Reporter, Toronto, 26 June 2018
Armenia’s deputy prime minister Tigran Avinyan and a number of deputy ministers are in Toronto to inform the local Armenian community of recent policies initiated by the government led by Nikol Pashinyan. The Canadian Armenian Business Council (CABC) will host a luncheon in honor of the delegation on June 27 while Avinyan will be the keynote speaker at an Armenian Community Centre gathering later in the day.
Today VHL Developments president Varoujan Lapoyan hosted sixty community leaders at his mansion in honor of the diplomatic delegation. Also present were actor and activist Arsine Khanjian and the newly elected Ontario MPP Aris Babikian. It was a unique opportunity for the members of the delegation to interact with the representatives of the Toronto Armenian community.
The reception was followed by Q&A session which was conducted by the host. A great many of the attendees’ questions related to investment opportunities in Armenia. Members of the delegation provided exhaustive information at times. They also stressed that the new government will initiate programs to encourage Diaspora Armenians not only to invest but to repatriate given the new democratic environment in Armenia. Attendees were advised to use the Business Armenia site as port of entry for questions related to investment, presentation of projects and arranging meetings with relevant representatives. “The best way is to visit Armenia; we are all waiting for you in new Armenia,” said one of the delegates.
To the question as to whether Armenia is considering the expropriation of the oligarchs’ assets, Avinyan said no such policy is contemplated but that anyone who has criminally abused the system will be prosecuted under the laws of the country. He stressed that the judiciary has been instructed to function independently of the government thus the relevant judges are free to make independent decisions.
Towards the end of the gathering, attendees mingled and chatted with the members of the delegation on a one-on-one basis. A feeling of camaraderie was palpable.