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President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian today had a meeting with the leaders of several companies involved in agriculture, food production, reprocessing and the service sector.

Sarkissian stated that the situation is rather complicated and attached importance to joint efforts, recording of problems and the search for more optimal solutions in a situation when it is necessary to regulate business and the problems with jobs in the conditions of the global economic downturn, adding that alongside the hardships caused by the coronavirus, there will also be many economic hardships, including in the food safety sector.

“Armenia has to think very deeply and very seriously about food safety. One of the paths is perhaps reassessing what the country has and finding new markets. It’s great that Armenia has a certain place in, say, the Russian market, but one market isn’t enough to maintain the balance. In Armenia’s case, the best path will be to turn Armenia into a center for international trade of agricultural products and food. Armenia needs to export products with the highest quality because we won’t be able to compete with quantity. There is no doubt that Armenia has great potential for the production of agricultural products. There is a tremendous market in neighboring countries, stretching from Iran to all Gulf countries.

My conclusion is that it’s going to be hard and the government has to assume its role. I propose the following: If you want to use the presidential institution, use it as your representative or ambassador. I believe Armenia has a market towards the Gulf countries, and it so happens that the leaders of those countries are my longtime friends. Use the presidential institution for your benefit and the benefit of the state. I will be glad, if we collaborate in some way and make positive changes together.”

The businessmen touched upon the impact of the coronavirus situation on their respective businesses and talked about the prospects for growth. Upon the proposal of the President, they also presented the current issues and risks, touched upon effective management of land plots and expansion of markets for export, as well as tax privileges, maintenance of jobs and several other issues.

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