Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk to boost small businesses in Armenia
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 the third biggest export market for Armenian products, with the potential to 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, public and private actors have access to user-friendly trade intelligence and contribute to an increase of trade between the countries of the EaP region and with the EU.
The platform guides users through three stages:
- Identifying the most promising markets and products to trade in the EaP region and the EU.
- Providing an overview of market access conditions and connecting them with relevant partners in their country or the destination market.
- 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.
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.
At the launch, Armen Arzumanyan, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Economy of Armenia, said: ‘’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 Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Armenia, added: “We welcome the launch of the Eastern Partnership 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 policymakers.’’
Mathieu Loridan, Senior Market Analyst at ITC, concluded: "The EU together with the EaP make 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.”
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. Several unused export opportunities include: the apparel sector, where the export level could be five-fold, and markets in Germany, France and the Netherlands providing the best export possibilities.
Jewellery exports could gain an additional €6.6 million by diversifying from the traditional markets of Belgium, Germany, and Latvia to Poland, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Spain.
The platform contains detailed market requirement information for existing and newly identified markets, provides users with sources and a national network of technical experts for support. The project is set to last until 2024.