Tag Archives: Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia

On 3 May a foreign direct investment conference marked the official closing of the EU’s “Strengthening the Investment Promotion and Investment Policy Institutional Framework of Armenia’’ twinning project. This project between Armenia and France started on 15 October 2015 with a budget of €810,000, and was fully funded by the EU. Twinning is an EU instrument for institutional cooperation between the public administrations of EU member states and selected beneficiary countries in the European Neighbourhood.
Business France, the French government agency for foreign investment and export development, was the project implementer. The Armenian Ministry of Economic Development and Investments and the Development Foundation of Armenia (DFA) were also involved in the project.

ARS_4887During the project Armenian professionals were introduced to the best European practices; twenty European experts presented effective business tools, approved by Business France, for attracting investment to specialists from the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments and DFA. Activities emphasised the promotion of investment in Armenia, such as the establishment of country branches of foreign companies, job creation and economic development – a model followed by investment promotion agencies in developed countries. The project has had significant achievements: sectorial investment strategies were created and developed; promotional materials about Armenia were created; a database of potential investors was established; DFA established connections with 136 companies; 9 new opportunities and 11 investment projects emerged.

ARS_4933Hoa-Binh Adjemian, the Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia, was sad to see the end of this twinning project: ‘It’s very important to promote what Armenia has. This project aimed to promote investment in Armenia – it’s important to ensure that foreign investors come to Armenia, first of all for their financial capacity and, secondly, because foreign direct investment promotes business culture exchange’.

ARS_4930Garegin Melkonyan, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Investments gave an overview of the project: ‘We worked in three strategic directions: investment promotion and policy advocacy; foreign direct investment strategy development and an improvement in the investment climate; aftercare services development. The results are satisfactory’.

On 3 May an investment event was held as part of the “Support to SME Development in Armenia” (SMEDA) project. The theme of the event was nurturing innovative growth and supporting and financial opportunities for innovative SMEs and start-ups.
SMEDA is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and will run till 2019. It is a component of the EU’s EU4Business and EU4Innovation initiatives and is being implemented by GIZ Private Sector Development in South Caucasus Programme.
The investment event was visited by representatives from the private and public sectors, business associations and companies, as well as individual entrepreneurs. They learned about available financial opportunities for Armenian SMEs and other forms of support. A highlight was a presentation on an innovation ecosystem for start-ups in Armenia. Panel discussions focused on helping Armenian start-ups access international markets through the EU support.

ARS_4994Hoa-Binh Adjemian, the Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia, noted the strategic importance of Armenia in this sphere during the event: ‘The European Union provides support to various sectors which focus on economic stability and growth, such as innovation, education, science and ICT, cooperation with universities, etc. It is important that Armenia became an associate member of Horizon 2020 with an access to €70 billion funding for research and development projects. The EU will continue to support Armenia’s growth, by promoting innovation jointly with the private sector’.

ARS_5024Tigran Khachatryan, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Investments, praised SMEDA’s work in boosting economic growth: ‘SMEs are the backbone of economic development; innovation is the engine to promote SME growth. It is necessary to support them, as Armenia currently lacks the funding mechanisms required. This type of event is good as it allows Armenian SMEs to learn about new funding tools’.

The event concluded with a reception to allow participants to network, share information, and meet international investors and experts.

On 2 May, the first ever Armenia-Turkey Investor Day was conducted in Yerevan by the Public Journalism Club of Armenia (PJC) and the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV). The event was held in cooperation with Angel Labs, the world’s first investor accelerator from Silicon Valley, and was organised as part of the “Exchange Entrepreneurs” project, which is a component of the EU-funded “Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process: Stage 2” programme.
The event was aimed at promoting the institutionalisation of an angel investors’ network in Armenia, supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, connecting entrepreneurs with angel investors, and encouraging the establishment of lasting and profitable relationships between investors and entrepreneurs.
Armenian representatives from the ICT industry and business networks learned about best practice for creating investment networks, the mechanics of angel investing, and favourable legal conditions in Europe and USA. ICT representatives from Armenia and Turkey also discussed investment and start-up prospects in both countries.

ARS_4788Hoa-Binh Adjemian, the Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia, welcomed this investment initiative: ‘I’m delightful to be able to represent the European Union at this investment. Europe is a peace project – after overcoming the sufferings of war we are now a peaceful, growing region. This Armenia-Turkey Investor Day is a great chance to support exchange and economic integration. Normalisation and peace in the region will be built on solidarity – this can only happen through mutual opportunities and cultural exchange. I hope you can follow the EU example of laying the foundations of a peaceful future through opportunity and solidarity’.

ARS_4771Seda Muradyan, the Head of the PJC, was heartened by the level of attendance and interest and spoke about the role of angel investors: ‘Angel investors are wealthy individuals who offer capital to start-ups with the potential for fast growth. They are an increasingly important source of capital to companies in the early stage of development. Many angel investors are private – getting them to work via formal networks can be difficult. The objective of our initiative is to support those who are willing to further develop Armenia’s start-ups and investment ecosystem by forming an angel investors’ network. These networks successfully exist around the world – our aim is to introduce the concept in Armenia and Turkey, as well as promote cooperation between “angels” from both countries for joint projects’.

ARS_4850Cansu Sarac, a Political Expert at TEPAV, highlighted the importance of the initiative: ‘Three successful years of the “Exchange Entrepreneurs” project brought us to a point where we have decided that it is now time to focus on other stakeholders within the ecosystem and design a programme for angel investors. We would like to launch a joint angel investors’ network which will finance entrepreneurs and new ideas’.