The final identification of problems related to the murders and injured persons on March 1, 2008, as well as the lack of adequate political and legal assessment on the state level, became one of the main obstacles to the development of Armenia.
It was an active year from the perspective of bilateral relations between Armenia and France in 2016. Mrs. Girardin, Secretary of State for Development and Francophony, visited Armenia in January. This was followed by the visit of Mr. Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, in April.
Armenia-Switzerland relations actively develop particularly in the financial economic and mutual investment sectors. Although Switzerland was the number one investor in Armenia with $ 90 million investment according to the official data in 2015 but Armenia has a problem of becoming well-known in the foreign world. Lukas Gasser, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Swiss Confederation in Armenia, said this at Media Center on February 10.
The quality of tax administration in business sector bears positive changes in Armenia but there are still many unresolved issues in terms of improving the business environment, providing equal competitive conditions for all operators. "On the one hand, the informal economy should be levied a tax, on the other hand, such a competitive environment needs to be provided in order the businesses working in the “white field” have the opportunity to develop, not to go bankrupt.
To fight against the spread of cancer efficiently in Armenia, it is necessary to raise public awareness about the available treatment options and preventative measures. David Zohrabyan, Oncologist / Chemotherapist, said this during the press conference entitled "Cancer Dissemination in Armenia: Treatment and Prevention Measures" organized before the International Day against Cancer at Media Center on February 3.
The fight against corruption in Armenia is not possible to combat simply by legislative amendments and developing anti-corruption strategies. We need a political will to set up the adequate environment for implementing serious structural changes. The speakers spoke about this during the debate entitled “Regress or Progress? The Measures of the Government to Combat Corruption” and live streamed at “A1 +” TV with the initiative of Media Center.
In the international tourism market, Armenia and Georgia should be introduced by joint tour packages. Iran can also be included in that package because tourists may not be interested in visiting only one state. But simultaneously the infrastructures should be developed, beneficial and interesting packages should be introduced, the condition of roads and transport should be improved. The representatives of the tourism industry in Armenia and Georgia stated about this.
Armenia's new government initiatives and the current economic situation, the challenges are not in accordance. The economy has profound problems of efficiency, logistics, fundraising, and tax administration but the officials make provisional, superficial and temporary solutions. Economists talked about this during the discussion “The New Government's Actions and RA Economic Challenges” at Media Center on January 27.
It is not possible to fight against corruption by legislative changes and forming various governmental councils. Serious structural changes and institutional reforms are necessary. Varujan Hoktanyan, Project Director of Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, said this during the press conference at Media Center on January 25.
Armenia and the European Union are intensively negotiating over the maintenance and signing of the new Framework Agreement. Although the EU does not constrain with the domestic agenda of Armenia, the clean, fair and transparent conduct of the upcoming parliamentary elections can form a good environment for the further development of the cooperation.
Although Yerevan Council of Elders continued its regular work in 2016, several factors had a negative impact on the implementation of some projects stipulated by the budget and the efficiency of the work of the Council. In the past year, a number of parks have been built in the city, green areas have been expanded but fundamental problems remained unresolved. These are buildings in an emergency, lifts that are in poor condition, the public transport, and so on.
Although a few months are left for the parliamentary elections, there is no outlined activity in the political process. The political forces are engaged in the negotiations on developing formats of alliances and pre-election cooperation. As experts said, almost no political force managed to establish political capital, which would make them convincing during elections.
A few days ago a photograph of a black man’s and an Armenian woman's family published by Marashlian photo studio was a subject of heated discussions in social networks. The criticism and even threats are an evident proof of discrimination and intolerance in Armenia. Although the number of supporters of the same family was also significant in the social networks, Marashlian photo-atelier removed the photo from the Internet at the request of the family after "multiple threats".