On May 24th the EBRD Business Support Office held a roundtable discussion with non-governmental structures that represent the interests of the Private Sector in Armenia. The main topic of the discussion was the importance of improving cooperation with an aim to support the local SMEs. Among the participants were the executives and representatives of the National Centre for SME Development, the Business Advocacy Network, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Yerevan, Taxpayers Rights Protection NGO, as well as other business associations.
The BSO introduced its activities and highlighted its main objective as promotion of private public dialogue(PPD). The head of BSO Gevorg Poghosyan indicated that the BSO provides detailed technical assistance to the SME Development Council Secretariat and Inspection Reform Coordination Council (IRCC) Secretariat to analyze presented issues and prepare solutions and added that the Councils serve as constructive policy PPD platforms aimed at business environment improvement.
Business Advocacy Network coordinator Gagik Poghosyan pointed out that the activities of SME Development Council have been successful so far and as a result most of the issues raised by the private sector have been solved.
The main topic of the discussion included the necessity of a more proactive joint collaboration of the NGOs and business associations directed at raising issues that hamper the sustainable business development in Armenia and providing potential solutions to them.
The head of BSO suggested organizing such kind of roundtable discussions with the participation of the representatives from the Private Sector on a regular basis and the participants approved suggested initiative and made arrangements and discussed the details for the upcoming meeting. The representatives of all the NGOs present mentioned that mainly as a result of regular meetings it would be possible to suggest and seek solutions for the vital problems, the settlement of which would have a big positive impact on business environment.
The president of “Armenian Merchants” NGO Tsolvard Gevorgyan mentioned that it is highly important to exempt the micro business from taxes as it is the most vulnerable constituent of the private sector.
The Yerevan Chamber of Commerce director Karen Martirosyan pointed out, that the Yerevan Chamber of Commerce expresses its willingness to assist in holding such kind of roundtable meeting.
The meeting was concluded with the launch ceremony of the BSO’s new website www.bso.am. It was mentioned that the website would be an important portal for the local entrepreneurs, who can access information on upcoming reforms, address and raise issues or problems using the BSO website. Thus the website will unite all the parties that are passionate in supporting the entrepreneurship in Armenia.