Interview on news.am
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06.01.2016

India Ambassador: Armenia is country with opportunities for investments

Right now there are no major investments from India in the Armenian economy. Indian Ambassador to Armenia Suresh Babu told the aforementioned in an interview with Armenian News - NEWS.am. He also noted the high level of dialogue with Yerevan, expressed regret over the withdrawal of large Indian investments and told about the Indian New Year traditions.

Which are the main achievements of Armenia and India in 2015?
This year, in my view, has been a positive one. We maintain and further develop our political ties with Armenia. And I would rate our political relations excellent because there are no issues on which we have differences: we have a very good understanding of each other and a constant dialogue between the two sides.

We didn't have many high-level visits between our countries this year. Nevertheless, we are working on some concrete proposals of visits from Armenia to India and from India to Armenia. One is the [proposal on the visit of] the Armenian Minister of Education and Science Mr Armen Ashotyan and also a possible visit by your Agriculture Minister to India maybe in the near future. We have one agreement in the field of agriculture, which is finalized and must be signed. To sign it, either your Minister should go to India or our Minister should come here.

In the field of education we have finalized negotiations on two bilateral documents: the Education Exchange Program and the Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Diplomas and Degrees. These documents need to be signed as early as possible. With that objective in mind, we are now working on a proposal for your Minister's visit to India. I cannot tell you now when it will happen, but it is on the agenda. There are also proposals for the visit of the Indian Minister of Culture and Tourism to Armenia. We hope this will happen next year.

We have very excellent relations in the field of culture. This year I can highlight the previous International Yoga Day, which was celebrated in Armenia on 21 June 2015. Armenia also supported the UN General Assembly decision to declare June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. So we celebrated that day here in Armenia and it was a very successful event. I want to thank the Armenian Ministry of Culture and other agencies, as well as the City Hall of Yerevan for helping us organize this event.

Other than that, we had a 15-member business delegation which came from southern India to Armenia very recently. They had good business meetings.

How can Armenia become more attractive for Indian investors?
Armenia, given its relatively small economy and small population, is a good proposition to do business. Though the potential is relatively limited, Armenia is still a good agricultural country and also a country with mines, which offer metals and minerals. It is an emerging economy, which gives some kind of opportunities for investments. In the past, some of our companies invested in Armenian economy but later on they withdrew their investments and went back somewhere else. But right now, I must confess, there are no major investments from India in the Armenian economy. Why? I don't know. Businessmen know better than me. Maybe this is due to some taxes or some other difficulties.

How is the New Year celebrated in India?
India is the land of all religions in the world. It is a big country and every region has its own New Year. But, nevertheless, we are part of the global world, which celebrates the New Year in the night of January 1 according to the Gregorian calendar. But India also follows the same Gregorian calendar and also joins the whole world in welcoming the New Year on January 1. At the same time, every region celebrates its New Year in different months, like in January or March.

Does India have any specific Indian traditions of celebrating New Year?
In January, some states, including my own state, celebrate New Year, which is linked with harvest. So when the harvest comes ready, they collect it and bring home. Bringing harvest home is itself the indication of the New Year.

Are there any special dishes specific only to your country?
We have very diversified cuisine. If you say lavash is the symbol of Armenian bread, we have no single symbol like that. In some regions rice is the main staple, while in others it is the bread called chapati (flatbread).

Do you put up a Christmas tree?
We have a large Christian population in India. They do celebrate Christmas on December 25; they put up Christmas trees at home and decorate the Christmas trees in their houses. There are also such people who are not Christians by faith. They also put up Christmas tree at their home and thus express solidarity with Christian population. They go to the house of Christians and congratulate them on Christmas and New Year. Special Christmas cake is prepared by all Christians, who gift it to all their friends, relatives, as well as non-Christian Hindu and Muslim friends.

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Indian Ambassador: Currently no major investments from India in Armenian economy

YEREVAN. - In the past, some Indian companies invested in Armenian economy but later on they withdrew their investments and went back somewhere else. Indian Ambassador to Armenia Suresh Babu told the aforementioned in an interview with Armenian News - NEWS.am.

According to him, Armenia, given its relatively small economy and small population, is a good proposition to do business. Despite its limited potential, Armenia is still interesting in terms of agriculture, also being a country with mines, which offer metals and minerals, the Ambassador said.

"Armenia is an emerging economy, which gives some kind of opportunities for investments. But right now, I must confess, there are no major investments from India in the Armenian economy. Why? I don't know. Businessmen know better than me. Maybe this is due to some taxes or some other difficulties," Suresh Babu added.

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Indian Ambassador: Indian Minister of Culture and Tourism may visit Armenia in 2016

YEREVAN. - Proposals on the visits of Armenian Education and Science Minister and Agriculture Minister to India are on the agenda of the Armenian-Indian relations. Indian Ambassador to Armenia Suresh Babu told the aforementioned in an interview with Armenian News - NEWS.am.

According to him, Armenia and India have concluded an agreement in the field of agriculture. "To sign it, either your Minister should go to India or our Minister should come here. In the field of education we have finalized negotiations on two bilateral documents: the Education Exchange Program and the Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Diplomas and Degrees. These documents need to be signed as early as possible," the Ambassador stressed.

In his words, there are also proposals for the visit of the Indian Minister of Culture and Tourism to Armenia. "We hope this will happen next year," Suresh Babu concluded.

 
 
 


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