This EU4Business report offers a deep analysis of the economic situation in Armenia, as well as presents the EU4Business projects currently under implementation in the country. It also focuses on present national policies and future measures planned in the national strategy for SMEs.
Compared with other EaP and EU countries, the level of SME development in Armenia is quite high. According to the OECD SME Policy Index 2016, Armenia has made substantial improvements over the last four years and positions itself in the top three rankings in 10 out of 12 dimensions. It has made the most significant improvement in the dimensions of Public procurement and Innovation. The situation described demonstrates a high potential for SME development, which is capturing interest from the local governmental, private sector and international corporations. Being a priority direction for Armenia's economic development, the SME sector attracts a lot of funds and technical support. It demonstrates some positive trends in development and is expected to expand with support from the special tools and mechanisms developed for the SME sector.
Overall, the sector is supported with a strong legislative framework, which is implemented based on mid-term strategic plans and annual programmes. The latter are aligned with EU strategic documents, which helps to ease the process of project implementation with the participation of international institutions.
As defined in the SME Development Strategy 2016-18, the focus of further projects for SMEs should be directed towards knowledge improvement areas. According to the statistics, out of 13 194 projects realised in 2015, 11 897 were directed towards ‘Business information and consulting’ and 407 to ‘Training’, which proves that actions follow the adopted Strategy.
The main challenges that SME development in Armenia is facing are:
- access to finance;
- improving the policy and regulatory framework;
- improving skills and knowledge;
- lack of statistical data and insightful analysis.