05, 2024

President Vahagn Khachaturyan attended the 33rd Annual Conference of the EBRD Board of Governors

President of the Republic Vahagn Khachaturyan attended the meeting of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), entitled "Investment prospects of Armenia" organized within the framework of the 33rd annual conference.

An opening speech was delivered by President Vahagn Khachaturyan at the event.

"First of all, I congratulate all of us on making the organization of the 33rd annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development a reality. This is an exceptional and, why not, historic event. Our country hosts the annual meeting of such a reputable financial institution, which, by the way, is the first for us, but certainly not the last.

We consider the holding of the EBRD annual meeting in our country as a clear manifestation of respect and trust. We are confident that we will fulfill this mission with honor and hope to set a new milestone in the process of organizing annual meetings.

The scope of cooperation between the Republic of Armenia and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is indeed extensive. The Bank is one of the largest institutional investors in Armenia and a key partner for Armenia.

Today, when I look back, I am proud of our common achievements, the success of joint efforts in various fields and, above all, the growing mutual understanding. The bank has been involved in financing of more than 200 projects in Armenia. 80% of Armenia's portfolio is in the private sector, which is an impressive indicator.

I am pleased to report that we have had significant results over the years in vital spheres.

Over the years of effective cooperation, a number of initiatives have been undertaken, which also contributed to the activation and development of the Armenian economy. We attach particular importance to the structure’s support in the field of SME development, ensuring financial accessibility, and infrastructure development.

The EBRD has made a great contribution to the sustainable development of Armenia's financial system. I am confident that our cooperation with the EBRD will strengthen, and the bank's strategic plans for developing the financial sector and improving access to financing will only expand.

Another rare opportunity is this session of Armenia's investment prospects, which aims to reveal the potential of our country and the added value that Armenia can bring to our South Caucasus region, making it even more attractive to the outside world and investors. I will present to your attention the key developments of Armenia's economy and the mega directions of our progress, after which my colleagues will enrich what has been said with relevant presentations and reports.

As for the developments of the Armenian economy, it is important to emphasize that in recent years, the Armenian economy has grown rapidly, recording 9% average economic growth. And despite the efforts of the Armenian government, objectively, in parallel, external factors had a positive impact as well, there is a clear consensus among specialists that our economic growth potential has increased. This is greatly facilitated by the ambitious economic assistance programs of the Armenian Government aimed at improving the complexity of the economy and promoting high-value-added domestic and foreign-invested industries. I also consider the efforts of the RA Government and the Central Bank of Armenia the key in ensuring macroeconomic stability in conditions of unprecedented upheavals in recent years, which are one of the important pillars of investment attractiveness in any country and thanks to which it was possible to maintain high growth rates and record low inflation, which is an exceptional result on a global scale.

As for the mega directions of development, as the title of this session suggests, it will generally be oriented towards science, education and high technologies. Armenia has aimed to develop such an economy, which on the one hand will offer technological and innovative products to the world, and on the other hand, with its infrastructure being built and modernized on a grand scale, will significantly contribute to increasing the capacity of the region to serve trade flows.

We are trying to position ourselves on the economic map of the world by creating a fundamentally new knowledge-based environment, with an emphasis on education, science and research. As a clear evidence of this, the Armenian government is modernizing the educational infrastructure with the large-scale construction of schools and kindergartens and reforming all circles of the education system. We have also launched a new Academic City project that aims to improve the quality of higher education and create a research and development (R&D) developed ecosystem.

Armenia's high-tech industry, being at the forefront of innovation, is paving the way to global markets. During this period the best traditions of the industry have grown into an environment in which on the one hand, global technology players such as Nvidia, Synopsis, Siemens, AMD, Adobe, DLink and others work together, and on the other hand, successful startups such as PicsArt, Service Titan, YerevaNN and others who were here born.

We believe that in order to deepen cooperation in the region, it is necessary to focus on the launching of infrastructure projects and cooperation, such as transport networks, energy systems and telecommunications.

As a strategic region with a unique position linking the countries of the West, East, North and South, we also emphasize the need to establish long-lasting peace in the region, one of the important prerequisites of which is overcoming and resolving conflicts in the region. In this context, we attach importance to the current border demarcation process with Azerbaijan. We also find that major infrastructure projects in the South Caucasus region can become a serious unifying and integrating factor between the countries of the region.

Only with the participation of all the countries of the South Caucasus, with a combination of vital interests of all sides, we will have a historic opportunity to create the necessary prerequisites for cooperation, inter-connectedness and prosperity.

In this context, I would like to note that we have launched the strategic initiative "Crossroads of Peace", aimed at restoring cooperation in the region and activating economic, political and cultural ties between all countries by unblocking infrastructure.

The North-South Road Corridor Investment Program is an important part of this initiative, in which cooperation with the EBRD also plays an important role. It is symbolic that today at this meeting we will consolidate this cooperation with a relevant loan agreement.

Only the formation of a just society and the dissemination of these values in our region can give a great impetus to all this. In recent years, strengthening democracy and the rule of law, reforms in the field of justice, protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms have been among Armenia's priorities. We have embarked on large-scale reforms of justice, comprehensively transforming the judicial system and the institutional system of fighting corruption. Thanks to them, Armenia has already made progress in the field of the rule of law and democracy in the indicators of reputable international organizations (Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Economist Intelligence Unit, Gallup, etc.).

All these directions pave the way to such an advanced environment in which peaceful and prosperous Armenia and the South Caucasus will make a great contribution to the economic development of the world, improving the welfare of the population and overcoming global challenges."

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