Tag Archives: Armenian Government

On 17 November Gyumri hosted the two-day “Empowering Regions through High Tech” conference. The conference was organised by the Enterprise Incubator Foundation and Gyumri Technology Centre in partnership with the Armenian government, Shirak Governor, Gyumri Municipality, and the “Support to SME Development in Armenia” (SMEDA) project. SMEDA is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ’s Private Sector Development in the South Caucasus Programme. SMEDA is part of the EU4Business and EU4Innovation initiatives of the European Union.
150 young people from across Armenia with an interest in technological education, engineering, programming and innovation participated in the conference. There were 3 panel discussions: “Business Environment Support”, “Business Mindset Development in the Regions” and “Education Advancement as a Base for the Future of Armenia”. Different IT workshops were also conducted by international and local experts.
The Gyumri Technology Centre, which opened in 2014, aims to increase opportunities for employment through technological education. The main goal is to stop brain drain from Shirak marz to Yerevan and thus boost regional development through technology. The conference organisers believe that other Armenian marzes also have the potential to be stronger and more sustainable through technological empowerment. Using Shirak marz and Gyumri as an example, the conference gave a space to exchange experience with other marzes and motivate young people to get involved in technology. It is hoped that these young people will be inspired to be part of positive change in their own marz instead of migrating to Yerevan, create jobs in the regions, and support the decentralisation of high tech.

ARS_8381Hoa-Binh Adjemian, the Head of the Cooperation section of the EU Delegation in Armenia, spoke of the importance of regional development: ‘It is an honour for me to be in this beautiful city again to confirm the EU’s commitment to equal growth in Armenia. Equal growth means growth in both Yerevan and the regions. Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, was here a month ago, Lawrence Meredith, the Director of “Neighbourhood East” in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, was here a week ago, and we had a very close discussion with the government to concentrate on and to increase support to the Armenian marzes. We are waiting for the guidance from the government to identify marzes for pilot activities’.

ARS_8237Karen Karapetyan, the Armenian Prime Minister, welcomed students and congratulated them on the occasion of International Students’ Day: ‘In Armenia, we have a goal to develop the high-tech field as one of the priorities of our economy; it has great potential for attracting and exporting investments. At the same time, regional and community development is key to Armenia’s economic development vision. The combination of these two can provide the desired result. The Gyumri Technology Centre is a good example of how to establish and develop a company in the marzes that promotes the development of technical and business skills, innovative research and development in the high-tech field, commercialises talent, and transforms it into successful businesses. Over 3 years the Technology Centre has already created about 200 jobs, has about 100 beneficiaries, and is preparing more than 500 specialists annually. There are 25 local and foreign organisations in the centre. Many of them are exporting their solutions outside Armenia. Our citizens, the city and marz benefit from all this, and this process is having a positive effect on the development of our country’s economy’.

On 8 November the EU Delegation to Armenia, in cooperation with the EU4Energy Programme implemented by the Energy Charter Secretariat held a conference on “Unlocking the Energy Efficiency Potential in Armenia”. Energy efficiency is very high in the Armenian Government’s list of priorities; the aim of the conference was to generate dialogue on this topic between ministries, donors, international financial institutions, representatives of the private and public sectors, as well as technical experts from civil society and academia.
During the conference, experts discussed challenges that are hampering energy-efficiency efforts in the country. Speakers shared success stories and lessons learned from ongoing projects. Each of them summarised key challenges, operational actions, and the reforms necessary for unlocking full investment potential in energy efficiency.
The event was organised in close cooperation with the Armenian Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources and was attended by high-ranking officials, including Lawrence Meredith, the Director of “Neighbourhood East” in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.

ARS_7375Director Meredith stressed the importance of the conference: ‘We believe that there are two key issues on which we need to focus. Firstly, it is important to manage demand. There is no cheaper energy than energy not spent. Secondly, investment in cleaner energy is also a key issue for us. In the EU, this sector has created over a million jobs. I wish it had the potential to create jobs in Armenia too. We are already supporting 6,000 households in 17 Armenian cities with energy efficiency. We are also involved in a major LED street lighting project which is helping to improve the safety of pedestrians and car drivers. The aim of today’s event is to make sure that we have a comprehensive vision of how energy-efficiency commitments will be taken forward in the future. That’s why we brought together all the major international donors, financing institutions and energy experts. We believe that, by acting together, we can have a major impact on improving the lives of Armenian citizens’.

ARS_7350Hayk Harutyunyan, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Energy, Infrastructures and Natural Resources presented the situation in Armenia: ‘Armenia does not have right mechanisms to implement residential energy-efficiency projects. There are about 20,000 residential buildings and 450,000 houses in our country. The energy efficiency potential is, of course, very high. We have many beneficiaries in these buildings and their desires to solve the problem are different. Therefore, it is very difficult to find a common business plan for large-scale energy efficiency projects. In this event, we will try to understand what targeted projects can address the energy efficiency issue. We have carried out different pilot projects on the external thermal insulation of residential buildings and thermal isolation of individual flats – we have a clear idea of the economic benefits residents will get. Now it’s time to conduct large-scale efforts to test piloted ideas and choose the right models, as one model will not be enough for everyone’.