Thursday, November 23 2023 18:37
Alina Hovhannisyan

Armenia, Switzerland discuss tourism, agriculture and vocational  education cooperation issues 

Armenia, Switzerland discuss tourism, agriculture and vocational  education cooperation issues 

ArmInfo.On November 23, Deputy Ministers of Economy of Armenia Arman Khojoyan and Rafael  Gevorgyan received the delegation led by Barbara Boeni Slaats, Regional Head of Cooperation South Caucasus at Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The interlocutors discussed the current state and prospects for the  development of SMEs and agriculture in Armenia. In this regard, the  parties exchanged views on the "Modernization of Vocational Education  and Training in Agriculture" (MAVETA) and Sustainable and Inclusive  Growth in Mountainous Armenia (SIGMA) projects implemented in Armenia  with funding from the Swiss government.

According to the press service of the Ministry of Economy, issues of  cooperation in the fields of tourism, agriculture and vocational  education, as well as the involvement of forcibly displaced citizens  from Nagorno-Karabakh within the framework of cooperation were  separately raised The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation  (SDC) is Switzerland's international cooperation agency within the  Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). In operating with other  federal offices concerned, SDC is responsible for the overall  coordination of development activities and cooperation with Eastern  Europe, as well as for the humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss  Confederation.  The goal of development cooperation is that of  reducing poverty. It is meant to foster economic self- reliance and  state autonomy, to contribute to the improvement of production  conditions, to help in finding solutions to environmental problems,  and to provide better access to education and basic healthcare  services. 

In May 2022, SDC approved a grant of $12.5 million under the SIGMA  program, which is implemented to reduce poverty in mountainous  Armenia in an inclusive, innovative and climate-sensitive manner. The  department announced an international tender to identify an  implementing partner. Within the framework of the project, such  sectors as agriculture, agrotourism, agrotechnology, etc. will be  consistently developed.  The geographical focus of the project will  be on the poorest regions of Northern Armenia, namely Tavush,  Gegharkunik, Lori and Shirak. The tender process will have a  preparatory phase of 17 months, starting on May 23, 2022. After this,  the implementation phase will last at least 10 years (December  2023-2033). In the first phase (2023-2026), SIGMA will cover at least  3,000 households and will increase to 10,000 households by the end of  the second phase. 

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