ArmInfo. The Armenian Government will be a guarantor for Syrian Armenians under the GIZ Program "Private Sector Development in the South Caucasus. Economic Integration of Syrian Armenians". Under the program, Armenian banks are to provide loans to Syrian Armenians so that they can conduct business activities, Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, Armenian Deputy Minister of Economy, said at today's briefing on the sidelines of the Week of Economic Capacities, which is being held in Yerevan on May 19-22.
He noted that under the program the loans will be provided to the Syrian Armenians at 4% p.a. He added that the Government will issue manuals for taxpayers in the SME segment. It will also initiate business consultations and draft business programs.
"The Armenian Government gives high priority to this program, which is a platform for establishing contacts between the Syrian and Armenian entrepreneurs," he said, noting that nearly 60 Syrian Armenians and 12 organizations, which support them, presented their products and services at the forum.
Hovhannisyan said that a working group has been set up to study the needs of the participants. The working group will include representatives of the private and public sectors and international structures.
Germany's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Armenia Matthias Kiesler expressed his content with the stand of the Armenian Government, which gave shelter to more than 20 thsd refugees from Syria. He pointed out the Syrian Armenian's high potential. In this context, Ambassador Kiesler said that the German Government seeks to support that target group. "I hope in the course of implementation of the program, the Syrian Armenians will be convinced that they will get big opportunities on the Armenian market to conduct their activities," he said.
The most important goal of the program is to help the Syrian Armenians integrate into the economy segments and to give them an opportunity to get professional education, which will facilitate their participation in the market and will contribute to efficient conduct of their business.
The program was elaborated by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). The program will last till October 2017.
GIZ has been working in Armenia since the early 1990s and has maintained an office in Yerevan since 2002. GIZ is providing advice and support for Armenia in its transition to a more free-market-oriented economy, democracy and the rule of law. Within these priorities, various regional programs are currently being implemented in Armenia in the following areas of activity: economic development, support for legal and judicial reform, promotion of municipal development, and sustainable management of biodiversity in the South Caucasus.
To note, nearly 20 thsd refugees from Syria have found shelter in Armenia. Armenia is the third in Europe by the number of Syrian refugees.