SME competitiveness in Armenia | EUNewsletter

SME competitiveness in Armenia

9 March 2015
ARS_2856

Two handbooks entitled Linking multinational enterprises and Armenian SMEs in the case of the construction materials sector and Connecting Armenian SMEs to global values chains: The case of agribusiness were launched at an event devoted to “Supporting SME competitiveness in the Eastern Partner countries: Focus on Armenia” held on 4 March 2015. Speakers at the event included Dirk Lorenz, Acting Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Garagin Melkonyan, the Armenian First Deputy Minister of Economy, Gregory Leconte, Project Manager of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) “Eurasia Competitiveness” programme, and Cornelia Skokov, GIZ Team Leader.
Armenia was included in the OECD “Eurasia Competitiveness” programme in December 2013, after which working group meetings and roundtables were held. The publication and presentation of these handbooks is proof of the work carried out by SME competitiveness experts and working groups. The titles of the handbooks call for action plans for reforms that may connect Armenian SMEs in the fields of agribusiness and construction materials to partners in the EU and worldwide. “Eurasia Competitiveness” is being implemented by the OECD in partnership with GIZ, and is co-financed by the European Union.
ARS_2863Lorenz emphasised the importance of the project and expressed confidence that the results of cooperation will contribute to the improvement of the business environment in Armenia: “We think that handbooks are instrumental when it comes to further paving the way for SME internationalisation in the country. It is crucial to take concrete actions that do not just remain on paper, so that SMEs can feel the concrete results and improvements. In this regard, we are looking forward – the European Union will receive regular updates from the ministry on how these actions are being performed and implemented”.
Melkonyan introduced the role of the Ministry and other organisations involved in the programme, talking about its implementation: “Two main directions were chosen: construction materials and agribusiness. Extensive work has been carried out to study these directions, to raise problems, and to develop proposals – all of this has been reflected in the reports. Several working groups have investigated these areas, including experts from international, governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as the private sector. We wanted to involve all interested parties in this process. Our goal is to attract investors to the construction materials sector and, as a result, improve production capacity. The main objective in agribusiness is to promote the development and internationalisation of SMEs to be able to increase export volumes”.
ARS_2805Leconte summarised the key recommendations of the published handbooks: “There are some challenges and recommendations to connect Armenian SMEs to agribusiness global value chains. Some of those challenges include little knowledge of foreign markets, lack of efficient export promotion, and poor export-related business skills. In the handbooks you can find recommendations for such cases. For example, experts recommend improving export promotion efforts and disseminating export skills. There has been a lot of research done in this area, and these handbooks will be very useful for relevant stakeholders”.

SME competitiveness in Armenia

Two handbooks entitled Linking multinational enterprises and Armenian SMEs in the case of the construction materials sector and Connecting Armenian SMEs to global values chains: The case of agribusiness were launched at an event devoted to “Supporting SME competitiveness in the Eastern Partner countries: Focus on Armenia” held on 4 March 2015. Speakers at the event included Dirk Lorenz, Acting Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Garagin Melkonyan, the Armenian First Deputy Minister of Economy, Gregory Leconte, Project Manager of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) “Eurasia Competitiveness” programme, and Cornelia Skokov, GIZ Team Leader. Armenia was included in the OECD “Eurasia Competitiveness” programme in December 2013, after which working group meetings and roundtables were held. The publication and presentation of these handbooks is proof of the work carried out by SME competitiveness experts and working groups. The titles of the handbooks call for action plans for reforms that may connect Armenian SMEs in the fields of agribusiness and construction materials to partners in the EU and worldwide. “Eurasia Competitiveness” is being implemented by the OECD in partnership with GIZ, and is co-financed by the European Union. ARS_2863Lorenz emphasised the importance of the project and expressed confidence that the results of cooperation will contribute to the improvement of the business environment in Armenia: “We think that handbooks are instrumental when it comes to further paving the way for SME internationalisation in the country. It is crucial to take concrete actions that do not just remain on paper, so that SMEs can feel the concrete results and improvements. In this regard, we are looking forward – the European Union will receive regular updates from the ministry on how these actions are being performed and implemented”. Melkonyan introduced the role of the Ministry and other organisations involved in the programme, talking about its implementation: “Two main directions were chosen: construction materials and agribusiness. Extensive work has been carried out to study these directions, to raise problems, and to develop proposals – all of this has been reflected in the reports. Several working groups have investigated these areas, including experts from international, governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as the private sector. We wanted to involve all interested parties in this process. Our goal is to attract investors to the construction materials sector and, as a result, improve production capacity. The main objective in agribusiness is to promote the development and internationalisation of SMEs to be able to increase export volumes”. ARS_2805Leconte summarised the key recommendations of the published handbooks: “There are some challenges and recommendations to connect Armenian SMEs to agribusiness global value chains. Some of those challenges include little knowledge of foreign markets, lack of efficient export promotion, and poor export-related business skills. In the handbooks you can find recommendations for such cases. For example, experts recommend improving export promotion efforts and disseminating export skills. There has been a lot of research done in this area, and these handbooks will be very useful for relevant stakeholders”.