Oskanian Discusses Future at Technology Congress

SAN FRANCISCO—Armenia’s Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian during remarks at the Armenian Technology Congress last weekend challenged Armenian experts from Armenia and Diaspora to work together and leverage each other’s resources to further the future of Armenia.
ArmTech ’07, a global high-technology-focused event held in San Francisco from July 4 to 7 at the Fairmont Hotel. This was the first high technology congress and exhibition designed for professionals interested in engaging in the global Armenian community and the rapidly rising technology sector of Armenia.
Designed to promote both professional networking and valuable connections for operating companies and entrepreneurs, the event will feature presentations of the technology achievemen’s and challenges of Armenia by numerous operating companies, service providers, academic institutions, and government officials from the US, Armenia, and around the world.
“Partnership among specialists and professionals is the way of the future for Armenia-Diaspora relations,” said Oskanian.
“To move forward, we must acknowledge two important, new realities. First, domestically, all that we have achieved we owe to reforms that were the more obvious, less controversial changes, particularly from the perspective of the economic and political elites and their interests. Now, we have completed and exhausted those initial, straightforward transformations. Today, we need additional, deeper, indispensable, second-generation reforms which are more difficult to identity, formulate and adopt,” added Oskanian.
“Second, regionally, we managed to compete with and beat our neighbors in this decade and a half when our neighbors were still in the process of seeking their advantages. Today, the situation is strikingly different. Today, our neighbors’ strengths are no longer just potential tools; they are already exploiting their real assets and reaping the benefits. Therefore, now that the nature of our competition has changed, Armenia must exercise the resiliency that is part of our national character to find or create new resources, in order to preserve our favorable position,” stressed the Foreign Minister.
“The Diaspora expands the geographic reach of our nation. It also expands our capacity. We thrive on synthesis. We soak up what others have to offer and adapt it for our own use. In turn, we create, innovate, contribute to the pool of knowledge that is modern civilization. In this increasingly knowledge-based global economy, the wealth of a nation is determined by its capacity for innovation,” explained Oskanian.
“Our challenge ‘s Armenia’s and Diaspora’s ‘s is to enhance our capacity for innovation. Let’s use the occasion of this gathering to commit to nurturing the innovators of today and tomorrow,” urged Oskanian.
“First, we must invest thought and money in education: Capitalism has mutated in a way that puts a premium on a knowledge economy, on technologies, on individual skills and on flexibility in both labor and business; Second, to enhance our capacity for innovation, we must commit thought and money to research and development. This is a neglected area of Armenia-Diaspora cooperation,” outlined Oskanian.
“With determination, pragmatism and most of all, unity, we can develop adopt the right policies to identify and utilize new resources for the common good,and to assure our continued and comprehensive development,” said Oskanian.
“If yesterday, we dared to struggle and survive, today, we must dare to prevail,” concluded the foreign minister.

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