On June 2-3 EBRD Investment Councils Conference took place, bringing together 11 Investment Councils (ICs) across the EBRD Countries of Operations.
From the side of representing the situation and main developments in Armenia, the Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan joined the conference, introducing the challenges that the Armenian community and business community faced in 2020 as well as the prerequisites for economic recovery in 2021. Minister Kerobyan referred to the double shock for the economy, conditioned with Covid-19 and war, and mentioned hospitality and tourism sectors crisis, nevertheless stated, that the Armenian economy is expected to fully recover by the end of 2021. Armenia is now running a new economic development policy aimed at green economy, digitalization and modernization, specifically focusing on SME digitalization. As a part of regular ongoing efforts, the Minister mentioned weekly working group meetings of public and private sector officials carried out. The Minister also mentioned, that in last three years Armenia has worked on changing the economic structure to fight corruption, currently also there is a full tax policy reform on the agenda and the Investors response taskwork project with more than 100 investment projects assisted by the Ministry.
Gevorg Poghosyan, the Head of Business Support Office (BSO), providing assistance to the work of SME Development Council, presented the public-private sectors’ dialogue support-oriented activities of the office, stating that during the year the BSO supported the SMEs in crisis management by guiding them in business continuity planning, restructuring, as well as marketing and financial planning during a crisis. The BSO arranged a policy dialogue between the Ministry of Economy and the business associations on the Government’s support in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic negative impact.
He also mentioned, that the pandemic demonstrated that strong and well organized businesses with the ability of flexible re-planning can overcome any crisis, and that after a year of emergency actions now is the right time for a long-term actions that will grow resilient businesses and mainly SMEs, and that policy dialogue should concentrate on building sustainability.
The Head of BSO mentioned, that the BSO will concentrate in partnering different developing agencies and organizations in strengthening business associations and other business communities which will increase the impact and the level of the policy dialogue in the country.