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.