Artur Alaverdyan
Serial entrepreneur, investor, co-founder and chairman of the Board of Trustees of FAST Foundation

“At the Crossroads” is one of the few discussion papers offering us a holistic approach to our model of existence as a nation and a state. The paper is holistic in the sense that, through a look into the past, it realistically describes the present and analyzes the possibilities for the future in a global context, offering challenging scenarios for choice. The development model suggested as the most attractive scenario is, indeed, the only alternative for the nation and the country today. It will allow to use the advantages of the fourth industrial revolution, and thus the 21stcentury to become the Golden Age in Armenia’s history. 

The authors pragmatically assess the realities of the Armenian world and Armenia, its existing economic model and bring arguments to justify the futility of such a model. No doubt, Armenia needs to shift to another model – an inclusive one – allowing to ensure the progressive development of the country and make as many residents of Armenia as possible, the large Armenian diaspora and the foreign investors the actors and co-participants of creating the new Armenia.

At this stage, we – the Armenians and Armenia – need a new idea, the vision of the future in which Armenians all over the world will want to believe. An idea of a country where people will not only feel comfortable but where they’ll be able to realize full potential, earn good money, maintain traditional values and pass them to their children. The shared belief in the prosperous future of their country will become a platform for Armenians from all across the globe to engage in cooperation and joint participation in the building and maintaining of a common home for all Armenians. That belief will give the Diaspora Armenians a powerful incentive for pride and preservation of their own identity. The results of the previous, 2018 year give grounds for optimism and hope – we’ve got the chance to change the existing system and I’d like to believe that we’ll be able to make use of this chance. 

Among the industries and sectors of the economy that can become drivers for the development of the country, I would like to emphasize the role of science and high-tech. Technology gives us a unique chance to achieve a breakthrough in many fields within a short time, develop products and services that are to occupy unique niches in the world markets and become a part of the emerging new industries of the global economy. Armenia must be able to make full use of an important post-industrial world trend: shift of the value added from production to R&D centers, development and marketing. In the future, the country should become one of the world’s leading R&D hubs. Meanwhile, without serious support to and investments in science, no development of technology can be expected – the science should regain its leading role in the country’s life.

The discussion paper raises many justified questions which have no straightforward answers; but as a nation, we will still have to somehow find answers and make a choice. A thoughtful reader will find a lot of food for thought, and hopefully, the discussion paper will encourage a dialogue and discussions thanks to which the solutions will be generated. 


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