The RA Minister of Education of Science Arayik Harutyunyan, the RA Minister of Economic Development and Investments Tigran Khachatryan, the RA Minister of Finances Atom Janjughazyan, members of government, MPs, economists and students were present at the meeting.
The Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management Hayk Sargsyan greeted those present and noted that this meeting will support clarification of the concept of the economic revolution.
The RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan came up with a short introductory speech in which he expressed hope for active and effective discussion.
The Prime Minister said that the RA Government’s vision of the economic revolution is as follows: Armenia must become a highly technological country and technologies must become the driving force of economics. Saying driving force, they mean both soft and hard technologies.
The Prime Minister stressed that Armenia must get rid of the image of a country with low-quality labour resources.
Mr. Pashinyan stressed that human resources in our country must be of high quality which is tightly connected with the sphere of education, so serious reforms are needed in this field as well
He stressed that the Government’s vision of the higher education is that they should increase the research component and scientific work.
“The RA Government must adopt the policy of ensuring high salaries and one of the most important tools for is to determine tax consolidation with the precondition that in the years to come it must decrease reaching 20%”, said the Prime Minister. He also expressed hope that the stock market system will also develop and stated that the government is taking actions in this direction trying to find state companies the stocks of which will be possible to bring to the market.
“In our concept we attach vital importance to the fields of agriculture and tourism and we think that the part of labour force that doesn’t meet the high ranks of qualification can find its place in this segment providing dynamics of small and medium business development”, stressed the Prime Minister.
Speaking about the methods of economic revolution Nikol Pashinyan outlined that the main methods remains the individual effort like in case with the political revolution.
The first question addressed to the Prime Minister was asked by Professor Tatul Manaseryan who touched upon the spheres of education and science.
He stressed that for many year Armenian served as a donor preparing specialists and sending them abroad. He noted that the themes of the Master program thesis should be more targeted and useful for the Government program. He stressed that the sphere of education need serious changes as it must serve the concept of the country development.
Professor Manaseryan also pointed out that the National Academy of Science doesn’t correspond to modern challenges and that this problem can be overcome by means of competitions. He urged the Prime Minister to set tasks before economists which will make it possible to have a feedback and provide participation in the activity of the Government.
Prime Minister Pashinyan stressed that one of the problems of Armenia is in the lack of precise relationship between the community of experts and government.
He stated that the expert institute in Armenia must significantly develop. It is mainly centralized in universities, institutes and the main task is to establish working relationship with them.
Associate Professor Gayane Ghukasyan spoke about the financing of the sphere of education. She said that various educational programs get financial support from foreign organization and asked what mechanisms can be applied to attract local organizations to this process.
Nikol Pashinyan noted that private companies are making agreements with the RA Government and the ES Ministry to modernize equipment in schools and other educational establishments. The process is supervised by the MES. As a result of such a cooperation private companies get the specialists they need.
The head of the Chair of Finances and Accounting Hayk Mnatsakanyan spoke about intellectual work. He asked Prime Minister’s opinion about the place an intellectual can have in society.
The Prime Minister answered that intellectual work is the driving force and stressed that universities must guarantee that the person who gets a diploma certifying his education really has proper knowledge and skills. He said that he can’t believe that people with a diploma, proper knowledge and appropriate skills can’s find job or create a job in Armenia.
The Associate Professor of the Chair of Management and Business asked a question about the sphere of air traffic.
The Prime Minister replied that currently discussions are carried out with the company managing the airports of Zvartnots and Shirak. He stressed that the Government is not going to create one national Armenian air company and to give it the monopoly, as they had such experience and it was negative.
Mr. Pashinyan also referred to the inertia still existing in the state system which is to be overcome. He said that the concept of Armenia’s development must be fixed in the introduction to the RA Constitution in which no changes had ever been made though the changes in the Constitution had been made 4 times.
Economist Ashot Tavadyan expressed opinion that there are serious problems with the coherence of loan and budget policies and with state budget performance so there is need for changes in the law “On the Central Bank”. Mr. Tavadyan handed his written proposal to the Prime Minister.
The Professor of the Chair of Economics and International Economic Relations of YSU, correspondent of the RA NAS Grisha Gharibyan drew the Prime Minister’s attention to the problem of human capital. He stressed that human capital is the condition and basis both for economic revolution and the national security. During the last 25 years, human capital had losses both in quantity and quality. He stressed that low quality of life particularly in rural areas is a serious problem. He outlined that the main causes of human capital loss are poverty and corruption and social injustice flourished for many years. They caused emigration, particularly family emigration with no way back.
The question of Zhirayr Mkhitaryan from the Chair of Mathematical Modelling in Economics related to the sphere of agriculture and perspectives of its development. He outlined that the only way to solve problems in the sphere is to enlarge entities in the form of cooperatives.
The Prime Minister stressed that they have to understand the causes of the problems in this sphere. He said that 70% of the farmlands existing in Armenia are not cultivated. There are problems with roads and the availability of those lands, but in fact, people don’t use their potential completely.
The Prime Minister offered to make research into the sphere to understand why collective entities are not formed and what the Government should do to make it happen.
Economist Vahagn Khachatryan was the last to give a question to the Prime Minister. He asked Mr. Pashinyan if the influence of the problem of Nagorno Karabakh and its solution have been estimated from different points of views.
According to the Prime Minister, the problem is that the government is usually perceived as a leader who solves all problems.
“Our approach is that the Government and society must be partners who carry out labour division. The reason for old perception is in the authoritarian system. We must clearly formulate the variant of settlement of the problem which will help overcome the atmosphere of suspicion”, summarized Nikol Pashinyan.
Expressing gratitude for the discussion the Dean of the Faculty Hayk Sargsyan noted that the economists are ready to show overall support to the state in the issue of economic revolution.