Tag Archives: CBA

The European Union regards small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as the backbone of economic resilience in Armenia.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Armenia’s Central Bank signed an agreement on 18 November to support the Armenian economy. According to the agreement, EIB will provide a second €50 million loan to the Central Bank for various SME projects. The first loan, which was provided through the #EU4Business initiative,has already been disbursed.
A conference on “EU Support to Small and Medium Business in Armenia through EIB” was also held in Yerevan on 18 December. Piotr Świtalski, the EU Ambassador to Armenia, Jan Vapaavuori, the Vice President of the European Investment Bank, and Nerses Yeritsyan, the Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia all spoke at the event.

2Ambassador Świtalski highlighted the importance of SMEs for Armenia: ‘The European Union will do its utmost to help Armenia to develop further, and to build a modern and reformed economy. SMEs are the backbone of economic resilience in Armenia from our perspective. Those who have heard me before know that I sometimes quote OECD figures on the role of SMEs in Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. The figures reveal the huge, yet unused, potential of SMEs – Armenia ranks last among EaP regarding SMEs. In the EU,SMEs provide for 70 percent of employment and GDP contribution. In some countries it is as much as 90 percent. Armenia lags at around 30 percent, which shows us how much work needs to be done’.

3Vice President Vapaavuori built on Ambassador Świtalski’s support for SMEs and highlighted the role of European Investment Bank:  ‘EIB is the world’s biggest public bank, directly owned by all 28 EU member states. As a public bank, our mission is not to maximise profit but to contribute to EU policy goals for economic growth within EU states and in neighbouring countries. I come from a small country, Finland, and know that, in small countries, economies are often dependent on a few sectors and big factories.  In order to create sustainable growth you need to pay attention to SMEs’.

4Deputy Chairman Yeritsyan welcomed the EU’s support to promote SME development in Armenia: ‘We have come to this conference with a concrete decision. SMEs are the basis of our economy, the only way to build a viable economy. It’s a double honour for me to be here, because I have been involved in various EU and EIB programmes since 2007. I am glad that EIB is implementing at least a dozen projects in different sectors of our economy’.