President holds consultation on Armenian-Indian economic cooperation agenda

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to the Republic of India Armen Martirosyan reported today to President Serzh Sargsyan on the Armenian-Indian cooperation agenda and the steps taken to boost exchanges in the prospective areas. Held as part of the series of consultations with the President of the Republic of Armenia on the economic component of Armenia’s foreign policy, the meeting was attended by the heads of those ministries and government agencies responsible for coordination of cooperation in the areas of mutual interest.

Noting that this year marks the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and India, the President considered it as a good opportunity to summarize the achievements and highlight the opportunities of bilateral cooperation, especially as the economic component is concerned. According to President Sargsyan, all the necessary preconditions are in place in this respect, as the two countries have managed to turn the deeply-rooted friendly relations into strong ties of partnership over the past few years.

“Despite the present high level of the Armenian-Indian dialogue, which is anchored on strong historical ties and traditions, I think we have not yet fully tapped the potential inherent in these relations. India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and, therefore, we need to advance the cooperation with that country, first and foremost, as regards the economic constituent. Indeed, the Armenian-Indian intergovernmental commission has a crucial role to play in this matter with updated and more targeted agenda items ranging from information technologies to agriculture, diamond processing and tourism.

We have several good examples of cooperation. Here, I would like to single out the Yerevan State University-hosted Armenian-Indian Center of Excellence for ITC ((Information and Telecommunications) technologies, which is doing a great job. We are prioritizing the program of introduction of educational programs aimed at creating an integrated computer network between schools in Armenia as implemented in cooperation with India and the ITC Excellence Center.

Tavush and Vayots-Dzor Marzes will largely benefit from the connection to the Center’s network of the hardware available in the local schools. Generally, a huge work has been done in India: they have built up a wealth of long experience and enjoy significant capacity in this area. Therefore, taking into account India’s potential, we should intensify cooperation in this field.

I also want to mention our cooperation in education and science. You may know that more than a thousand Indian students are currently studying in Armenia’s universities. Along with mastering professional skills and knowledge in Armenia, they are getting acquainted with our culture and history. Back to their homeland, they will complement the ranks of our friends. This is a very important factor, and we have huge opportunities to develop cooperation in this direction.

Calling at the Yerevan State Medical University a few days ago, I got acquainted with their programs: they are prepared to increase the number of students here and expand cooperation in healthcare and education, in general.

I think we have considerable opportunities to cooperate in diamond cutting, jewelry, and we have to continue work in this direction. We should avail ourselves of the opportunity to cooperate in the field of pharmaceuticals, where India boasts great achievements. They are a major supplier, and we must show our capabilities to get them involved in the Armenian market.

We certainly have great potential of interaction in the field of agriculture. As far as I know, a working group is up, and reciprocated visits have been paid over the past few years. Here, too, cooperation can be effective, in particular, as regards agricultural machinery.
We must definitely endeavor towards the development of tourism. This country with a huge population may offer great opportunities in the field of tourism. Mr. Martirosyan, I am urging you to address these issues more thoroughly in your report. We must be sure of what we need to do in specific spheres so that we could avoid voicing such low figures next time: I mean in the sphere of trade, where the potential is too great,” the President of Armenia said.

After hearing Ambassador Martirosyan’s report, the President issued a number of recommendations, which will be included in the agenda of the Armenian-Indian intergovernmental commission.

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