Armenia’s rank in Global Competitiveness Index remains almost unchanged throughout last decade

ARKA, Armenia

July 14 2017

YEREVAN, July 14. /ARKA/. Armenia’s rank in the Global Competitiveness Index remains almost unchanged throughout the last decade, Manuk Hergnyan, head of EV Consulting CJSC, told journalists on Friday.

Armenia improved its position by three notches in the 2016-2017 Global Competitiveness Index and came 79th among 138 countries.

«Armenia started in the Global Competitiveness Index from the 81st position in 2005 and since then our indicator has faced a certain regress, but has already recovered,» Hergnyan said. « As a result, we found ourselves on the same place after ten years of fluctuations.»

In his opinion, it has resulted from competition with other countries, which are trying to reach progress as well.

Nevertheless, he said, Armenia has managed to improve some indicators here, but this has had little impact on its general rank.

«Today we are ranked 79th after improving our position, compared with the previous period, by three notches, but we have a certain improvement in other indicators, such as productivity of markets, innovations and business improvement,» Hergnyan said.

As faults, he pointed out some macroeconomic indicators, particularly public debt, education quality and commercialization of scientific research.

Armenia for the first time was included in the Global Competitiveness Report in 2005 – it was ranked then 79th among 117 countries.

After that, the country's rank was gradually downgrading to 98th in 2010, but then it began improving and reached 79th among 148 countries in 2013, 85th among 144 countries in 2014 and 82nd among 140 countries in 2015. –0—

Russia’s Duma ratifies united armed forces group agreement signed with Armenia

ARKA, Armenia

July 14 2017

YEREVAN, July 14. /ARKA/. The Russian parliament ratifies united armed forces group agreement signed with Armenia in Moscow on November 30, 2016, Vzglyad reports.  

The agreement specifies the mission of the joint group of Armenian and Russian armed forces and the scheme of its formation, deployment and application.

It is stated in the agreement that the group is to be created to ensure military security in the Caucasus region.  

The agreement implies early detection of preparations for assaults against Russia and Armenia and suppression of such assaults, protection of ground borders of both countries and participation in protection of air boundaries.

By signing this agreement, the parties have assumed a commitment to take part in air defense of armed forces and extremely important facilities of both countries.    

The agreement was signed in 2016 by Russian and Armenian defense ministers Sergey Shoygu and Vigen Sargsyan. –0—-

President Sargsyan: I highly appreciate France’s support for rapprochement between Armenia and the European family

Panorama, Armenia

July 14 2017

On the occasion of the French Republic’s National Day, President Serzh Sargsyan visited today the Embassy of France in Armenia, the press service of the President’s Office told

The President offered his congratulations and best wishes to Ambassador Jean-François Charpenter, the embassy staff and the friendly people of France.

Taking the opportunity to reaffirm that France is seen as a friendly country for the Armenian people, as well as a reliable and good partner for Armenia, the President assured that our country will continue to strengthen bilateral relations and deepen the friendship between the Armenian and French peoples. President Sargsyan asked Ambassador Charpenter to convey his warm greetings to President Emmanuel Macron of France.

As they looked at ways of expanding and deepening bilateral relations in different fields of activity, the President of Armenia and the French Ambassador highlighted the need for close cooperation ahead of the Francophonie Summit to be held in Armenia. Ambassador Jean-François Charpentier thanked President Sargsyan for the visit to the Embassy, as well as for his congratulatory remarks and good wishes.

On the occasion of the National Day of France, President Serzh Sargsyan sent a congratulatory message to President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron.

“The centuries-old friendship between Armenia and France and the privileged relationship between our two countries, including the high-level political dialogue and the wealth of mutual trust provide a solid groundwork for the furtherance of the Armenian-French cooperation. I am confident that through joint effort we will be able to build on the ties in both bilateral and multilateral formats to the benefit of our two peoples.

Armenia highly values the efforts made by France jointly with Russia and the United States to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group for the sake of peace and stability in our region.

I highly appreciate France’s support for rapprochement between Armenia and the European family, as well as the close ties of cooperation maintained in the international arena, including our interaction in the framework of La Francophonie.

Reiterating my congratulations, I wish every success and all the best to you, as well as progress and prosperity to the friendly people of France,” President Sargsyan said in his congratulatory message addressed to the President of the French Republic.

Former opposition MP: Armenia president looks to PM’s post

PanArmenian, Armenia

July 14 2017

PanARMENIAN.Net – The Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) seems to be preparing the society for the information that president Serzh Sargsyan is going to be the country’s prime minister in 2018, a former opposition lawmaker said on Thursday, July 13.

Anahit Bakhshyan said the country is making a transition to a parliamentary system, with the post of the prime minister beginning to play an increasingly central role.

“Serzh Sargsyan has been at the helm of the country since prehistoric times and has served as the Armenian president for the past 10 years,” cited Bakhshyan as saying.

“I have no desire to see him in the prime minister’s post as he has promised a great deal of things, made a lot of plans and delivered multiple speeches, but has done nothing.”

Also, she said that current PM Karen Karapetyan is not a good choice for the position either and that “it’s too bad that no one can be elected to the post any longer.”

The Armenian opposition has been insisting on some clarity about the position of the prime minister after Sargsyan’s term as president ends in 2018. Various RPA officials used to say that Karapetyan will continue heading the cabinet, but opinions come to vary lately.

First buckwheat processing factory to open in Armenia

Public Radio of Armenia

July 14 2017
10:37, 14 Jul 2017
Siranush Ghazanchyan

The first Armenian buckwheat will be available in the local stores soon. Armenia, that has been importing buckwheat since its independence, will have locally produced buckwheat thanks to the European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) and the “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund.

Since 2015, ENPARD “Producer Group and Value Chain Development” project, financed by the European Union and Austrian Development Agency, works with 53 primary producer and processing cooperatives.

551 farmers from 67 communities are involved in 34 cooperatives of buckwheat production in Shirak, Lori, Aragatsotn, Kotayk and Gegharkunik Marzes. They supply buckwheat to the factories in Tsovagyugh and Bavra, the latter uniting 28 cooperatives from Shirak, Lori and Aragatsotn in one cluster.

In 2016 the project provided the primary producer cooperatives with buckwheat seeds and fertilisers, and the processing cooperatives were provided with factory machinery. As a result, 520 ha area was sowed, and an average of 1.2 tons of buckwheat harvest per 1 ha was recorded in 2016.

Besides, with the support of the project, local and international experts have provided the farmers with trainings on buckwheat sowing, fertilizing, harvesting, storage, processing, as well as buckwheat-related beekeeping and honey production.

The construction of Bavra factory premises was funded by “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund, while the works were implemented by the cooperative.

“Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund, being an advocate for the development of Armenia and Artsakh for more than 25 years, attaches great importance to the agricultural sector and acknowledges the relevance of ensuring sustainable income by the farmers. As such, since 2011 the Fund operates “Himnatavush” development foundation in Tavush Marz, through which around 500 thousand Euro investments are being channeled to agriculture annually.

Recently, 100th greenhouse, dedicated to 100th family of Tavush, was opened in in Tavush with funding of Argentinian-Armenian and Australian-Armenian philanthropists.

Karabakh peace mediators diminish value of peace talks by planning new meeting as part of UN General Assembly

Tert, Armenia

July 14 2017

15:35 • 14.07.17

By planning to arrange the next round of ministerial talks over Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the OSCE Minsk Group is diminishing the value of the entire process, according to Sergey Shakaryants, a Yerevan-based political analyst.

“The OSCE Minsk Group’s mandate was determined on a higher level – that of the UN Security Council. So that diminishes the mandate’s significance and influence,” he told a news conference on Friday, commenting upon the mediators’ statement issued after the recent talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers.

Shakaryan said he finds the co-chairs’ remarks somewhat surprising against the backdrop of the regional developments.

“They do not make any sense at the moment, with the ceasefire being repeatedly violated in the conflict zone. Yet the co-chairs keep making calls for a new meeting,” he added.

Group of disabled tourists from Lebanon impressed with Armenian hospitality

Armenpress News Agency, Armenia
July 14, 2017 Friday

Group of disabled tourists from Lebanon impressed with Armenian hospitality

YEREVAN, JULY 14, ARMENPRESS. A group of disabled tourists from
Lebanon are impressed with the Armenian hospitality and reception,
reports Armenpress.

Their trip in Armenia continues. They plan to visit Garni, Geghard,
Etchmiadzin, Khor Virap within a week.

The State Tourism Committee of Armenia received a request several
months ago which said a Lebanese company plans to organize the visit
of a group of disabled tourists to Armenia so that they can reveal
Armenia with their own experience and asked the Committee for

The Committee thanks Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan and the Yerevan
Municipality for providing a comfortable transportation to the guests.

The group consisting of 38 disabled people is impressed with the
Armenian hospitality. The Committee decided to meet and communicate
with the guests.

They were very impressed and highlighted the attention and care of
Armenians. Some of the tourists are interested in the Armenian brandy
and wine. They look forward to the visit to the Ararat brandy company.
The guests also mentioned the safety issue in Armenia, adding that
they feel very safe here.

The start of the maintenance of "Mir" maps in Armenia and "ArCa" maps in Russia

ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
July 13, 2017 Thursday

The start of the maintenance of "Mir" maps in Armenia and "ArCa" maps in Russia

 Yerevan July 13

Karina Melikyan. At the 26th International Financial Congress
(IFC-2017) in St. Petersburg, in which the head of the Central Bank of
Armenia Artur Javadyan participates, it was announced about the start
of the maintenance of ArCa cards in Russia and the MIR cards in
Armenia. The press service of the Central Bank of Armenia told

Elvira Nabiullina, Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian
Federation, stated during the speech at the congress: "The first
cross-border operations on the Mir card in the ArCa payment system in
Armenia were held last week and for us this is the first project to
organize an equitable intersystem interaction, and citizens of our
countries, I think I will get new financial opportunities, here I
would like to express my gratitude for the really very rapid and rapid
promotion of this project to the Central Bank of Armenia and the
leadership of the ArCa payment system, "she said. According to her,
the strategic objective of the Central Bank in the coming years is to
provide direct international reception of the "mir" card in the first
place, to the EEU space.

About 273 thousand tourists from Russia visit Armenia every year - 22%
of the total number of tourists. And if before they had to pay for
services and purchase of goods on the cards of international systems,
now it is enough to have a "MIR" card or an "ArCa" card. Another
advantage of this initiative is that, when making a transaction, the
involved parties will know the exchange rate in advance, which, as
planned, will be much more acceptable than used by international
payment systems (Visa / MasterCard).

This project is inherently the first in the EEU space, which
demonstrates the high level of Armenia-Russia cooperation aimed at
high-quality service to citizens of the two countries, increasing the
volume of non- cash payments, and expanding the geography of plastic
operations on the cards of national payment systems. The Eurasian
Economic Union includes Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan,

To note, on July 7, 2017, Central Bank of Armenia included Russian
national payment card system MIR (NSPC) in the register of active
payment and settlement systems, and simultaneously gave permission to
Armenian Card payment and settlement organization to participate in
the MIR system. The project of intersystem interaction assumes mutual
acceptance of cards of national payment systems in the infrastructures
of two countries: ArCa cards in Russia, maps "MIR" in Armenia. The
project also provides for the production of ArCa-MIR cobeydge (joint)
cards. The technical possibility of issuing such cards has 16 banks
operating on the ArCa infrastructure. To recall, the need to create a
national payment system by cards MIR arose in the summer of 2014, when
Visa and MasterCard, due to US sanctions against Russia, stopped
servicing the cards of a number of Russian banks. On June 3, 2016, an
agreement of intent was signed between Armenian Card CJSC (operator of
Armenia's payment system ArCa) and JSC NSPC (operator of the Russian
payment system Mir), providing for mutual servicing of ArCa and Mir
payment systems in payment infrastructures.

Armenian President welcomes world-famous violinist Maxim Vengerov

Panorama, Armenia

President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia received today world-famous violinist, laureate of many prestigious awards Maxim Vengerov who is in Armenia to join the gala concert of “Armenia” first international contest-festival due on July 4-12 in Yerevan, hosted by the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia and the European Cultural Support Foundation.

Press department at the President’s Office reports, that welcoming the famous cultural figure in Armenia, President Sargsyan noted with satisfaction that the festival will provide the opportunity to enjoy the art of virtuoso violinist, conductor Maxim Vengerov, admire his talent and feel the maestro’s affection for the Armenian people.

The President believes that the multitude of classical music festivals and concerts regularly held in Armenia are meant to advocate and promote musical education among the rising generation, which evidence the Armenian people’s adherence to the everlasting true values of high art.

Appreciating the valuable contribution made by Maxim Vengerov and the other notorious musicians who have come to Armenia to promote musical education, Serzh Sargsyan thanked Armenian young performers for the provision of inspirational master classes.

“We are undoubtedly grateful to you for your participation in the 2015 concert dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Brussels, which reaffirmed your commitment to universal values,” the President of Armenia emphasized.

“Honorable Mr President, as a musician, I am pleased to hear from you about those values that are important to me. Any nation keen on universal cultural values and music in particular, is entitled to a great future in every area. Thank you very much for your support and dedication to culture and specifically music. In anticipation of my Yerevan concert, I hope to get a warm welcome on the part of the Armenian audience,” world-renowned musician Maxim Vengerov said.

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