U.S. Ambassador's Tough Statements

The U.S. Ambassador John Heffern stated in a meeting with the students
of Synopsys Armenia that he reports to the U.S. ambassador directly
but he also tries to put pressure on the U.S. president to recognize
the events of 1915. The ambassador says Armenia is a complicated
country due to the events of 1915.

Certain pressure is made on the U.S. president through me, including
in regard to recognition of the events of 1915.

John Heffern says surprised that despite closed borders the Armenians
find ways to achieve success, develop, they are warm, and Armenia is
not a grey country as he had thought before arriving here.

To achieve success Armenia must have different options and should not
depend on one option so they encourage Armenia to face the West to
find another option there. We are not trying to replace Russia and its
functions here, the U.S. ambassador said.

John Heffern says the business climate must be improved to result in
growth of the levels of international investments. He noted that he is
and will continue working with American businessmen to bring
investments to Armenia.

Business requires rule of law, transparency, competitiveness and
predictability, he says, noting that they always tell Armenian
officials that SMEs need honest competition. Heffern says there is a
tax system and a customs system but there are certain complaints on
behalf of the American businesses which try to import goods but find
that customs clearance is too expensive. He also notes that someone
starting a business needs to be sure that the judicial system will be
fair. John Heffern says there is progress on these issues but there is
a lot to do.

John Heffern underscored the DCFTA between the EU and Armenia, holding
out hope that it will be successfully implemented. Armenia needs those
ties, all the Armenians will benefit from the application of
international standards, he says.

The U.S. ambassador notes that Armenia is mainly present in IT but
American investments are expected to develop tourism and food
processing in the regions of Armenia. According to the ambassador,
there is a possibility to create jobs for the people in the regions,
as well as tourism but an expensive air ticket policy is conducted.

Armavia does not exist, Armenia must open up its sky and accept all
the air companies, he says, noting that they are working towards
bringing American Airlines to Armenia.

Heffern noted that the future of Armenia is in knowledge-based economy.

20:24 13/05/2013
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