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Senator Anthony Portantino Helps Launch California-Armenia Trade and Services Desk in Yerevan, Armenia

Published on Monday, November 15, 2021 | 1:18 pm

Senator Anthony Portantino with Beth Broussalian [founder of Homeland Development Initiative Foundation (HDIF) USA] with members of HDIFArmenia. Photo courtesy HDIFUSA by Twitter
Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) facilitated the California Trade Desk Seal Placement during a reception in Yerevan, Armenia on Monday.

Senator Portantino formally introduced representatives from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development directly to business leaders at Impact Hub Yerevan, which was followed by the California State Seal being officially mounted at Impact Hub.

The Impact Hub is a social innovation space and community with the mission of supporting projects for the positive development of Armenia.

“It was a great day to be in Yerevan and to have participated in moving forward with the new California Trade and Services Desk at Impact Hub,” stated Senator Portantino. “I am proud to have helped launch this innovative partnership and historic trade opportunity.”

Portantino also said “it was an honor to introduce officials from GO-Biz to Armenian trade and business leaders. Economic cooperation between California and Armenia is vital and the trade desk will help improve current economic activity and generate more in the coming years.”

Portantino was joined by Armenia’s Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan, High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs Zareh Sinanyan, Evan Reade from Office of California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Emily Desai and Jonathan Zeigler from Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom, Sara Anjargolian of Impact Hub and Raffi Kassarjian, CEO of the Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises.

“We are very excited to be hosting the California Trade and Services Desk at Impact Hub,” stated Sara Anjargolian, Co-Founder and Board Member of Impact Hub Yerevan. “There is so much in common between Armenia and California and with this opportunity we create even more positive outcomes for both economies.”

In 2019, Senator Portantino was on hand when Governor Newsom and Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Armenian Mission to the United Nations in New York City, formally establishing the first California Trade and Service Desk in Armenia. Prior to the signing of the agreement, he had introduced legislation to establish a California Trade Office in Armenia and joined the Governor for the historic signing of the MOU in the New York City.

The California Trade and Services Desk was established to strengthen the economic partnership between Armenian and California, support efforts for mutual economic benefit, and encourage trade and investment by California and Armenia businesses. Yerevan is the first California International Trade and Services Desk to be established by the Newsom administration. California is home to the largest Armenian American community in the United States.

In addition to representing a large and vibrant Armenian American community, Senator Portantino is the Chair of the Senate Select Committee on California, Armenia, Artsakh, and Mutual Trade, Art, and Cultural Exchange.

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