Armenia to diversify exports and advance towards knowledge economy with help of UNECE recommendations

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The Armenian economy is undergoing significant structural changes. Services are playing an increasingly important role, rising from around 46 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2012 to around 53 per cent in 2018, driven by information and communication technology (ICT), tourism and healthcare. The industrial sector has also continued to grow, increasing its share in GDP from around 16 percent to 18 per cent during same period. This has been accompanied by a decline in the share from agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing, as well as a move away from dependence on the construction sector – which accounted for 10 per cent of GDP in 2017, compared to around 25 per cent in 2006.

As the government seeks to drive this transformation towards increased specialization in high value-added activities, building on strong growth over the last decade in the country’s trade sector has been identified as a particular priority. The country is taking steps to address challenges linked to high trade deficit (which stood at 16 per cent of GDP in 2017), resource intensive exports (dominated by metals – copper ores and concentrates alone accounted for 28.5 per cent of total exports in 2017 –, mineral products, precious stones, and non-metal products) and a limited range of trading partners. This is especially important in the context of Armenia’s regional integration efforts, as exemplified by its partnership agreement with the EU, provisionally applied since 2018.

The Government of Armenia will use UNECE recommendations to remove regulatory and procedural barriers to trade in goods as part of its efforts to diversify exports and achieve structural transformation towards a knowledge-based economy. 

The recommendations were developed in consultation with the Government drawing on the findings of a UNECE assessment study, whose results were presented today in Geneva.

The study features a special focus on female-owned enterprises (out of the 91 interviewed enterprises, 30 were female-owned), with a view to gaining a better understanding of the specific challenges to increasing their participation in international trade. The study also aims to support the government’s efforts to develop the productive capacity of labour-intensive light industries and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In 2015, MSMEs accounted for 99.7 per cent of all registered enterprises in the country.



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