It is a great honor for me to deliver welcoming remarks on behalf of the Government of Armenia, in relation to this important event. Economic reforms, which have been carried out by the Armenian government and the structural transformations that we have been implementing would have been inconceivable without active engagement and the role of the World Bank.
It is common knowledge that for countries in transition the mobilization of reform potential and constructive setting of directions is essential in order for the benefits of it to be bestowed by our citizens. The World Bank’s role has been and continues to really be the one of helping us to multiply this potential, the gains of this process, in order to make the transition less painful and make the results more tangible. We have witnessed significant support from the World Bank almost in all the sectors. From the reconstruction of the earthquake zone to the social sectors, the healthcare system and financial system, we have constantly felt the active engagement and support of the World Bank.
I am happy to see among the audience individuals who have been key to the implementation of many of these programs. I would like to start off by thanking all the staff of the World Bank Armenia Country Office led by Mr. Happi. I would recall all the WB Country Directors for Armenia, the heads of the local office and I see among us here Vahram Nersisiantz, who was the first Country Manager in Armenia with whom we started implementing very important reforms.
Nevertheless, we still have a journey ahead of us.
This morning, we had an extremely interesting discussion with the World Bank Team about future challenges and areas for cooperation. We heard Bank’s professional advice on the new challenges faced by our country, potential and new solutions and.
I can definitely note a sharp improvement in the quality of the professional discourse, over the last twenty years. While initially, we were more in a capacity of learners, we are now engaged in a professional exchange of give and take of ideas, a discussion of potential solutions of many of the problems that we still face.
I see in the audience some individuals with whom we launched the official cooperation with the World Bank by presenting before the National Supreme Council (National Assembly) documents on the initiation of relationship with the World Bank. I see the three ministers that stood at the origins/roots of the initiation of relations/cooperation with the World Bank. And your humble servant tabled the agreements with the World Bank and the IMF before the Supreme Council, at the time not having much of an understanding of what would happen next.
All the attendees have contributed to the success of different projects and programs. I am delighted to note that we do not have any failed projects in the World Bank’s portfolio in Armenia. In these twenty years, any of the attendees have dealt with the World Bank in different capacities from opposition to Government and variety of other capacities, but in spite of our efforts, collectively all of us were focused on improving the performance.
In view of the problems we currently face and in light of the historical perspective, twenty years is perhaps a short time. While I was reading today the staff paper on enormous number of projects that we have accomplished with the World Bank in twenty years, I was really astonished/amazed at whether we could have really done so much in such a short period of time.
I would like to reiterate that the partnership between the World Bank and the Republic of Armenia is incredible, it is a partnership of credible partners and we are looking forward to the continuation of these programs in Armenia.
I would like to thank all the attendees for their contribution and I want to congratulate all of us.