On January 18, the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia hosted the launch of the "Textile Industry Support Project, funded by the UK Government's Good Governance Fund, with the support of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and coordination of the Project by the Business Support Office.
The RA Deputy Minister of Economy Rafael Gevorgyan, H.E. the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Armenia John Gallagher, the Head of the EBRD in Armenia Dimitri Gvindadze delivered welcoming speeches on the launch of the project.
The project is aimed at the development of a sustainable, inclusive textile industry in Armenia. The latter is included in the list of the main strategic priorities of the Armenian economy.
"Since the GSP + system ceased to operate on January 1, we have started research with our partners and supporting units to study the consequences of the system termination. "Based on this research, a five-year strategy for the Textile industry will be developed, which will include not only textile sector, but also other branches of the light industry," said Deputy Minister of Economy Rafael Gevorgyan.
According to the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Armenia John Gallagher, the Textile industry is one of the dynamically developing spheres in Armenia, which has a great potential for development. John Gallagher is hopeful that the Textile industry development project will help increase competitiveness in the sector. The Ambassador also stressed that the project focuses on two important points: the development of women entrepreneurship and the protection of the environment.
In his speech, Dimitri Gvindadze, the Head of the EBRD in Armenia, noted that the EBRD is gradually increasing its investments in Armenia, in addition to financial and energy sectors, and is interested in cooperation in real estate, tourism, services, telecommunications and agriculture. Noting, that the Textile industry is also included in the EBRD priorities, Dimitri Gvindadze expressed readiness to support the development of this sphere in Armenia as much as possible.
Afterwards, Hovsep Patvakanyan,the Head of the Business Support Office, and Tigran Jrbashyan, Textile development expert involved in the project, presented the details of the project.
Within the framework of the project, proposals will be developed on opportunities to increase the added value of textile products produced in Armenia, to make them more competitive, taking into account the fact that the GSP + regime no longer applies to this product category.
The Textile industry, as one of the 11 strategic export-oriented sectors, is a potential source of employment in the country, where women account for up to 95%. The sector has a high potential for development, the program intends to address the existing challenges, as SMEs in the sector are operating far below their capacity, the products of the latter are uncompetitive in regional and international markets.
Taking into account the growth potential of the TTextile industry, the Government of Armenia is interested in stimulating the sector, directing it to the creation of jobs, the promotion of value-added trade, and the expansion of exports. In addition, the development of the sector will have a measurable impact on the growth of women entrepreneurship.
The work carried out within the framework of the project will lead to the drafting of an action plan, the development of a roadmap, the implementation of proposals related to legislation, regulation, financial and technical assistance, and the development plan of the textile industry. The latter will contribute to the economic empowerment of women, will be developed with clear recommendations, based on the study of international best practices.