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«STRATEGY OF EXPORT – LED INDUSTRIAL POLICY OF REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA Yerevan TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Policy Context 2. Current State 3. Goals and ...»

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Translated from Armenian

REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

Ministry of Economy

STRATEGY OF EXPORT – LED INDUSTRIAL

POLICY OF REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

Yerevan

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Policy Context

2. Current State

3. Goals and Objectives of the Industrial Policy

4. Principles of the Industrial Policy

5. Key Policy Directions and Set of Tools

6. Key Priority Initiatives

7. Industrial Sectors: Current State and Support Areas

8. Main Areas of the Exportable Sector at the Start Phase…………………………………………………..13

9. Strategy Implementation and Structures

10. Resources

11. Monitoring and Evaluation

1. Policy Context Driven by the imperative to increase economic competitiveness and ensure sustainable economic growth, the RA Government has initiated the implementation of an active industrial policy that will target the expansion of the exportable sector of the economy by identifying and utilizing export potential.

Economic competitiveness depends on a set of macroeconomic and microeconomic factors. A sustainable macroeconomic environment and sociopolitical institutions are an important but insufficient condition for competitiveness. The productivity of companies and, thus international

competitiveness depend on a set of three microeconomic factors:

Business environment;

Level of cluster development Sophistication of company strategies and operations.

The direct target of the industrial policy will be to develop manufacturing industries and clusters.

The RA Export-Led Industrial Policy is a set of balanced and phased activities aimed at increasing international competitiveness of industry sectors with export potential and targeted at export growth and diversification.

The Government of Armenia has declared building a knowledge-based economy as its long-term strategic objective. On this basis, the guiding vision for the industrial policy will be to turn Armenia into a country producing high-value and knowledge-intensive goods and services with creative human capital at its core. Achieving this vision requires a phased approach that entails a gradual transition from resource-intensive production to capacity- and skills-, and subsequently knowledgebased production to play a dominant role in long-term outlook.

This document sets out the key directions, principles and set of tools of the RA Government’s industrial policy.

This policy framework coordinates all the activities and tools used by the Government to boost the development of the real sector of the economy, including SME sector, as well as defines new areas of activities and tools. Sectoral strategies shall be developed based on this policy framework. This initiative will complement other sectoral and cross-cutting initiatives for which development strategies have been approved or key projects are being implemented: information and communication technologies, tourism, health care, education and agriculture. In addition, the Government, acknowledging the role of SME in the labor market and in economic development, implements a special SME support program with the application of adequate infrastructure and toolset (SME Development National Center, SME Investments UCO).

Sustainable macroeconomic environment is an important prerequisite for the successful execution of the industrial policy. This sustainability particularly refers to the stability of prices and the predictability of exchange rate dynamics, which will exclude fluctuations dangering the price competitiveness of Armenian products and services in foreign markets. Synchronization of these strategies and key projects and avoiding duplication of efforts will be among the most important prerequisites of achieving industrial policy objectives. This approach is aimed to increase the efficiency of interventions.

The jumpstart strategy and the implementation roadmap for the next 5 years are presented in the Appendices.

2. Current State

–  –  –

3. Goals and Objectives of the Industrial Policy

3.1. Long-term and Medium-term Goals The long-term goal of the Export-Led Industrial Policy is to form new driver sectors by expanding currently exporting sectors and those with export potential. Capacity building and export support for SMEs with export potential gain a special importance in this framework. The export-led industrial

policy targets are presented below*:

–  –  –

3.2. Key Objectives In order to achieve the goals set forth above the main objectives of the Export-Led Industrial Policy

are:

1. Cooperate with the private sector for implementing sectoral development strategies;

2. Enhance the sophistication levels of strategies and operations of firms, especially SMEs, with export potential;

3. Identify new sectors with export potential and foster capacity building in these sectors;





4. Support to the expansion of opportunities to create value added in Armenia;

5. Attract transnational corporations;

6. Guide and formulate objectives for business environment reforms comprising two sets of

factors:

6.1 Business regulatory framework,

6.2 Infrastructures;

7. Develop capacities of business support structures.

8. Principles of the Industrial Policy

In the aftermath of evaluation of results of the anti-crisis policy of the Government of Armenia, identification of more efficient mechanisms aimed at increasing the investment attractiveness of the economy’s real sector in the post-crisis stabilization phase, and based on key lessons from the experience of countries with comparable initial conditions and level of success, the Government of

Armenia adopts the following key principles of Export-led Industrial Policy:

• The policy will target export development without being limited to mere export promotion activities.

• At this stage of development, the policy will specifically be based on sectoral priorities through developing “leverage” sectors for the next (broader) phase.

• The involvement of the state will address elimination and/or liquidation of market failures (information and coordination costs) as opposed to creating preferential conditions for specific enterprises.

• Ruling out the use of less favorable conditions in the business environment, ensuring the predictability and consistency of improvements.

• The policy tools should be aimed at long-term development but also ensure a predictable sequence of quick wins.

• Among initiatives preference will be given to public-private partnerships and those with positive inter/intra sectoral synergies.

Given the importance of the systemic development of the economy, the industrial policy is considered within the context of the vision for comprehensive development of the economy and priorities for development of other sectors of the economy.

9. Key Policy Directions and Toolset

The Industrial Policy is being implemented in the following ways:

1. Implementing general measures aimed at creating a favorable environment and increase in productivity;

2. Use a special toolset.

5.1 General measures

Key components of the group of general measures are:

● Improving the business regulatory environment;

● Ensuring favorable external regimes and elimination of trade barriers;

● Modernizing the infrastructure;

● Attracting foreign investment.

Ensure sustained improvements in the business regulatory environment: In order to make Armenia a more favorable country in terms of doing business in the region the Government of Armenia will continue to implement large-scale reforms in the business environment in the following

directions:

● Reduce tax administration and reporting, improve taxpayer service quality and universal application of risk-based audit criteria;

● Simplify, reduce and automate export and import procedures; improve the service quality for economic entities;

● Roll out e-governance system in public administration;

● Simplify and reduce procedures for getting construction permits;

● Reduce time of litigation processes;

● Ensure access to credit, centralize credit information;

● Reduce the procedures for and time of property registration;

● Simplify the procedures and reduce time for bankruptcy and liquidation processes of legal entities;

● Enforce efficient protection of intellectual property and support Armenian exporters in protecting their intellectual property in export markets.

Ensure favorable foreign trade regimes and eliminate trade barriers: Armenia-World Trade Organization (WTO): Armenia uses the Most Favored Nation regime under WTO. The Most Favored Nation regime (MFN) is a fundamental principle regulating trade practices among WTO countries.

Armenia, as a member of WTO, is under the coverage of MFN regime with all WTO member countries.

Armenia - CIS trade-economic relations: Armenia has free trade agreements with Georgia and CIS countries, with the exception of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. Armenia also joined the multilateral free trade agreement within the framework of CIS. As the markets of CIS countries remain a priority for the Armenian exports in the short and medium term (excluding exports of metal input materials and diamond), the application of this preferential regime will be an essential prerequisite for the implementation of sectoral export-led strategies and for attracting foreign investments.

Armenia-EU relations: High importance is attached to signing Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with EU. The Agreement will provide free access for Armenian goods into the EU market.

Negotiations for the Free Trade Agreement with the EU imply critical and consistent institutional reforms in a number of areas such as non-tariff regulatory procedures, standardization and certification systems, accreditation, copyrights, protection of intellectual property rights, easing of trade, competition, public procurement, phytosanitary systems, etc.

Currently, Armenia is eligible for the EU GSP+ (Generalized System of Preferences) special arrangement, which allows Armenia to export locally produced goods (about 6,400 titles) to EU markets with 0 or reduced tariffs. However, up to now Armenian exporters have been able to realize only a small part of opportunities provided by GSP. Thus, efforts in future should be targeted at expanding the opportunities for a wider use of these exemptions.

Infrastructure upgrade: Ensuring a competitive infrastructure is emphasized from the perspective of economic activity.The infrastructure is being modernized through relevant sectoral programs.

Particularly, the North-South Road, Iran-Armenia Railway and an international logistic center close to Zvartnots International Airport and logistics infrastructure for accessing the free economic zone are among the most important projects aimed at upgrading the logistics infrastructure. 2011-2015 education development program in the RA is aimed at improving the education infrastructure. In terms of industrial policy, national quality infrastructure reforms are of significant importance.

The approved 2010-2020 reforms strategy for quality infrastructure is aimed at the development of quality national infrastructure and its compliance to international and European standards. The adoption of international successful experience and conformation of goods safety and consumer protection local legislation to corresponding EU legislation will enable to achieve the mentioned purposes.

The reforms are expected to increase the level of consumer protection and to reduce the

administrative burden for entrepreneurs. The reforms will be carried out in the following key areas:

metrology, standardization, evaluation of conformity certification, technical regulation, and market control. Given the length of the process, priority will be given to addressing those issues that significantly impede the development of exporting sectors.

Attraction of foreign investment: Attracting foreign investment is one of the most important ways to increase productivity. In the current phase of Armenia’s development and export capacity build-up, foreign investments serve as an important source of financial resources and new technologies, as well as management experience and access to markets. A portfolio of initiatives aimed at attracting leading transnational corporations will be an important component of efforts aimed at engagement of sector-specific investments. These initiatives will be synchronized with the application of sectorspecific tools in targeted sectors. In particular, special importance will be attached to attracting technological firms, which have strategic importance for the economic development.

5.2 Special tools Existing and proposed new support tools are listed below.

Special tax and customs regimes ● Special tax and customs regimes for exporting firms ● VAT deferral for investment goods and goods imported under investment projects ● Free economic zones Financial support and providing access to finance ● Subsidized loans (e.g. for establishment of quality ensurance system, expansion of export activities or creation of new jobs) ● Issuing credit guarantees ● Equity financing ● Participation in investment funds Access to markets ● Identification of goods with export potential and finding partners ● Represent and protect exporters’ interests via commercial representations;

● Support to participation in expos;

● Organize incoming and outgoing business visits and conferences;

● Branding of the country and specific sectors in target markets;



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