By Ani Paitjan
“Information technology was one of the keys to the success of the Armenian Velvet Revolution,” said Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan during a meeting with professors and students of the Technical University of Cologne, Germany.
The Armenian leader is currently in Germany for a two-day official visit.
"Through the social networks, the Armenian people came together to say ‘no’ to the former elite who did not enjoy the people's trust," Pashinyan said in his speech.
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According to Pashinyan, the Armenian government considers the IT sector as a priority direction and as one of the pillars of economic development.
"Armenia is considered to be the Silicon Valley of the former Soviet Union where Nairi-2 was the first Soviet semiconductor computer and one of the first in the world. Today Armenia's potential has expanded,” Pashinyan said. “The IT sector in Armenia has grown five times during the last seven years - 25 percent annually.”
Many companies have flourished in Armenia, such as Synopsys, National Instruments, Cisco, VMWare, TeamViewer and Mentor Graphics - all in the IT sector.
Armenia’s blooming tech startup scene is gaining global attention and it is attracting major venture capital funding. Armenia will be hosting the World Congress on Information Technology (W)CIT 2019 summit, which can cement Armenia’s plea of becoming a new, alternative technology center. More than 2,000 delegates from 60 countries will take part in the event.
The prime minister will meet with the Armenian community of Cologne and with top German officials, including President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble.
The governments of Armenia and Germany intend to deepen cooperation in the field of digitalization, education and culture, the core of the discussion, however, are economic issues of mutual interest.
The German Chancellor visited Armenia for the first time in the history of Armenia-Germany intergovernmental relations in 2018. During this first official meeting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Armenia for developing relations with the European Union while remaining allied to Russia.
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's speech at the Technical University of Cologne (in English)