Tag Archives: Armenian Minister of Territorial Administration and Development

ARS_0639On 20 May the “EU4Shirak: Wool for Jobs” project was officially launched in Amasia, Shirak marz. The project is financed through the Pilot Regional Development Programme. The launch event was attended by the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, the Armenian Minister of Agriculture, Arthur Khachatryan, and the Armenian Minister of Territorial Administration and Development, Suren Papikyan. The experience of the “Wool to Carpet” studio in Shinuhayr community in Syunik marz was presented to the guests to give them the full picture of the expected results for Amasia.
The proposed action follows a value chain development approach for woollen products, from sheep to customer. A wool-processing factory will be established in the community of Amasia, creating at least 20 jobs. To create further new jobs and contribute to economic development, the project will finance 14 proposals offered by SMEs, providing at least 40 new jobs. About 150 job seekers registered in employment centres will develop their skills through training, raising their competitiveness in the labour market. This EU-funded project will also contribute to the development of sheep breeding in the region by providing a stable income for local farmers. The two-year project has a total budget of €549,819 (the EU contribution is €335,000). The project will be implemented by People In Need – Armenia (PIN), in cooperation with Women’s Development “Resource Centre” Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Shirak marz, and the Amasia Municipality.

ARS_0761EU Ambassador congratulated those who have worked hard for the project: ‘The EU is very committed to promoting regional development in Armenia. This project is one of several which we have launched in different marzes. To me, this region is one of the most beautiful corners of Armenia and I am so grateful that we can cooperate on new development ideas, create new jobs, and bring hope to the citizens of this marz. This commitment to regional development is long term; we hope very much that the new government can take this commitment forward, and that we can start new initiatives’.

ARS_0812Minister Papikyan welcomed EU support for the equal development of Armenian marzes: ‘The Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development attaches importance to the equal development of Armenia; we have been in constant dialogue with the EU since 2009. The aim of this cooperation is to ensure the implementation of projects and initiatives which complement regional development priorities and bring effective and sustainable results’.

ARS_0848Khachatryan spoke more about the implementation of the project: ‘This project is aimed at restoring traditional sheep breeding. In Armenia, we used to have over 2 million head of cattle – today’s number is barely a quarter of that. We should be able to develop sheep breeding, taking into account the ever-lasting demand for meat. To have good woollen products, we need to have good sheep, but we cannot imagine good sheep without a feeding base, without good cultivated lands, etc. The project take a value chain development; thousands of households will enjoy the impact of this indirectly. If we want to prevent emigration, we should not have more than 40% of non-cultivated land in the country. We need to support smaller producers and processors, not just large businesses. This project can be a great example’.

On 25 October the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, was in Gyumri, Shirak marz, on a working visit. In the morning the Ambassador met the Governor of Shirak, Arthur Khachatryan.

ARS_6983After the meeting, the Ambassador participated in the opening ceremony of an IT incubation laboratory at Gyumri Technology Centre. Microsoft Innovation Centre Armenia opened the IT incubation laboratory as part of the “Boosting Technological Developments in Shirak Marz” project, funded by the European Union and the Armenian Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development. The project aims to support Shirak’s economic development by enrichment of unemployed youth and business development of IT community. This two-year project was launched in December 2016 and has a budget of €750,000.
The incubation laboratory will provide a 5-month coding boot camp in information technologies for unemployed 17- to 35-year-olds living in Shirak. The project will collaborates with local IT companies to identify human resource demands and train junior developers. It will include nearly 200 participants. The first round of training has already been completed, and more than 50 people have sat an intensive training course on programming. Starting from November, they will be sent on coding boot camps by potential employers. The programme expects to have newly trained 90 IT professionals employed at local companies.

ARS_6729Ambassador Świtalski spoke about the importance of informational technologies: ‘There are many reasons to feel happy for this event. Firstly, this is the first and one of the most important projects that we are doing together with the Armenian Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development. It is a part of our joint effort to boost regional development – I am happy to see the results. Secondly, this project is about IT technology, a digital Armenia. We believe that Armenia has big potential, particularly in this field. The EU wants to support all the efforts of the Armenian government and stakeholders. Thirdly, it’s not only about capacity building, it’s about job creation. We hope very much that sub-granting employers could benefit from this lab. Fourthly, it’s about the new generation. We believe in Armenian youth; we want to develop their abilities and to fulfil their aspirations in Armenia itself. Finally, this project is important for its regional focus in Gyumri, Shirak. We want to do more projects in this city and the whole marz’.

ARS_6768The Armenian Minister of Territorial Administration and Development, Davit Lokyan, highlighted the importance of the laboratory: ‘Through this project, we are trying to reduce youth unemployment in Shirak and improve young people’s knowledge and skills in IT, a priority for Armenia today. In Shirak, GDP per capita is the lowest in Armenia and the government has set itself a task to improve the situation by 2025’.

ARS_6752The Director of the Microsoft Innovation Centre Armenia, Artashes Vardanyan, noted that Shirak has huge potential: ‘Shirak has huge human resource potential. The project aims to both expand IT companies and create new workplaces through buildings skills and knowledge among unemployed youth and better positioning in local and international markets’.

After the tour, the project announced the results of a sub-grant opportunity. 7 local IT companies will receive sub-grants of €5000-€10,000 to expand their activities and create new workplaces for project trainees.
Ambassador Świtalski concluded the day by visiting the Emili Aregak Support and Resource Centre for Children and Youth with Disabilities in Gyumri.