Monday, September 18 2017 13:11
Alina Hovhannisyan

Expert: Even without the framework agreement with the EU, Armenian entrepreneurs have increased the potential for cooperation in Europe

ArmInfo. Armenian  entrepreneurs have increased great potential for cooperation in  Europe and without a framework agreement with the EU. This opinion  was expressed by Karen Gevorgyan, Deputy Executive Director of the  National Center for the Development of SMEs in Armenia, in his   interview with ArmInfo. Today, according to K. Gevorgyan, the Centercooperates with the EU on three projects. <We are a member of the European Business Support Network(EEN), which includes more than 50 countries from Europe. At the same time, Armenia was the first of the states of the post-Soviet area  in 2008 to become a participant in this powerful structure that supports representatives of SMEs, "he said.  The second project, to which Armenia joined two months, is  called <Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs>, which provides the  opportunity for beginning business subjects to study for six months  more experienced colleagues in the EU, he said. According to  Gevorgyan, already Several Armenian businessmen within the framework  of the project are being held today practice in Europe.  "Upon   return, having acquired the necessary experience and skills, our  young entrepreneurs will start to realize their business -plan here  in Armenia, "- explained the representative of the NCSP SME.  And  within the framework of the third project on regional development,  which, according to him, contains several components, in particular  training, consulting, financing, support of infrastructures,  assistance is provided to businessmen in Armavir, Syunik and Lori  regions.  He noted that the European market is one of the most  competitive. However, one state support, in particular, the regime of  trade preferences GSP + for Armenian business is not enough. "It is  necessary that the business itself be competitive. But in this  regard, you need to work, work and work again, "he stressed.   Undoubtedly, the expert found it difficult to unequivocally answer  the question about the key factors hampering the advancement of SMEs  in Armenia, citing the diversity of the problems stated by  businessmen. "If very generalize, it is the limitations of the  domestic market and the problems associated with logistics, in  particular, the difficulty of access to external markets," Gevorgyan  said.  In particular, he said that according to recent data,  according to expert estimates, the share of SMEs in the GDP structure  of Armenia fluctuates within 30%, which send about 25% of tax to the  state budget  receipts.  Moreover, one third of jobs in Armenia are  provided by the SME sector.

To note, that the National Center for SME Development in  Armenia was established in 2002.  Today, the Center is one of the  most developed institutions support and has branches in all regions  of the republic. "The main principle of activity and the vast  majority of our resources, financial, technical, we send to the  regions, that is 90% of businesses to which the NSC provides  assistance in the regions of Armenia," he concluded.  According to  the National Statistical Service of Armenia, the foreign trade  turnover between Armenia and the EU in January-July 2017 amounted to  $ 816.1 million with an annual growth of 22.9%. In particular,  exports increased by 31.9% to $ 355.1 million, with imports  increasing by 16.8% to $ 461 million.

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