PM Visits Lori and Tavush Marzes


On May 4, 2016, Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan paid a working visit to Lori and Tavush Marzes of Armenia.

The Premier first called at Debed community where Hovik Abrahamyan got familiarized with the construction of SMART Center. The pm was told that the Children of Armenia foundation will invest over 3 million U.S. dollars in the construction of the IT Center. The Center is meant to help develop innovation infrastructure in the province, state-of-the-art technology to be used in different branches of industry. The first stage of construction is scheduled for completion by this November.

The Prime Minister then went to Tumanyan community. During a consultation held on the spot, the Prime Minister was briefed on the pace of the ongoing community enlargement program. In particular, it was reported that the Tumanyan municipality has already completed the necessary preparations in order to best serve the inhabitants of those communities that have joined Tumanyan. It was noted that the Aldermen Council includes members representing all the districts of Tumanyan. Work is underway to jointly find solutions to existing problems.

The Prime Minister next visited the Teghut copper-molybdenum mine, where he was briefed on the investment projects carried out by Vallex Group, which is the operator of the mine.

The Head of Government was told that over USD 350 million has been invested to ensure the launch of the first phase of the project. In the period between December, 2014 through April, 2016 the Company has mined and processed over 8.8 million tons of ore and produced 141 thousand tons of copper concentrate of 27.89 percent copper content. Some 1,200 people are currently employed in the Company, mainly from Teghut, Shnogh and other communities of Lori Marz. The average salary was AMD 352 thousand As of March 2016. In 2015, the total amount of taxes paid by the company amounted to AMD 2.5 billion, while in January-April, 2016 it has reached the mark of AMD 4.55 billion.

Talking to journalists, the Premier pointed out that the Company boasted 57% growth in the first quarter of 2016 and expressed the hope that the growth will be reflected throughout the year.

“Vallex Group has already produced 16 billion dram-worth output this year. The Company is facing financial bottlenecks due to the fall in the price of copper concentrate on the global marketplace. The Government is committed and there is also the President’s instruction to support this powerful company, which has a great future. Attaching importance to the development of mining industry in Armenia, we have expressed our support for other companies that have financial problems,” Hovik Abrahamyan noted.

Speaking about the recently consolidated Tumanyan community, the Prime Minister stressed that the Government is going to provide some 300 million drams with a view to solving the problems faced in the community.

“The issue of community school reconstruction was discussed during the consultation. We decided that it should be included in the list of budget-funded programs for 2017. The authorities will also address the consequences of fire in Tumanyan kindergarten. Additional construction activities will be implemented as necessary. We are going to implement serious programs in this community, as it may be an attractive venue for tourists. In particular, the Marz Governor was told to develop tourism-oriented projects. We are also planning to carry out infrastructure development projects as part of the Government’s balanced regional development policy,” Hovik Abrahamyan said.

The Prime Minister left Teghut community for Bagratashen border checkpoint. The Head of Government toured the checkpoint to get acquainted with the construction process. He was told that the construction of Bagratashen checkpoint’s five buildings has been completed, including interior, exterior design and infrastructure.

The Prime Minister was assured that the bulk of construction work is complete, and the project will come to its final phase late in August. The new checkpoint will be furnished with modern screening-checking equipment. Human intervention will be minimized; citizens and economic operators will be able to cross the checkpoint smoothly and quickly with shortest possible delay.

The Head of Government stressed the importance for citizens and economic entities to enjoy better clearance and processing conditions and high quality services.

Noyemberyan community was the Prime Minister’s next port of call, Hovik Abrahamyan met with the residents, answered their questions. The Premier stressed that border communities have been and will continue to be the center of his government’s attention.

The Prime Minister said the Government will implement a variety of programs to address both social problems and develop infrastructure in the region. The residents of Noyemberyan community raised the possibility of including it in the list of border communities, which will allow them access to government-established benefits. Hovik Abrahamyan promised to discuss the matter in the government.

In response to the residents’ concerns about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, Hovik Abrahamyan assured that the Armenian armed forces have full control of the situation and stand ready to repel the enemy in case of new aggression. At the same time, the Prime Minister highlighted the need for consolidation of society and political forces around a common goal.

The Premier also called at Voskevan, Zorakan and Koti communities where he met with the local population to discuss issues related to construction of roads, repair of educational institutions, the rehabilitation of gas pipeline internal network etc. The Premier instructed the heads of relevant government departments to discuss the issues and submit recommendations.

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