Business Support Office to receive funding from the UK Government to help continue operations and address the economic impact of Covid-19 on SMEs

The UK Government’s Good Governance Fund (GGF) will be supporting the operation of the EBRD backed Business Support Office (BSO) in Armenia. The GGF will also help the BSO to take forward a series of targeted activities to address the economic impact of Covid-19 on SMEs in Armenia.  

The BSO facilitates a platform for policy dialogue between the Government of Armenia and the private sector, as well as providing economic and legal expertise to encourage a more favourable investment climate in which the private sector can flourish. The BSO is playing a central role in supporting the Government of Armenia formulate business-supportive economic policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, in close coordination with business community representatives.

The BSO’s activities to help Armenia’s private sector deal with the financial and operational impacts of Covid-19 include: the piloting of a regional agricultural centre to strengthen linkages between producers and buyers; supporting SMEs in adapting their business models; and establishing a seed fund for Armenian start-ups in collaboration with the Investment Support Agency.

To date, the BSO has been supported through the EBRD’s Shareholder Special Fund (SSF).

The BSO works in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy of Armenia and the Investment Support Centre to identify the key challenges businesses and investors face, while shaping the necessary reforms to address those challenges.

“We are grateful to our partner GGF and colleagues at the British Embassy in Armenia for supporting this important initiative. The EBRD is strongly committed to supporting Armenia’s reform agenda and to supporting an effective dialogue between the government and private sector. The real economy is the backbone of a well-functioning state and a good investment climate remains essential for the further development of the private sector and economic growth”, said EBRD head of Armenia, Dimitri Gvindadze.

Ambassador David Moran, British Chargé d’Affaires to Armenia said: “ The UK is pleased to support the Business Support Office through our Good Governance Fund. It will help the Armenian Government in its work to enhance Armenia’s investment potential, strengthen investor confidence and support the country’s recovery from the economic impact of COVID-19.”

The Deputy Minister of Economy Naira Margaryan said: “The Business Support Office is successfully implementing its role in structuring and implementing Public-Private Dialogue, providing support and expertise in developing reform projects for Armenian business community, and here the BSO is the Ministry’s main partner. We are having a fruitful cooperation and planning more projects in cooperation. We are excited to hear that the UK Government through its Good Governance Fund shall support the office by ensuring the continuity of funding and that will lead to new opportunities for us to cooperate and exercise more joint initiatives.”

About the Business Support Office

The BSO, established in 2007, with funding from the EBRD, leads a platform for public and private dialogue under the patronage of the Government of Armenia and the Ministry of Economy of Armenia.

The EBRD is a leading investor in Armenia and combines investments with support for reforms that help improve the business environment and mobilise investment from other sources. To date, the Bank has invested up to €1.4 billion in Armenia through a total of 183 projects.

About the British Embassy Yerevan

The British Embassy in Yerevan maintains and develops relations between the UK and Armenia, working with the Armenian government and other partners. Current UK assistance projects in Armenia are focused on promoting international human rights, good governance and democratic principles; supporting defence and security co-operation; contributing to stability and resilience; fostering sustainable economic growth; and promoting person-to-person contacts between our two countries. The UK Government’s reform assistance to Armenia is provided through the Good Governance Fund (GGF).

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