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Official News

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The State Ready To Use Business Development Toolkit





Chaired by Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, a consultative meeting was held at the Office of Government involving the representatives of business circles.

Welcoming the guests, the Prime Minister said. “The purpose of our meeting is to objectively discuss how the government can assist you so that this year you continue building up production capacity, boost output levels and promote exports. The State is ready to use its whole toolkit to achieve this goal. Such measures were first implemented in 2009 as we set up an operative headquarters to address the adverse consequences of the crisis.

We offered credit resources, government guarantees and some of these programs proved successful. As a second step, we negotiated with the importers to have substitutes for imports. Many importers, especially those of alcoholic beverages and juices, responded to our proposal: they developed new production capacity to become exporters of alcoholic beverages and juices. This was crucial in terms of the balance of payments, given the fact that while exports kept growing twice as faster than imports over the last three years, yet the volume of imports is 2.5 times higher than that of exports.”

The Prime Minister said that the Ministry of Economy has been directed to conduct an in-depth analysis into the market of imported goods to see what the country can produce at this point of time. “Given the fact that foreign direct investment declined last year, we will have to rely on our own resources in 2013 and prop you up in your endeavors,” the Prime Minister said.

As the head of government stated, any proposal regarding new business plans, financing and red tape will be considered in detail and objective criteria will be developed to determine where the State is to intervene in each case.

Preference will be given to those businesses that have good management skills and are able to expand their business. “Any company stating continued growth of output will be supported by the State by means of specific tools to be applied in a specific case. Your task is to discuss with your team the possibilities of effective assistance. From this perspective, we are in for a challenging year, because we worked hard last year to achieve 7% economic growth, and must do everything to provide for 6.2 % growth in 2013. It is quite a difficult task considering that the global setting has not changed. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have revised their growth forecast slightly decreasing the figures, which means that we should make greater efforts to keep afloat,” the Prime Minister emphasized.

Thankful for discussion, President of the Armenian Industrialists and Businessmen (Employers) Union Arsen Ghazaryan said the business support council has approved the toolkit proposed by the government which is aimed at promoting development of industry and should now be brought to the public’s notice.

During the exchange of views that followed the speakers dwelt on the existing problems and came up with a number of recommendations and proposals, including in particular the need to improve the borrowing terms for lending provided by the banks.

The head of the government said to have set up a task force involving Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy and Central Bank representatives which should submit a comprehensive action plan within a month’s time on how to make financial resources available to businesses. “First and foremost, it is matter of interest rates, collateral and bureaucratic red tape. Looking into Armenia’s business environment, the World Bank stated recently that corruption, bureaucratic problems and the availability of funds top the list major barriers to entrepreneurship. In other words, access to financial resources has become a more serious problem than the bottlenecks associated with tax and customs administration. This us why we are trying to explore and understand what can be done tackle the problems and reduce the interest rates,” the Prime Minister said summing up the consultation.
 

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