Jaishankar is the first ever External Affairs Minister of India to visit Armenia

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar who is on a two-day visit to Armenia on Wednesday maintained that while bilateral relations between India and Armenia have expanded in political and cultural fields, there is a scope for further strengthening economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries, especially in the field of tourism, hospitality, infrastructure and investment.

The EAM said this in his statement at the joint press conference with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan in Yerevan, the national capital of Armenia.

Jaishankar informed that India is currently negotiating a trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union where Armenia is a member. “It will boost our trade relations,” the EAM said.

He added that during a meeting with the Armenian Foreign Minister, both Minsters agreed to encourage the business community, the chambers and trade bodies on both sides to engage more intensively with each other and the government will play the role of a facilitator in that process.

The EAM also informed that an Indian business delegation had visited Armenia last month to participate in the 20th edition of Armenia Expo.

“This was the first business delegation to Armenia after the COVID pandemic and I am confident that there will be more frequent visits which will give further impetus to bilateral trade and commerce,” Jaishankar said.

He termed lack of direct connectivity--both land and air connectivity between India and Armenia as a hindrance for enhanced people-to-people contacts and economic-commercial exchanges.

To bridge this barrier in connectivity, he talked about the International North South Transport Corridor of which India and Armenia are members.

“Minister Mirzoyan and I discussed the interest which Armenia has shown in utilization of Chabahar port in Iran which is being developed by India. We have also proposed that Chabahar port be included in the INSTC framework. We definitely like to welcome the use of Chabahar port and any other initiative that could increase connectivity between our two countries. We also discussed the possibilities of direct flights between our two countries under our Air Services agreement,” the EAM said.