YEREVAN (Armenpress)–An international business conference in Yerevan concluded on Tuesday that Armenia had the potential to become an influential hub for sustainable economic development in the region.
The conference, which brought to Yerevan participants from Armenia, Georgia, the United States, Croatia, Bulgaria, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, discussed Armenia’s potential role in the region as a center for tourism, business, and information and communication technology.
But Armenia has a long way to go before it can become a regional powerhouse in these key 21st century industries, the conference concluded.
According to a number of participants at the seminar Armenia can raise its level of its international competitiveness by studying and applying the Western experience in these areas.
Citing the sensational growth of Google in the past few years, Armenia’s Deputy Economy Minister Vahram Ghushcian explained that Armenia can make itself for competitive by providing its citizens with greater and faster access to the internet. Wealth, he said, is less and less being generated by oil or natural gas now. The future of economic growth lies in the expansion of dynamic technology based businesses on the Internet.
He said that the Armenian Government will introduce, within the next 5 years, an “E-Government” program that will allow it to perform half of its public services through online networks.
Only about 6 percent of Armenia’s population currently has access to the Internet, Ghushcian added, noting that the number of people Georgia and Azerbaijan is double that.