On October 9, 2011, PFA co-founder, Dr. Vladimir Shekoyan, spoke at a conference on “Artsakh in Today’s World” organized by the Artsakh Development Group, a Los-Angeles-based non-profit. The event, held at the Glendale Public Library, hosted three panels on History and Politics, Economy, and Culture.
In his remarks, titled Economic Prosperity as Cornerstone of Independent Artsakh, Dr. Shekoyan specifically noted that during the last 20 years Artsakh was able to create an economy that was able to meet the basic needs of its population. Key sectors of its economy are agriculture, construction, mining, light industry, and energy generation. According to the data published by the State Statistical Committee, during the first three quarters of 2011, Artsak’s total industrial output exceeded $80 million, of which nearly half (or 46 percent) was produced by the mining sector. During the second quarter of 2011, Artsakh’s per capita GDP crossed the $1,000 mark.
Going forward, Dr. Shekoyan noted that the key issues requiring attention of policymakers and the society as a whole are:
- Governance and anti-corruption
- Government's role in economic development as a partner in supporting businesses
- Developing and retaining human capital
- Creating conditions for attracting foreign/Diaspora investments
- Securing inflow of physical capital and limiting its outflow
- Instituting a simple tax regime/administration and a manageable tax burden
- Promoting direct economic and trade linkages with outside world
- Adressing the transportation bottlenecks via improving the connection with Armenia proper.