State of California Inks Trade Deal with Country of Armenia

California Governor with Armenia's Prime Minister

California to establish Trade and Services Desk in Armenia

NEW YORK — Governor Gavin Newsom met with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan today and signed an agreement to create a Trade and Services Desk in Armenia, promoting two-way trade and investment by businesses in Armenia and California – home to the largest Armenian community in the United States.

“California is fortunate to share in the rich heritage of the Armenian people,” said Governor Newsom. “This agreement builds on our strong ties and will create new opportunities for entrepreneurs from both California and Armenia.”

The agreement was signed today in New York City at a meeting with the Governor, Prime Minister Pashinyan, Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Armenian Ambassador to the United States Varuzhan Nersesyan, Armenia’s High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs Zareh Sinanyan, Armenia’s Consul General in Los Angeles Armen Baibourtian and Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge). Today’s meeting follows the Prime Minister’s visit to California earlier this week, where he met with Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Governor Newsom’s International Affairs and Trade Development Representative.

“California’s deep and longstanding friendship with Armenia has contributed to economic prosperity, inspired opportunities for students, and enriched our collective cultural values,” said Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis.

“I am very pleased that Governor Newsom has a bold, vibrant vision for California in regard to international trade and I am extremely honored to have witnessed the historic MOU and Trade Agreement signing with the Governor and the Prime Minister,” said Senator Portantino. “Formal trade relations between California and Armenia has long been a priority of the Armenian American community in California. I am also particularly excited to have helped launch this administration’s first official trade effort.”

The Governor also acknowledges the contributions of Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-North Hollywood) who, since serving at the then California Trade and Commerce Agency in 2000, has worked tirelessly to establish a California trade presence in Armenia. Assemblymember Nazarian proudly serves as the only Armenian American elected to the California Legislature.

Through today’s agreement, California will establish a Trade and Services Desk in Armenia to be utilized by delegations and California’s trade representative for Europe and Eurasia from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, to encourage trade and investment by Californian and Armenian businesses. The Trade and Services Desk will foster economic cooperation and development by assisting entrepreneurs in connecting with their counterparts to engage in various trade and commercial activities.

Nikol Pashinyan has served as Prime Minister of Armenia since May 2018. He is a former journalist and editor.