairman of the Electricité de France company Board and its CEO, former CEO of the Veolia Environnement Henri Proglio.
President Sarkissian and Henri Proglio discussed opportunities for cooperation and perspectives of cooperation in the areas of ecology, energy, and efficient management of water resources.
President of Armenia underscored the existing big potential in the area of alternative energy and opportunities to implement joint programs. He noted that Armenia is rich with sources of renewable energy and that alternative energy business is a perspective area for our country.
The parties agreed that as the first step, Mr. Porglio, who possesses huge experience in these areas, would visit Armenia, to learn firsthand the existing opportunities, to continue with the discussions, and to bring the cooperation to a more practical level.
President Sarkissian, who is in Paris on a working visit, met with the leadership of a leading world company THALES, headed by the Vice President Rafael Ashkenazi.
The parties continued the discussions on the previously reached agreements and detailed that at the end of February the Vice President and Regional Director of the Company Paul Remi would visit Armenia to see firsthand the opportunities for cooperation and to put the existing proposals on a practical base.
Stressing the importance of high technologies in Armenia’s development, President Sarkissian said, “My goal is to make Armenia a country of modern technologies.” He stressed especially the role of modern systems equipped with up-to-date technologies, particularly, with artificial intelligence.
Armen Sarkissian viewed as important tying modern technologies and the already existing skills, boosting innovation and startups.
The THALES Group Company is working in different countries of the world and is engaged in the design and construction of electrical systems, provides services in the aviation, aerospace, defense, transportation, and security areas.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in Paris on a working visit, participated today to the conference on entrepreneurship, innovation and critical thinking held in the framework of the 90th General Meeting of the Armenian General Benevolent Union.
The President of Armenia and member of the AGBU Central Board of Directors Armen Sarkissian in his statement noted in particular that the AGBU is a global and at the same time is a clearly Armenian institution which serves the interests not only of our nation but of the entire humanity.
“We are entering the era of a rapid evolution,” President Sarkissian said. “It is based on the research made in the 20th century, scientific discoveries in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology, discovery of the laws of the new world which are the quantum laws, quantum mechanics up to the theory of relativity, gravitation, etc. In the 20th century, we were conducting research as an academic work. However, the time has come when the results of these researches become industrial.”
Mentioning among new technologies and discovering artificial intelligence, President Sarkissian noted that it would have a great and critical role and would introduce great and dramatic changes in our lives. “It will influence our life, starting from the management of big cities up to making the life in these cities easier,” President Armen Sarkissian said. “Yerevan has the same problems as Paris. In the end of the day, artificial intelligence will solve these problems.”
According to the President, artificial intelligence will make changes also in the area of healthcare and because of it, the results of medical exams can be received in minutes. It will have a huge impact on the efficiency of that area. The same is true for the legal area. “With the help of artificial intelligence, we can do magic,” President Sarkissian said, “We can improve our immune system, fight cancer, and live longer. Thus, all this can radically change our life.”
The next thing that the President of Armenia highlighted were startups.” Those are wonderful ideas, a new version to start business in the 21st century which gives freedom to the innovative power of the people,” Armen Sarkissian said. “In the 21st century young people have enough tools – IT, innovations, and information to become creative. Look at the largest companies of the world, are they old, big, industrial companies, natural resources? No, those are Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. All of them were founded by few individuals who possessed the innovative power.”
The next topic of the President was titled the reality and virtual world. “We are living in a world in which the boundaries between the reality and virtuality are destroyed,” he said. “Just think, how many ours you spend in virtual world – with your phone, your computer, or TV. Virtual and real are merging, the boundaries between them are destroyed. Eventually, the virtual is starting to prevail, however, the in the globalized, interconnected world, the virtual is not only about our life, bank accounts, or our personal data. Everything we do become virtual. For instance, take sports as the great achievement of the 20th century: Sport competitions, international tournaments are watched by millions all over the world. But the young people of our days are watching largely their friends who are competing in computer games. The number of people, who are watching virtual competitions today is equal to the number of people who watch the real ones. Thus, the reality and virtuality merge.”
President Sarkissian in his statement said that in the 21st century classical institutions and organizations would gradually become less and less relevant versus direct approaches, ideas, movement, inspiration, and energy. “The small can be very powerful,” he noted. “From now on, the small is important.”
Addressing young people, the President of Armenia said in particular, “If I was someone, who was asked as a professor to give a piece of advice on what to do to achieve success in life, is it necessary to be a teacher, lawyer, doctor, or someone else, my answer would be the following – don’t think of becoming someone. First of all, explore yourself, understand who you are, what qualities you have because every child is born with a talent. One is talented in music, the other in mathematics, the third in crafts, the other one has a talent to listen or to talk. Thus, discover yourself and when you have done it, you will understand how important education is. Armenia can produce new ideas in the area of education. Education matters but it too will change. The first tool which appears in the hands of a two-year boy or girl is phone, or iPad. They are so talented that are able to find very fast whatever they are looking for. When they turn 3, they are given books. And how do they react to books? They think, book is broken iPad, it doesn’t work. Of course, eventually they will read the book but education will be different.”
In the end of his speech, the President spoke about morality. “We may have artificial intelligence, huge success in technologies, but if we don’t morality, we are doomed,” the President of Armenia said. “Humankind discovered fired which was for good, it allowed to cook food, to warmed them up and became the engine of development. However, that same fire was used by people for destruction. Or the hammer that was create to build to build a house, other useful things but another kind of hammer was used to kill.
Nuclear energy was created to be useful but at the same time it became great danger. Hence, the problem is not with technology or a tool, the problem is with us and our values. If those are right values, human values, lead towards future, God is with us. But if those are destructive values, God save us.
Where does Armenia stand here? In Armenia too, the evolution in technologies, science, politics, political structure has started. In all these areas, we can be one of the leaders in the world because globalization is the moving force behind this rapid evolution, global interconnectivity. We are a unique nation, a small state, but a global nation which interconnected and interactive. So, we are in a very good position in this world. We spoke about artificial intelligence. There are friends who are engineers, scientists who know how developed the mathematics and physics in Armenia and outside. Many of you were born not in Armenia but visited there and created many valuable things. The new world will not be dominated by natural resources or huge industrial line. I foresee that 10 may be even 5 years later we will replace Ford’s invention because the next generation of automobiles will be assembled in shopping mall with 3D tools. Car making will become a know-how, and there will be no need for big structures. Armenia and Armenians have a small advantage on this. Take startups: All over the world, in this area Armenians are coming up with brilliant ideas. I have a list of nearly 50 companies who are very successful all over the world. The startup culture is very common in Armenia. There is the Seaside Startup project in our country which every year brings together startups in different venues – Dubai, Australia, this year –near Lake Sevan. I was there this year - it was just fantastic. The new culture of production, innovation is important, and we can be successful there. Even big companies understand that to be successful, they need to push innovations and startups. Innovation is going to be the locomotive of the future advancement, and on this we are very well positioned there.
Young people should be able to adapt. Let’s remember who we are: We are children, grandchildren and grand grandchildren of those who suffered as a result of the Genocide of 1915. It was perpetrated to eliminate us but we have a powerful ability to resurrect and of rebirth. Thus, April 24 is not just the day to remember: On that day we prove to the world that Armenians cannot be destroyed. We proved that we have the ability to rise from the ashes. We have that fantastic quality of surviving, which is important in the new world of the 21st century. You need to be the one who is able to adapt very quickly, and make the right decision. We can do that. The new world is also our world. Hence, I would like to the tell young people – you are the children of the new world. And when I say a new Armenia or new Armenians, I mean that in the new world, we have a strong place. We need to govern our country as a advanced and strong country of the 21st century.”
In the framework of his working visit to Paris, President Armen Sarkissian met with the former Prime Minister of France Dominique de Villepin who is different periods of time was also foreign minister and minister of internal affairs of France.
President Armen Sarkissian and the seasoned state and political figure exchanged views on the international politics and security, spoke about problems and challenges existing in the South Caucasus region.
Armen Sarkissian spoke also about the programs and preliminary initiatives which he pursues and noted that they were pointed into the future and were aimed to make Armenia a center of modern technologies and startups.
The President of Armenia invited former Prime Minister of France Dominique de Villepin to visit Armenia in the nearest future. The invitation was accepted.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in Paris on a working visit, was present at the concert dedicated to the memory of Armenia’s National Hero, world famous performer Charles Aznavour which was organized in the framework of the 90th General Assembly of the AGBU.
President Armen Sarkissian in Paris participated at the 90th General Assembly of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU).
At the General Assembly, which is convened biennially, present were delegates from different countries of the world.
The Armenian General Benevolent Union is the largest Armenian public organization which through the different educational, cultural, and humanitarian programs brings its contribution to the preservation and development of the Armenian identity and heritage, striving to strengthen among the young people interest towards the rich national heritage and traditions.
Armen Sarkissian has been a member of the Central Board of Directors of the AGBU since 2016.
In the framework of his working visit, President Sarkissian met in Paris with the Executive Director of the Nestlé Waters company Maurizio Patarnello.
Noting that Armenia is rich with natural resources and drinking water in our country is among the best in the world, the interlocutors spoke about possible cooperation in this area.
They concurred that there are serious perspectives for cooperation and agreed that the Executive Director of the Nestlé Waters company would visit Armenia shortly to continue the dialogue and to bring the discussions to a more practical level. At the meeting, discussed were also issues of the efficient management of the water resources.
Nestlé Waters is part Nestlé Group company, which is one of the world’s leading companies in the production of bottled water. Nestlé Waters also carries out research and educational programs to show water’s importance in the human life and healthcare.