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 Friday, December 1 2023 15:19
Alina Hovhannisyan

Science and Business Days 2023 kicks off in Yerevan

Science and Business Days 2023 kicks off in Yerevan

ArmInfo. Science and Business Days 2023 scientific conference began its activities in the hall of the Gabriel Sundukyan National Academic Theater of Yerevan.  The event was first held in 2022 on the initiative of Minister of Economy of Armenia Vahan Kerobyan, where the special guest was Nobel Prize winner - American molecular biologist and neuroscientist of Armenian origin Ardem Patapoutian.

This year's conference has brought together entrepreneurs,  scientists, analysts and businessmen in Yerevan to identify the ways  that science and business can jointly contribute to the development  of a knowledge-based, rapidly growing economy.

During the welcoming speech, Armenian Minister of Economy Vahan  Kerobyan noted that the keynote speaker of the conference this year  is an American essayist of Lebanese origin, economist, futurist and  risk manager, Ph.D., author of the philosophical and economic  bestsellers "Black Swan" and "Antifragile" Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

"Despite the fact that the black swan was first discovered in  Australia, as stated in Nassim Taleb's book, we must admit that in  Armenia we often meet such "black swans". In this sense, during the  event such a flow of thoughts and knowledge awaits us , which will  help us set higher goals for ourselves, the implementation of which  will help improve the competitiveness of enterprises, sustainability  and enhance economic growth," he said.

The minister expressed hope that during his short visit to Armenia,  Dr. Taleb, will help understand how to achieve great results and  overcome the challenges facing our country with minimal risk.   Touching upon the economic situation in Armenia, he recalled that the  economic policy of the Armenian government is based on increasing  labor productivity and creating an investment-based economic growth  model. Over the past two years, according to the minister, Armenia  has registered one of the highest rates of economic growth in the  world, and compared to 2020, in absolute terms, GDP has grown by  about 100% (in dollar equivalent), and GDP per capita according to  IMF forecasts will reach $8.2 thousand.

"Despite the fact that we have significantly improved our position,  the structure of the economy will continue to remain simple, and the  goods and services exported are basic," he complained.  Kerobyan said  that in order to stimulate labor productivity, the government will  implement a number of programs. First of all, in this regard, he  named the program for modernizing the economy, within the framework  of which the state stimulates the renewal of production capacities of  enterprises by subsidizing a large part of lending rates. "According  to our forecasts, by the end of the year, over 3 thousand companies  will purchase equipment worth 200 billion drams, which will help  companies become more competitive," noted the head of the department.

He also spoke about the program to attract highly qualified  specialists from abroad to Armenian enterprises, who can bring  experience and knowledge of an international level. As part of this  initiative, the state subsidizes from 20% to 70% of wages for  international specialists for 3 years.  "We have already managed to  attract 400 employees from abroad, but we see that the potential of  this program has not been exhausted. According to our analyzes, every  company needs such specialists," noted Kerobyan. He also recalled  that a few weeks ago the government approved an assistance program  for the production of economically complex, knowledge-intensive goods  that have relatively low competitiveness on the world market and  require serious investment. "We are ready to assist enterprises  through the cashback mechanism and tax incentives, returning to such  companies up to 35% of the investments they made in the production of  such products," he said.

The minister also noted that the government's contribution to  strengthening the country's economy is reflected precisely in the  budget for financing economic programs. If in 2020, according to  Kerobyan, 20 billion drams were allocated from the state budget for  these purposes, then in 2024 this amount will reach 92 billion drams.

"This is an investment made by the government to increase the  productivity and competitiveness of enterprises," the minister  emphasized.

In turn, the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of  Armenia Zhanna Andreasyan, attaching importance to state support for  the scientific field, recalled that starting next year, wages in the  industry will increase by an average of 174%. In addition, she spoke  about the grant programs that the department is implementing in  several areas at once, which has significantly increased the  involvement of young scientists in the field. "And the situation  today has already developed in such a way that 70% of the  beneficiaries of grant programs are represented by young scientists,"  Andreasyan said. She also reported on other programs being  implemented to stimulate scientific activity in the country,  including those related to the integration of Armenian scientists  working abroad into projects and research carried out in Armenia.  It  should be noted that as part of the Days of Science and Business,  panel discussions are held with the participation of representatives  of innovative business, top managers of large companies operating in  the international market and representatives of the scientific  segment.

The conference is held with the aim of uniting scientists,  researchers, businessmen and investors from Armenia and around the  world. Having gathered on one platform, participants will try to  understand the mechanisms of interaction, understand what efforts are  required to have companies that could produce and sell unique  products that are the result of intellectual property, and export  them around the world.  Let us remind you that the event "Days of  Science and Business" was held for the first time in 2022. The event  was attended by more than 1000 participants, including, in addition  to Ardem Pataputyan, the famous astrophysicist Garik Israelyan, New  York University professor Georgy Derlugyan and others.

It should be noted that in 2024, according to the draft budget, the  state will allocate about 32.5 billion drams for the development of  science, which is 8% higher than a year ago. 

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