Economy 15:58 07/10/2019 Armenia

Pashinyan at WCIT 2019: We believe we can make Armenia paradise for talented people

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia and his spouse Anna Hakobyan on Monday attended the official opening ceremony of the 23rd World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) at Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concert Complex, his office reported. 

WCIT is the world’s largest IT event, which this year is being held in Yerevan. More than 2500 leaders, innovators, politicians, researchers, art figures and show business stars from 70 countries are in attendance.

Addressing the event, Prime Minister Pashinyan stated:

“Dear participants in the 23rd World Congress on Information Technology,
Dear guests,

Welcome to the opening of this forum of global significance, which is being held in Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia. Hosting such a major event is a great honor and pleasure for us, because it is a great opportunity to talk to you and to the international community about our strategy to make Armenia a high-tech country, and I hope that during your stay in our country you will feel the huge tide of energy and the atmosphere that came to Armenia after last year’s non-violent, velvet, popular revolution.

I would like to emphasize that decentralization was behind the revolution, due to which Armenia became a center of democracy on the world map. We set the goal of implementing a decentralization-driven economic breakthrough shortly after the political revolution, since we considered that each citizen’s personal effort and personal initiative was what mattered most in succeeding an economic revolution.

Our economy boasts an impressive surge at the moment: we have 7% economic growth. Tourism is on the rise, with about 13% growth in the number of visitors. The export of technological products is also impressive. The exports of technological products grew by 40.9%, while the export of high-tech output increased by 34.4% in the first seven months of this year.

The above instills strong confidence that the economic revolution in Armenia will in turn lead to a technological revolution, and we will be able to make Armenia one of the leading technological and innovative countries in the world - a true technological hub. This goal seems to be quite feasible considering that many Armenians gave birth to well-known technological innovations.

In 1853, Hovhannes Ghukasyan, a Polish-Armenian pharmacist and a petroleum industry pioneer invented the modern kerosene lamp that ushered in the era of technological enlightenment.

In 1854, Christopher Ter-Serobyan created the U.S. dollar’s green color that is deemed to be exceptional as it cannot be faked.

In 1911, another Armenian innovator, Gabriel Kazanchyan, created the hair dryer.

In 1916, Stepan Stepanyan developed the mechanical concrete mixer that is as much commonplace in the modern world as a the hair dryer.

In 1930s, Hovhannes Adamyan formulated the algorithm and the technology that enabled the creation of color television sets. The modern world is hard to imagine without the color TV, dollar greens, hair dryers, or a mechanical concrete mixer.

In 1931, Asatur Safaryan created the automatic transmission gearbox, opening up new prospects for automotive industry’s development.

In 1939, Luther Gevorg Simijyan created the well-known ATM, which is as much popular in the modern world as the dollar, the hair dryer, the mechanical concrete mixer, the color TV, and the automatic transmission.

In 1960s, Michael Ter-Poghosyan became one of the founders of tomography, a revolutionary innovation in healthcare.

In 1970s, Raymond Tamatyan created the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device, which was a breakthrough in the field of healthcare.

These two inventions saved millions, hundreds of millions of lives worldwide, and improved the lives of hundreds of millions.

In 1995, our compatriot Emik Avakyan created a wheelchair for people with disabilities, changing the lives of millions of people with disabilities.

In 2006, our compatriot Yuri Oganisyan discovered the 118th chemical element in Mendeleyev’s periodic table, which was named Ogannesson in honor of the Armenian scientist.

This list is not exhaustive, and it can be extended to include Artyom Mikoyan, the creator of the world-famous MIG planes; Arthur Blbulyan, the author of the gas-mask in use in the U.S. Army, one of the co-founders of modern plastic surgery Varazdat Kazanjyan, and finally, Alex Manoogian, who built the first-ever single-handled, dual-purpose tap marketed as the Delta faucet.

All this and the fact that the first Soviet computer named Nairi was created in Armenia, the fact that many of our compatriots actively participated in Soviet and American space programs, the fact that today our compatriots boast serious achievements in the field of technology and innovation, give us confidence that Armenia will actually become one of the most important technological centers in the world.

To this end, we have provided broad tax benefits to technology startups in Armenia, which shall be exempt of income tax by 2023 and will only have to pay ten percent of profit tax. As a result, the IT sector grew nearly fivefold over the past seven years, boasting a sustained 20-25% annual growth.

We have set the goal of seriously developing education, from pre-primary to graduate and postgraduate education. We say that education in our country should become a national way of life with the logic that one should never stop learning in our country, starting with the prime minister and ending with a computer operator. People’s educational and professional skills should be higher every other day in Armenia.

Dear participants in the 23rd World Congress on Information Technology, we do believe that we can make Armenia a paradise for talented people.

Many countries around the world - France, Russia, the United States of America, Singapore, Great Britain, India, Iran, and many other countries - have enabled the Armenian Genocide survivors to develop and showcase their talent, receive education and make innovations and discoveries. I mentioned some of them as the creators of world-class innovations, and now the free and developing sovereign Republic of Armenia is becoming more and more an attractive for technological, educational, innovative investments, activities and education.

We set up a new ministry of high-tech industry just a few months ago so that all professionals, startups, investors, partners and other stakeholders could be aware of their address is in Armenia.

Minister of High-Tech Industry Arshakyan was one of the biggest advocates of holding this forum in Armenia, and I hope that this truly memorable event will change a lot in the relations of the technological world and the Republic of Armenia.

I wish us all every success in the drive for high technology to make the world more humane, more God-fearing, more civilized, and tolerant.

Dear guests,

Technology is important indeed, but please do not miss this unique opportunity to enjoy Armenian sun-dried fruits, our unforgettable snacks, the local wonderful wine and brandy. And, of course, benefit from the Armenian autumn, which is warm and hospitable as always. I hope the Armenian Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises has allowed for enough time for you to enjoy the country. Thank you.”

WCIT 2019 being held in Yerevan on October 6-9. The forum is hosted by the Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises under the auspices and support of the government of Armenia..

The World Congress on Information Technology was initiated in 1978 by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance. The conference is held every two years.

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