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Development of digital economy has been and remains one of the most important priorities for Armenia: Pashinyan at Digital Almaty 2023

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan participated in the plenary session of the digital forum "Digital partnership in the new reality" in Almaty together with the Heads of Government of the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union, as well as the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, an observer state in the EAEU.

First, the joint video-shooting ceremony of the Prime Ministers of EAEU countries took place, then they made a short tour of the exhibition booths dedicated to the high-tech sector opened within the framework of the conference. Armenia is also represented at the exhibition with a separate pavilion.

Prime Minister Pashinyan delivered a speech at the opening of the conference, in which he stated:

“Dear colleagues,

Dear forum participants!

First of all, I want to thank the Kazakh side for organizing the forum, which has become an effective platform for discussing digitalization issues and prospects for digital development.

For the Republic of Armenia, the development of the digital economy has been and remains one of the most important priorities. The turnover in the IT sector of the Republic of Armenia in 2022 increased by more than 50%, and the share of the information technology and communications sector in Armenia's GDP is consistently growing. For our part, we provide sector-specific state support to IT business. Last year, more than 1,000 startups received significant tax breaks.

At the same time, the issue of forming a single digital space on the territory of the Eurasian integration remains important for us. In this context, I would like to note the relevance and high demand for the tools of the interstate information exchange system, the creation and development of digital projects with an integration effect.

One of the foundations of the Union’s digital agenda should be the widespread use of the “Regulatory Sandbox” regime. Thanks to the use of specific legal regimes of “Regulatory Sandboxes”, the timeframe for the implementation of digital transformation projects will be reduced, and the quality of the submitted projects will increase, which in turn will accelerate the launch of digital projects of a pan-Eurasian scale.

At the same time, it is important to note that when forming a single digital space, one should not forget about building an integrated data protection system.

In this context, the acceleration of work on the conclusion of an international agreement on data circulation remains particularly relevant.

Colleagues,

After our meeting at the forum in Almaty in 2021, our government adopted a five-year Digitalization Strategy for Armenia, which determined the main directions for the formation of a digital economy and innovative development of the country.

I would like to note that before the adoption of the strategic document, we already had extensive experience in the development of digital services, but the Strategy will ensure the creation of a consolidated digital ecosystem in the country.

The main goals we are pursuing are:

1. Ensuring efficient and effective public administration based on the maximum use of data from information systems and a big data.

2. Improving the efficiency and modernizing the private sector of the economy through the development of platforms and digital services.

3. Support the development of digital skills and abilities for the wide spectrum of society.

At the same time, all 3 directions are interconnected and are complementary.

The events of the recent years have shown that modern challenges can instantly change the usual course of our life in an undesirable direction, if we fail to take joint and timely measures. It is obvious that there is practically no country capable of facing global challenges on its own. The coronavirus pandemic clearly showed this.

We all faced the same challenges, and we had to work together to overcome the consequences of the lockdown and the pandemic itself.

We began to use digital mechanisms more widely and deeply to overcome both the consequences of the pandemic and possible crises of a similar nature in the future.

In this context, I would like to note that international and regional cooperation is one of the critical tools for achieving the goals of Armenia's sustainable digital development.

The Government of Armenia cooperates at the international level, actively cooperates with the private sector and international organizations to find new digital solutions. One of such solutions for the Eurasian Economic Union was the mobile application "Travel without Covid-19" developed by the Fund for Digital Initiatives of the Eurasian Bank Development, which ensured the restoration of free movement of citizens between our countries.

The 5 million tests uploaded into the application means 5 million trips. indeed, a huge figure. The application became reality thanks to the active support of the governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia, which launched a pilot project that became a full-fledged project involving nine countries.

In my opinion, despite the weakening of the pandemic and the restoration of free movement, the "Travel without Covid-19" application creates a good basis for the development of cross-border digital medicine, information exchange and digitization of "medical cards", in accordance with national requirements and with full protection of personal data.

I propose to start discussing the perspective of using the application as an "epidemiological shield" tool and a reliable mechanism for the transmission of information of medical significance.

Dear forum participants,

Today, I would like to draw our attention to another relevant digital tool that enables citizens, businesses and state bodies of the EAEU countries to interact when organizing labor activities in our countries. I am talking about the digital platform "Work in the EAEU", developed by the Fund for Digital Initiatives as part of the implementation of the idea of Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin.

The Russian section of the mobile application "Work in the EAEU" began to function in 2022, and I want to inform you that today the first full version of the national section of the Republic of Armenia is also available in the application.

Users of the application can already find vacancies, respond to them, use the services "helper", "answers to frequently asked questions", get acquainted with regulatory information, find subdivisions of authorized bodies, contact information and so on.

In the Armenian national section of the "Work in the EAEU" application, the main existing state digital services are already available, such as the unified e-request portal, which provides not only the opportunity for individuals and legal entities to send requests to more than two hundred state bodies and subordinate organizations of Armenia, but also monitor the process of reviewing the request and receiving a response. In Armenia, about 60,000 users have already used this service, and the total number of requests has exceeded 300,000.

The next digital service, integrated into the application "Work in EAEU" is workpermit.am, with the help of which work permits and residence permits are provided in Armenia. The entire process is based on one application submitted on the online platform.

This digital instrument provides coordinated interaction of five state bodies involved in this process. Also, using the digital service, one can get a free card certifying the legality of residence in the Republic of Armenia on the basis of an employment contract for citizens of EAEU countries and their families.

Other government and commercial services will gradually join the platform.


At the same time, I want to note that our national section takes into account the peculiarities of our market and is not a copy of the Russian section. Thus, we are developing the platform "Work in the EAEU" with a new added value.

Armenia and Russia were the first participants of the platforms "Travel without Covid-19" and "Work in the EAEU". Joining the platforms shows the efficiency of interaction and the cumulative effect of the integration of advantages of national services. And we support the proposal of the Government of Russia to join the project of creating national sections and support the attraction of highly qualified personnel for the sake of the growth of our national economies and the economy of the EAEU as a whole.

Thank you for attention”.

Prime Minister Pashinyan and other Heads of Governments presented awards to the best participants of the forum.


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