ArmInfo. It is necessary to improve the state mechanisms of assistance to Small and Medium Entrepreneurship, Armenian Economy Minister Artsvik Minasyan told journalists on July 15.
The Minister noted that assistance to SME sector is one of the priority areas of the economy ministry via annual program of assistance as well as Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development National Center Fund. According to him the Fund conducts work in this direction starting from surveys to financing programs by providing guaranteed loans in amount from 5mln AMD to 50 mln AMD. Besides, the Minister noted that the Fund has established Universal Credit Organization, which finances loan programs for assisting SME in amount to up to 300 mln AMD.
Artsvik Minasyan noted that on the current stage quite serious indicators have already been registered, however they are not able to fully ensure development of the field as the share of SME in GDP totals around 25%. "While in the European countries this indicator reaches 60%", Minasyan stated. In this context the minister accepted the necessity to improve the state mechanisms of assistance. As of today from the 280 companies monitored by the economy ministry only 40% are SMEs, the remaining are large organizations, the minister informed.
The Minister recalled that during the latest meeting of the economy ministers within EU Eastern Neighborhood program this issue was in the center of discussions as any state policy aimed at assisting SME becomes non targeted and unnoticeable because of lack of strict mechanisms of the companies' accounting. Minasyan informed that the EU representatives expressed readiness to provide assistance to Armenia in creating a common methodology to develop the instrument to record the field and the assistance given to it.
As of the end of 2015 the share of small and medium business in the state budget income totaled 2.4%. According to the research conducted within "Finance for Economic Development" USAID program nearly 50% of the running micro, small and medium businesses do not have access to the financial resources. According to new methodology the share of SMEs within Armenia's GDP is 30%. According to the data there are around 70 thousand SMEs in Armenia.