Armenia to Bridge Europe and Asia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A delegation of the Bundestag Commission on Economic Cooperation and Development will be on a visit to the Transcaucasian countries July 10-18. On the threshold of the visit the head of the delegation–Bundestag deputy Peter Weiss agreed to talk with Noyan Tapan.

According to Weiss–the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict is the most important political issue for the region and a prerequisite for the political stability and economic development. As for the economic programs–he particularly stressed the importance of joint intergovernmental programs–such as the program of "Great Silk Road".

The experience of the European Union shows that disputes over national borders make no sense when the borders open for free barter–exchange of services and mutual visits of citizens–and when all the population groups have an opportunity to be involved in the economic welfare–Weiss said. According to Weiss–successful economic relations are the basis for effective cooperation.

Peter Weiss finds that the geopolitical position of the South Caucasus necessitates a close cooperation between the countries of the region. This cooperation also requires a dialogue in the sphere of culture and religion. Armenia with its great cultural wealth–which will be impressively reflected in the celebration of the 1700th anniversary of the Christianity in Armenia in 2001 "will serve as a good basis for" Armenia to be a bridge between Europe and Asia–Weiss stated.

According to Weiss–the Armenian-German economic relations are still to be extended. The Armenian-German cooperation started in 1993 as part of the policy of stimulating developing countries. So far–over 140 million German marks have been invested in Armenia. The cooperation is mainly oriented to the production and transportation of electric energy–communal infrastructure of water supply–a drainage system and assistance to small and medium-sized businesses.

Armenia also receives assistance from Germany in the establishment and decentralization of its legal system and development of the local government system–as well as in the sphere of the specialized secondary education. Weiss finds that in the future special importance will be attached to the assistance of small and medium-sized enterprises and stimulation of the establishment of new ones. In the future great importance will also be placed on the development of communities–establishment of communal infrastructure–assistance to water supplying enterprises–drainage system and rubbish collection.

Peter Weiss expressed regret over the recent decrease in the amount of barters between Armenia and Germany. According to him–the activities aimed at improving the investment conditions for German companies in Armenia are also important. He pointed out that German investors have always been interested in entering the Armenian market.

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