On February 19, the 18th meeting of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council chaired by RA Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan took place. The latter was also attended by Helen Fays, Chargé d’Affaires of the United Kingdom in Armenia, and Dimitri Gvindadze, Head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Yerevan Resident Office. In his welcoming speech, Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan noted.
“Dear Colleagues, I welcome you to the 18th session of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council. Before starting the work, I would like to address a number of issues related to the development of the sector. 2020 became a year of multiple crises for Armenia, considering the coronavirus of the beginning of the year, the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh in the fall. All this had a disruptive effect on the economy and socio-economic life. We ended the economic year with an economic decline of about 7.5%, which can not have no social consequences.
Last year made more visible the deep-seated problems that have accumulated and generally characterize our country’s economic system. In particular, մրց insufficient level of competitiveness և technological development, hence low ability to withstand force majeure նվազ less flexibility to adapt to situations. These problems are more pronounced in small and medium enterprises.
In addition to redefining this reality, it raises the need to rethink economic policy in line with existing challenges. In this context, industrialization, technological modernization, and gaining a competitive position in international value chains must be at the core of increasing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Undoubtedly, all those present are already aware that within the framework of the implementation of the roadmap points published by the Prime Minister, on February 4, the Government approved the “Economic Response Plan and Action Plan”, the core of which is to stimulate economic activity in the next six months. and providing conditions. Although the program has an agenda to be implemented in the short term, all the actions and measures included in it should also contribute to the recovery and sustainable development of the economy in the medium term. The program includes regular consultations with the private sector, through which we will try to identify problems and find solutions. “We can consider that this session marks the beginning of those consultations. In conclusion, I would also like to welcome and thank our international partners for attending today’s session.”
Helen Fayze, Chargé d’Affaires of the United Kingdom in Armenia, welcomed the participants, expressing the UK’s commitment to continue to support measures that promote economic development. She stressed the need to introduce and use tools that will most effectively overcome the problems caused by last year.
Dimitri Gvindadze, Head of the EBRD Yerevan Office, referring to the EBRD mission, presented the dynamics of the Bank’s operations in Armenia. According to it, last year the volume of EBRD operations in Armenia was a record 160 million euros, about 93% of which were operations in the private sector. He noted that the EBRD is very interested in supporting the private-state economic dialogue, which in turn should contribute to the development of private enterprise.
Both honorable attendees pointed out the role of the Business Support Offic in mediating this PPD platform for Armenian businessess.
During the sitting, the problems existing in public procurement, the possibilities and prospects of their solution were discussed. Issues related to large retail chains, including supplies, sales of local products, etc. were discussed. The issues existing in the labeling process, the issues of raising the prices of “Haypost” delivery service became the subject of discussion. The issue of expanding financial access instruments by banks was also on the agenda.