ArmInfo. The Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Switalski expressed readiness to assist Armenia in implementation of reforms within economic policy chosen by the new government, he stated about this at the International Economic Congress today. During the Congress experts and representatives of the diplomatic missions discussed factors hindering development of Armenia's economy.
He noted that the strategy of the new government envisages introduction of European culture in the process of management and is aimed at improving business climate, which is totally in line with the EU principles. In this context Switalski noted that special attention should be paid to survey of SME sector and investment climate. 60-70% of entrepreneurs in Germany are involved in SMEs, the same relates to SMEs share in GDP. Armenia by this indicator (30%) yields not only to Ukraine and Moldova but even to Georgia and Belarus, he stated.
Touching upon improvement of investment climate the Head of EU Delegation to Armenia noted that activities are needed aimed at overcoming obstacles, particularly the situation in NKR, which negatively affects attraction of investments in Armenia's economy. In reality Armenia's investment potential is much bigger that the current figures demonstrate, Switalski stated.
Referring to the results of the surveys conduced by the European Business Association (EBA) Switalski underlined the issues, which should be first and foremost discussed for solving the given tasks, particularly tax and customs legislations, fight against monopolies, transparency in state procurement procedures and independence of juridical system. In this light Switalski informed that EBA has developed a memorandum on cooperation, which will be soon signed with the representatives of 14 business associations of Armenia.
To recall, in recent interview to ArmInfo Piotr Switalski noted that 2016 will be a record year in terms of EU's financial assistance to Armenia, which usually totals around 50 mln EUR, but this year this amount may be doubled. This is an important year for defining medium-term and long-term perspectives, he stressed. EU plans to invest 1 mln EUR to SMEs this year.
According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia in H1 2016 net outflow of investments from Armenia to EU countries totaled 5.2 bln drams, while net inflow of FDI-2.6 bln drams. Trade turnover between Armenia and EU in Jan-Aug 2016 reached $762.5mln, with 0.4% y-o-y growth. Export totaled $307.6mln, with 13.8% y-o-y growth, amid drop of import by 7% to $454.8 mln.