12, 2009

President Serzh Sargsyan and the President Valdas Zatlers participated at the opening of the Armenian-Latvian business forum

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Today, the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and the President of Latvia Valdas Zatlers, who is in Armenia on a state visit, participated at the opening of the Armenian-Latvian business forum in Yerevan. The Latvian President arrived to Armenia with a delegation which includes over sixty businessmen.

Greeting all participants of the forum, Serzh Sargsyan said, “I am truly glad that President Zatlers, his delegation, and representatives of the business circles of Latvia came to Armenia. Such a representative delegation testifies to the progress of our relations not only in the political but also in other, including economic areas.

This year we have already had the opportunity to talk with President Zatlers about economic cooperation during the Economic Summit in Davos. There we agreed to continue the dialogue in the format of a business forum in the framework of the Latvian President’s visit to Armenia. In these two days we discussed many important issues related to the Armenian-Latvian cooperation, including mutually beneficial partnership in the economic and other areas.

In recent years the trade turnover between Armenia and Latvia has grown. Despite a certain slow down, which we believe is conditioned by the global economic crisis, I am confident that there are all necessary prerequisites for its future growth. Besides, the trade volume between our two countries, the amount of it is such that two or three long-term agreements can make a significant impact.

Moreover, I am hopeful that you will able to find common ground, establish necessary contacts, and discuss possibilities for cooperation. All this combined can be used to overcome the consequences of the global financial crisis, create stimulating conditions for our economies and industries, opportunities to implement joint projects in the areas of agriculture, technology, banking and services.

The necessary legal field for cooperation of our two countries already exists. I hope that the agreement on economic and science and technology cooperation signed in the framework of this visit will offer new opportunities and will open new horizons for the dynamic development of our economic relations. In today’s Armenia half of our exports go to and one third of imports come to us from the countries of the European Union.

Another area of cooperation is tourism. Our countries have traditionally been tourist destinations for each other, and I am confident that that tradition can and should be reestablished. Considering the agreement on air communication signed yesterday, it is quite possible that regular flights will be established between our capitals which would undoubtedly increase the tourist flows.

We also attach great importance to the prospects of investments. Investments always follow the developments of the political dialogue and mutual trust and I believe our countries have already passed that test. Armenia pays special attention to the issue of attracting foreign investments. There are no limitations in the Armenian economy for the participation of foreign capital. Furthermore, not a singly major investment ever left Armenia.

In 2005, as a result of the previous business forum, which took place in the framework of the official visit of the President of Latvia to Armenia, Norvik credit company - daughter company of Lateko Bank, launched its activities in Armenia. I hope that we will see the results of this forum as well.

Obviously, this kind of event can open new pages in our cooperation and assist in using efficiently the existing potential. I have no doubt that this forum will contribute to the successful development of new ideas in the Armenian-Latvian economic cooperation.

Once again, I would like to express confidence that our economic relations will have a bright future. We are truly hopeful that your dialogue will be successful. We would also like to reiterate that we guarantee all investments and advantages of making them in Armenia. We treat our partners properly, genially, and with great care.”

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