YEREVAN, 16 November 2021 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Government of Armenia have signed a Country Programme (CP) for inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Armenia 2022-2026.
The new CP represents the first comprehensive programmatic framework concluded between the two parties. It was developed following extensive multilateral consultations and is aligned with the country’s national priorities, as well as the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) for Armenia 2021-2025.
At the signing ceremony, Armenia's Minister of Economy, Vahan Kerobyan, said, “The cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and UNIDO has been efficient in the previous years, and the projects carried out jointly gave the country a lot of new jobs and helped overcome some of the challenges it was facing for the period.”
Kerobyan added, “There are still a lot of challenges ahead of us, and the government of Armenia adopted an investment-driven Government Programme for 2021-2025, which envisages significant changes in the industrial sectors of the economy with the increase of their share in the country’s GDP.”
He also noted, “The five-year Country Programme we signed today is in line with our national priorities and will help us improve industrial output and productivity through sustainable economic transformation, industrial diversification and digitalization based on innovations and technology transfer.”
The five-year programme sets out a holistic strategy for enhanced cooperation between UNIDO and Armenia. The CP has the following three thematic components at its core: industrial competitiveness and market access, with a focus on innovation and digitalization; sustainable agribusiness and support for SMEs; energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable environmental management.
In his welcoming remarks, UNIDO’s Managing Director, ZOU Ciyong, noted, “Our work under the Country Programme will also aim to help create an enabling legal and policy environment and foster evidence-based industrial policy-making, research and analytics to support the achievement of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goal 9 that is at the core of UNIDO’s mandate,” adding, “Strong leadership of the government in resource mobilization, implementation, monitoring, communication and other important processes within the CP is key to achieving envisaged results.”
UNIDO has enjoyed twenty years of fruitful cooperation with the Government of Armenia, with a solid track record of technical cooperation projects in diverse areas of inclusive and sustainable development. For example, by strengthening agro-processing value chains, UNIDO facilitated the establishment of 53 agricultural cooperatives in six provinces of Armenia and provided support to over 700 beneficiaries. Through capacity-building efforts to promote entrepreneurship among women and youth with tailored, need-based and innovative tools, UNIDO helped generate employment opportunities for more than 1,000 people in rural and urban areas. To assist Armenia in its efforts to promote circular and green economy, UNIDO supported the application of renewable energy and innovative technology, including through the establishment of biogas plants and solar water heaters. To help the country tackle the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNIDO supported Armenian local garment manufacturing companies which produced 2,623 sets of bed linen and 2,000 medical uniforms.
The CP marks another important milestone in bilateral cooperation between UNIDO and the Government of Armenia. Further scale-up and integration work with an emphasis on measurable and sustainable outcomes will help bring tangible results on the country’s path towards the achievement of the targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9.
In order to effectively manage the Programme, a National Coordination Body will be established, comprising the representatives of line ministries and other development partners to translate leadership and policy decisions into concrete actions on the ground and new joint initiatives.