Presentation of Phase II of the
United Nations Industrial Development Organization Project
“Improving Competitiveness of Export-Oriented Industries in Armenia through Modernization and Market Access”
February 14, marked the presentation of the second Phase of UNIDO Project “Improving Competitiveness of Export-Oriented Industries in Armenia through Modernization and Market Access”.
The event was opened by Ms. Anahit Simonyan, UNIDO Country Representative who mentioned that this is an important milestone event not only for the UNIDO project but also for the textile and light industry because it gives us an opportunity to support Armenian producers and promote their products in Russian and other markets, at the same time, new sectors included in the phase II, open new avenues and perspectives, given the past well-developed and highly acknowledged Armenian shoes and leather accessories.
His Excellency Minister of Economic Development and Investments of the Republic of Armenia Mr. Suren Karayan attended the presentation and delivered his welcoming speech. Suren Karayan in particular said: “The Ministry of Economic Development and Investments of the Republic of Armenia is continuously implementing a number of activities set out by the sector development strategy aimed at raising the competitiveness of the products, export promotion and attraction of new markets. In this regard, I want to stress the significant role of international organizations, particularly the role of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in the development process of the sector.”
The event was attended by other representatives of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, Ambassadors accredited to Armenia, representatives of international organizations, managers and specialists of garment and shoe production and design, representatives of business community and non-governmental organizations.
Minister-Counselor of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Armenia Mr. Andrei Ivanov presented the Ambassador's welcome address saying: “Over the past short period of time, in the framework of the Project financed by the Russian Federation, we managed to achieve quite significant results in the organization of small and medium textile business in Armenia. It is not easy to run a business in the current world economy conditions, but the Project managed to considerably improve the competitiveness and attractiveness of the products of Armenian companies participating in the Project.”
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Robert Harutyunyan, in his turn highlighted the support of the Russian Federation to the Project mentioning: “The implementation of this program reflects our partner country's attitude and desire to develop this very promising sector for Armenia. In the framework of the previous phase of the project, Armenia received precious sector-related knowledge, the companies were acquainted with the innovations and trends of the sector, as well as to the steps to become more competitive”. The Deputy Minister highlighted that the new phase of the Project will allow to engage more companies.
The official part of the event was closed by the signing ceremony of the project document followed by the detailed presentation of the UNIDO “Industrial Upgrading and Modernization Programme” and Armenia’s project phase II main objectives and targets by Mr. Farrukh Alimjanov, Project Manager, technical presentations of the project international and national experts, project beneficiary companies.
On February 15 Minister Suren Karayan visited the relaunched Yerevan leather factory with UNIDO mission to familiarize with production, problems and discuss possibilities of cooperation. Minister of Economic Development and Investments of the Republic of Armenia promised to visit the factory in three months, when the factory will complete the whole cycle in leather processing.
The executive director of the factory Ashot Gomtsyan noted that the factory has more than 100 employees now. When the processing of the raw materials will be over in three months, the number of the employed increase. At the end of this year the investors plan to create 700 workplaces.
"We are planning Armenian leather production; shoes, leather accessories such as gloves, bags, belts etc.", - said Ashot Gomtsyan. The latter added that they are permanently in contact with the Ministry to solve the problems operatively and update the Ministry on the process of the production.
Briefing Note: The pilot phase of the UNIDO Project “Improving Competitiveness of Export-Oriented Industries in Armenia through Modernization and Market Access” started in September 2014. It was implemented in close cooperation with the RA Ministry of Economic Development and Investments and Development Foundation of Armenia, and funded by the Government of the Russian Federation. Phase I of the Project was aimed at the revival and development of the apparel production traditions in Armenia and Armenia’s integration into regional and international markets. Eight garment producing companies were involved in the pilot phase. Each company underwent multi-dimensional diagnosis on the product development and design, effective production planning and management, human resources, finances, marketing, networking, legal and gender-related matters, together with respective technical assistance provided by the Project national and international experts. The Project also facilitated the establishment of “Atex-Burgo Fashion School.” Specialists of the School were trained in “Instituto di Moda Burgo” in Milan, Italy, and thereafter launched professional courses in “Atex-Burgo Fashion School” in Yerevan using Burgo textbooks and methodology.
Trainings and practical workshops organized for the Project beneficiary companies and students of “Atex-Burgo” Fashion School resulted in the creation of 5 joint collections of quality and fashion garments under the joint label “5900BC”, responding to the requirements and taste of the modern buyers. The collections were presented at international and national exhibitions and other events: “Collection Premiere Moscow”,” Textillegprom”, “BEE Together International Business Platform” (Moscow, Russia), “Creativity Show”, organized in the frame of UNIDO 50th anniversary celebrations (Vienna, Austria), “Made in Armenia” (Yerevan, Armenia). The participation in international exhibitions yielded the desired results. The high quality Armenian products started stirring interest among the well-known Russian brands, who extended their appreciation for the exported goods and willingness for long-term sustainable cooperation. Another partnership was developed with one of the famous fashion houses in Russia “Valentin Yudashkin Fashion House”. The models designed by the Fashion House and made in Armenia were showcased during the Paris Fashion Week in November 2016.
During Phase II the UNIDO Project will continue supporting the enterprises in Textile/Clothing sector and expand involvement of Shoe/Leather sector. The project’s Phase II will seek to revive industrial linkages of the Armenian shoe and garment producers within the regional value chains (especially within the EAEU) by enhancing productivity and competitiveness of the sectors, promoting business networking and institutional partnerships between local shoe and garment producers and developers (design, modeling). The Project experts will extend their multi-faceted continued support to the beneficiary companies in the preparation of the samples, financial, marketing and other export-related matters. Phase II also aims to address the challenges related to design, quality and market access, faced by the shoe/leather goods manufacturers in Armenia.