The Prime Minister’s visit to California was characterized as historic not only in terms of unprecedented public meeting with the largest Armenian community in the U.S., but also due to its impact on enhancement of trade-economic and investment factors in Armenia -California relationships. Shaping of the institutionalized partnership with the fifth largest economy in the world elevated with this visit the level of relations between Armenia and California on a much higher level.
Comprehensive Framework Agreement on cooperation signed between Armenia and California constituted a bases for such a partnership. It opens up opportunities for enhanced cooperation in trade, investment, energy, high technologies and IT, agriculture, education, culture, healthcare, and innovation. This document of paramount importance was signed in New York by Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and California Governor Gavin Newsom in presence of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
On September 23rd, the Prime Minister delivered the key-note address at California-Armenia Business Symposium organized by Consulate General of Armenia in Los Angeles jointly with Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles World Trade Center, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, and Los Angeles County Business Federation.
This symposium was innovative in terms of its organizational format. The most influential business organizations in Los Angeles city and county as co-organizers of the symposium came to promote Armenia as a business destination for California-based companies. The business symposium was well attended by about 250 representatives of CA business community.
“The California-Armenia Business Symposium opens up a whole new avenue of opportunities to boost trade-economic cooperation between Armenia and California.” Ambassador Armen Baibourtian, Consul General of Armenia said during his opening remarks. “It is a true honor to hold this very business event in the framework of the Prime Minister’s visit. It aims at presenting the transformed business landscape in Armenia in the post-Velvet Revolution period conducive for foreign investment and entrepreneurship.”
“We continue our efforts in deepening cooperation with the United States through many instruments such as the US-Armenia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, which provides strategic framework and principles for dialogue on trade and investment issues. In a relatively short time, we have managed to transform Armenia into a country with equal opportunities for all, providing incentives for businesses and startups, and making our country a better investment destination.
My call and my message today is to join our efforts to build new Armenia, unite our strength to make Armenia competitive and attractive to live. Let us make Armenia a country of our dream,” said Prime Minister Pashinyan in his address to the participants.
During the business symposium, the President and CEO of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Maria Salinas and the Minister of High Technology Industry Hakob Arshakyan signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation. Another memorandum of understanding was signed by Stephen Cheung, President of the World Trade Center Los Angeles and Tigran Khachatryan, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Armenia.
Following the business symposium, Prime Minister Pashinyan embarked on the next leg of the visit – Silicon Valley. He and the accompanying delegation met in Palo Alto with Tim and Bill Drapers, the legendary pioneers of venture capital in Silicon Valley and founders of Draper University. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of High Technology of Armenia and Draper University. Within the framework of the memorandum, the parties reached an agreement to implement joint educational programs and to train high-tech specialists in the field.
The Armenian delegation also met with CEOs of world renowned Nvidia and Synopsys companies. During these meetings, the parties discussed the prospects of close cooperation in the high-tech industry field. Prime Minister Pashinyan also had a meeting with Armenians of Silicon Valley working in the high-tech sector.