Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk to boost small businesses in Armenia

European Union, International Trade Centre and Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia launched the Armenian version of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Trade Helpdesk platform in Yerevan.

The European Union (EU) and the International Trade Centre (ITC), in partnership with the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia, have launched the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Trade Helpdesk platform for the Armenian business community.

The EU is one of the main export destinations for Armenian products, and Armenian exports can grow 50% more in the next five years. This would translate to €300 million of additional exports. 

Through the newly launched Armenian version of the EaP Trade Helpdesk platform (eap.tradehelpdesk.org/hy), public and private actors have access to user-friendly trade intelligence to contribute to an increase of trade between the countries of the EaP region and with the EU.

The platform guides users through three stages:

  1. Identifying the most promising markets and products to trade in the EaP region and the EU.
  2. Providing an overview of market access conditions and connecting them with relevant partners in their country or the destination market.
  3. Allowing users through its Help Centre to raise concerns and get support from a network of national experts coordinated by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

A week of extensive training for officials from the Armenian Government and business support organizations complements the launch. The training will enable them to develop new trade portfolios serving small businesses in Armenia that constitute the highest percentage of all enterprises in the business economy.

The launch is complemented by a week of extensive training for officials from the Armenian Government and business support organizations– increasing their capacity in trade and market analysis using the Trade Helpdesk and other related information sources. The knowledge accumulated in the training will enable them to develop new trade portfolios serving small businesses in Armenia that constitute the highest percentage of all enterprises in the business economy.

Background

The newly released EaP Trade Helpdesk platform shows an overview of new market possibilities for both established and less known products exported not only to the EaP, but also for the EU. There is a number of unutilised export opportunities – for example, concerning the apparel sector, the export level can be fivefold higher, with markets of Germany, Netherlands and France providing highest number of possibilities. Jewellery exports can gain additional 6.6 mln EUR by diversifying from the traditional markets of Belgium, Germany, and Latvia to such less traditional markets of Poland, Netherlands, Slovakia and Spain. The platform contains detailed market requirement information for the existing and newly identified markets, provides the ability for the users of the EaP Trade Helpdesk platform to access knowledge sources and submit their questions to the national network of technical experts through the HelpCentre. The project lasts until 2024, and after the launch of the platform, there will be further enhancements to accumulate the feedback of Armenian companies on business environment from going business survey and work on trade in services data.

QUOTATIONS

Armen Arzumanyan, Deputy Minister (Ministry of Economy of Armenia)

‘’The development of exports and their diversification are a priority of the economic policy of Armenia. I consider the EaP Trade Helpdesk to be an important tool that allows exporters to achieve that. Armenian firms will get access to complete, verified and transparent trade information about the EaP and EU markets, expanding their business as a result.”

Frank Hess, Head of the Cooperation (EU Delegation to Armenia)

‘’We welcome the launch of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Trade Helpdesk platform. It is a powerful tool that can diversify export options and boost trade partnerships for Armenian businesses. In periods of global turmoil, economic diversification is necessary: it can reduce risks and mitigate the consequences of economic downturns. As such, this platform is going to be a useful instrument for both businesses and policy makers.’’

Mathieu Loridan, Senior Market Analyst (International Trade Centre – ITC)

“EU together with the EaP makes up 25% of Armenian trade. But this trade is relatively concentrated – both in terms of products and destinations, leaving unexplored possibilities for diversification in majority of the EU and other EaP countries. By exploring these unused opportunities within the next five years Armenian trade to the EU can grow 50% more, adding 300 million Euros.”

About ITC – The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

About EU4Business – EU4Business is an umbrella initiative that includes all EU support to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the Eastern Partnership countries—Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. EU4Business supports SME growth by improving access to finance and business development services, and by promoting better business regulation. 

In 2020, 71,851 SMEs were supported through the EU4Business Initiative, generating an extra €1 billion in income and 50,466 new jobs, growing their turnover by 17.44%, and increasing their exports by 4.11% as a result. Read more: https://eu4business.eu/ 

About Access2Markets – This EU web portal combines the Market Access Database, the EU Trade Helpdesk and other trade facilitation services. Access2Markets has all the information needed, be it about conformity assessment certificates for machinery, health certificates for aquaculture products, or labelling for processed foods. Access2Markets has contact details of customs and other public authorities in the EU countries and abroad. Read more: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/access-to-markets/en/home

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