ArmInfo. Export of Armenian light industry has grown by 60%, Armen Yeganyan, Head of the Industry Development Division at the Armenian Ministry of Economic Development and Investments, said at the opening of the International Forum of Light Industry in Armenia.
"Positive trends of light industry export growth have been observed recently, but it is not enough. A lot of work has to be done to promote the sector. In particular, it is necessary to introduce new tools and conduct a more aggressive development policy," he said. Yeganyan stressed the importance of such events and said that the government's strategic program for light industry envisages measures aimed at enhancing the competiveness of the manufacturers, the quality of the goods, the skills of the personnel, etc.
For her part, Signum LLC CEO Nika Manukova, one of the organizers of the event, said when replying to ArmInfo's question that Armenia faces the problem of supply of inexpensive raw materials. "Everyone only says that we use Turkish raw materials, but nothing is being done to look for less expensive raw materials for our manufacturers, which would ensure competitiveness on both domestic and foreign markets," she stressed. Special attention should be paid to personnel training in light industry, she added. Manukova noted that measures are being taken with the support of Atex Fashion Center under the UNIDO projects, but the measures are not systematized. She also pointed out that at the forum the Armenian footwear and textile manufacturers have already managed to come to some agreements. "The forum is being held in Armenia for the first time, and we hope it will become an effective platform for business ties between the manufacturers of Armenia and other countries," she said.
Anahit Simonyan, Head of UNIDO Operations in Armenia at the UN Office in Yerevan, also pointed at personnel training as one of the most important tasks for the field. She also stressed the lack of manufacturers' confidence in rehabilitation of the sector. Simonyan told ArmInfo's correspondent that under the UNIDO project, which aims to develop the textile production and has been implemented in Armenia for 2 years already, 4 collections have been released and presented on the international platform. The project was funded by Russia (1mln USD). "The second round of the project will include manufacturers of footwear and accessories," she said.
To note, the Forum has brought together 25 manufacturers from Armenia, Russia, Georgia, France, Germany and Bulgaria. The forum organizers are Signum LLC, Atex Fashion Center, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ural. The forum includes 4 sessions: a discussion of the field's problems with specialists, an exhibition, master classes, and a fashion show.
According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, in January-August 2016, the textile output totaled 280.1 mln AMD (down 5.4% versus Jan-Aug 2015). Clothing output grew by 32.7% to 7.3 AMD. Export of textile rose by 59% to $63.8 mln, leather and fur goods - 2.4-fold to $5.8 mln, footwear, headwear, umbrellas, canes - by 46.7% to $1.3 mln, paper and paper items - 3-fold to $846.6 thsd, wood articles - by 23.2% to $866.6 thsd.