YEREVAN (Arka.am) — The resort town of Dilijan in the Armenian province of Tavush hosted last Saturday an investment forum, organized by the government to present the region’s capacity to absorb local and foreign investments.

The gathering brought together representatives of the local agricultural and processing industries, foreign businessmen, representatives of international organizations, ambassadors and members of the government and parliament.

Speaking at the gathering Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Tavush was the fifth province of the country to host such a forum for the second time. He said his government’s main goal is to stimulate and encourage citizens’ entrepreneurship efforts  ‘because we are confident that it is the individual efforts of citizens that  will  raise our country to a new economic and political level.’

As an example, he listed a number of Diaspora businessmen who after achieving success in Russia, Ukraine and other countries, decided to return to Armenia and  found new businesses in their homeland. Pashinyan said today there is an ongoing debate on the need to cut interest rates on loans and besides, the banks have cleaned the credit histories of hundreds of thousands of citizens and monopolies have been eliminated.

He said this year the Central Bank’s foreign exchange reserves in US dollars have already reached $171 million. “Over the past three days, this volume has increased by $40 million, which means that the economy’s “blood vessels” have opened and we need examples of individual efforts. Work, creativity, faith in oneself and the talent of each citizen are important, Pashinyan said.

According to him, when speaking about economic development, large businesses are usually meant, whose role in Armenia is difficult to overestimate, however, large businesses have become quite strong and can independently solve their problems.

“The government is interested in the success of large businesses, but our task is to help form new businesses. At the same time, for attracting investments from abroad, we should show that Armenia is a country of talented people, who  should be helped with words, ideas and money,’ said Pashinyan.

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