On October 14, 2016, the opening ceremony of the First international Forum of Eurasian Partnership (IFEP)  took place at the «Armenia Marriott» hotel, Yerevan. The President of Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and the President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin addressed the participants with welcoming speeches.

Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration Armen Gevorgyan passed the welcoming speech of the country’s leader Serzh Sargsyan to the participants. According to the President Sargsyan, the membership of Armenia in EAEU raised the mutually beneficial Armenian-Russian partnership to a qualitatively new level. “In 2011, our states initiated the first Armenian-Russian interregional partnership forum, which over these years has proved its relevance, helped unlock the potential of our regions and laid a solid foundation for interregional cooperation. (It has) regulated areas of effective cooperation of Armenian regions with 70 subjects of the Russian Federation, which I’m sure is not the end”, – noted Sargsyan in his speech.

Vladimir Putin in his address has noted: “The partnership between Armenia and Russia is based on common historical, cultural, spiritual values and age-old friendship, which provides great opportunities for sustainable growth in the fields of economy, industry, trade, science, both on bilateral and multilateral platforms. Considering that the proposals are designed in the framework of open and constructive discussions, they will surely contribute to the improvement of the Russian-Armenian dialogue. I wish you all good luck and all the best.”

The Prime Minister of Armenia Karen Karapetyan, Minister for Transportation of the Russian Federation Maksim Sokolov, head of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tigran Sargsyan and the initiator of the Forum and chairperson of the “International Forum of Eurasian Partnership” NGO Ara Abrahamyan had opening remarks.

Ara Abrahamyan believes that the Integration of economies of the Eurasian geographic region is profitable for all the peoples of Eurasia. “All the investors and entrepreneurs, who we welcome today in the framework of our Forum will also benefit from it, and those who will join us in the future too. We are creating this Forum as a common economic heart that will supply the Eurasian Economic Community members and all states with investments, ideas and projects.

Eurasia starts to realize that it is not a mere geographical, but also economic region, as well as a huge living organism, each of the organs of which must be healthy and collaborating with others.”

The opening ceremony was followed with the signing of numerous documents including agreements between Russian Rostov region and Armenian Government on trade and economic, scientific-technical and cultural cooperation; and between Association of clusters and technology parks and Armenian Foundation of Innovation and Industrial Development on partnership.

The CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of the Russian Sberbank Herman Gref, UNESCO’s “Good Will Ambassador” and the president of the Union of Armenians in Russia Ara Abrahamyan, the Deputy chief executive officer of International Affairs of Rostec Dmitry Shugaev, the President of the Association of Russian Banks Garegin Tosunyan, the  Senior Advisor of the Minister for International Economic Integration and Reform Hovhannes Azizyan, Ambassador of Korea to Russian Federation and Republic of Armenia Park Ro-Byug, the he founder of “Forbes & Manhattan” merchant bank Stan Bharti, the President of the Institute for Strategic, Political, Security and Economic Consultancy (ISPSW) Peter Roell and others participated to the meetings of the first working day.

The participants discussed the opportunities of bilateral and multilateral cooperation within and beyond the framework Eurasian Economic Union, their political and economic impact on the development of participating states, the interests of the participants, as well as issues concerning the improvement of the investment climate in the Eurasian region and support to the development of entrepreneurship and investment security mechanisms.

The meetings were moderated by the adviser to the president of Russian Federation Sergey Glazyev and, Advisor to the President and Member of Chamber of Commerce of Russian Federation Igor Finogenov.

In the framework of the First International Forum of Eurasian Partnership Sergey Glazyev stated that he visited Armenia before its membership to EAEU and not everybody inside the country believed that it will provide new opportunities for economic development. “The numbers, which were presented today, were very impressive. I believe Ara Abrahamyan’s statement that Armenia will become the center of Eurasian integration. Although Armenia has already become such a center,”- he said.

The Forum is held with support of the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Eurasian Economic Commission.

The IFEP has an aim to promote bilateral and multilateral economic cooperation directed at the development of integration processes in the Eurasian region with the participation of the EAEU, China, India, Iran, CIS, BRICS and other interested countries and integration systems.

On October 14, the fifth Russian-Armenian interregional forum was held in parallel with the IFEP at “Armenia Marriott”. The Forum was organized by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and the Armenian Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development.