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Ruben Vardanyan: Armenia looks to modernize its economy
2018-12-12 16:58:42

Armenia is facing many economic challenges, and people are expecting great things to happen in the years ahead, Armenian-born philanthropist and entrepreneur Ruben Vardanyan said in an interview with Deutsche Welle.

“We are experiencing an unbelievably good time in Armenia with people having a lot of good hopes and positive emotions,” Ruben Vardanyan said.

Asked whether acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is the right man to lead Armenia to the future, economically speaking, Vardanyan said: “No one can say who is the right man to lead the economic transformation in a country like Armenia, because there are so many challenges we are facing, and the country needs to be modernized and reformed in many areas.”

He said it would be a disaster for the Armenian nation if Pashinyan fails, because people have given him a big mandate.” “It’s very hard to handle the expectations, because a lot of things are going to be done in a painful way for Armenia.”

Therefore, Vardanyan said, the acting PM has a challenging job, has no experience in leading economic transformation. He believes, however, that Pashinyan will be the right consolidator of professional and open-minded people around him.

Speaking about Russia’s importance to Armenia, the entrepreneur said “it continues to be the biggest market for Armenian commodities.”

“Russia is also a big investor in Armenia and one of the biggest providers of jobs for Armenians. For many reasons, Russia is a big market for Armenia and an important partner,” he added.

“Armenia is the only country in the world to border four civilizations. There is Iran with strong Shia culture. Turkey and the Arab countries are Sunni. There are also the European and Russian civilizations,” Ruben Vardanyan said.

Therefore, he said, the best thing for Armenia is to be a bridge between these civilizations without becoming part of one system.

“We are benefiting today with Armenia as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and an EU partner. It is a very smart position, which allows us to benefit as a bridge between the two systems," Ruben Vardanyan said.