Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian on Friday ordered his government to take a set of measures which he said will “stimulate the economic revolution” in Armenia promised by him.
Pashinian issued 15 mostly economic directives to various government agencies one day after the Armenian parliament approved his cabinet’s five-year policy program.
“Of course, the government will adopt a list of measures stemming from the program but I want to differentiate them from a list of measures to stimulate the economic revolution,” he told ministers before listing those actions.
In particular, Pashinian said, the government should “review all investment proposals” submitted by local and foreign businesspeople and look into obstacles to their implementation.
The premier made clear at the same time that from now on he and other senior government officials must meet with only those potential investors who have a proven track record of major entrepreneurial activity. He complained that some of his meetings with individuals claiming to be ready to invest in Armenia were a “meaningless waste of time.”
“For example, if a person has never had even $5,000 on his bank account but now says that he wants to invest $5 million or $50 million then obviously something is fishy there,” said Pashinian.
In its 70-page program approved by the National Assembly on Thursday, the government pledged to achieve a significant increase in foreign direct investment in Armenia. The document stresses the importance of creating “attractive conditions” for foreign investors, saying that “internal savings will not be enough to achieve high rates of economic growth.”
The government expects the Armenian economy to grow by at least 5 percent annually for the next five years.
Other directives issued by Pashinian relate to infrastructure projects benefiting the agricultural sector, agricultural export promotion, cheap credit to small businesses and hiring of seasonal workers by commercial farmers. Pashinian said the government must ensure that the families of those workers are not stripped of poverty or unemployment benefits because of the temporary employment.
The premier said the government should also do more to retrain unemployed individuals and support organizations teaching potential entrepreneurs “business skills and financial literacy.”