Friday, October 28 2016 20:53
Naira Badalian

Investment fund with a capital of 20-25 mln EUR to be set up in Armenia to support SMEs

Investment fund with a capital of 20-25 mln EUR to be set up in  Armenia to support SMEs

ArmInfo. An investment fund will  be set up in Armenia to support SMEs, Mr. Hoa-Binh Adjemian, Head of  Operations at the EU Delegation to Armenia, told reporters in Yerevan  on October 28. The EU and EBRD are expected to sign the relevant  agreement by the end of 2016 and the investment fund may be launched  in summer 2017.   

As regards the budget, Mr. Adjemian said that the EU and the EBRD  will provide 15 mln EUR and 5 mln EUR, respectively. Private  investors are also expected to join the project with up to 5 mln EUR.  In the future the capital of the fund will be increased to 50 mln  EUR. Mr. Adjemian said that the fund will enhance the SMEs' access to  finance.   

Mr. Adjemian has told ArmInfo's correspondent that the EU structures  actually allocate nearly 1 mln EUR weekly for SME development in  Armenia. This year the total amount of support to SMEs will make up  45 mln EUR. In addition, the EU has provided 100 mln EUR for various  infrastructure projects in the fields of water supply, power  engineering, construction of the North-South corridor. The European  Investment Bank is also going to provide low-interest loans to the  Central Bank of Armenia for on- lending to SMEs through the  commercial banks. 

To recall, in an interview with ArmInfo, Head of EU Delegation to  Armenia Piotr Switalski has recently said that the EU's financial  support to Armenia is record high in 2016. The financial support  usually amounts to nearly 50 mln EUR. This year the EU will redouble  the amount, he said.  

To recall, on October 24, Head of the European Union Delegation to  Armenia, H.E. Piotr Antoni Switalski and the RA First Deputy Minister  of Economic Development and Investments, Garegin Melkonyan announced  the launch of the EU4Business Week in Armenia during the opening of  the Eastern Partnership 8th Business Development Panel in Yerevan.   Running from 24 to 28 October 2016, the EU4Business Week will  highlight the EU support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)  through series of events and include other activities facilitating  private-public dialogue for the benefit of businesses both in the  Eastern partner countries and in Armenia. The initiative cooperates  with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),  European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and European  Union Education Foundation.  

To note, the share of SMEs in Armenia's GDP is 30%. At the yearend of  2015, the share of SMEs in the Armenian state budget revenues was  2.4%. 

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