The apricot is Armenia's most celebrated fruit, a cherished national symbol and key agricultural export for the country. Harvest starts in June, when trees across the region are bursting with lush and mellow fruit, and the month proves busy for all the companies involved in the supply chain.
Labora Plast has been in the agriculture business for quite some time, importing freezers and fridges to keep produce – including apricots – fresh and juicy. The company recently noticed a gap in the supply chain and decided to bridge it by producing boxes for agricultural exports.
The EBRD, the European Union (EU) and ArmSwissBank have become stable partners helping the company to realise its ambition and invest in better technology under the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line.
“The programme and investment were both highly beneficial for our company: the new equipment allows us to save up to 40 per cent of our energy. At the same time, we can produce twice as many boxes as before and contribute to growing Armenia’s export volume,” says Arvin Nazarian, Director.
The EBRD offers companies loans to modernise production by bringing it in line with EU standards. These loans, disbursed via local partner financial institutions such as ArmSwissBank, are coupled with grants and technical assistance funded by the EU under its EU4Business initiative.
“In a fast-changing world with continuous technological advances, investments in modern equipment can bring the competitive edge, making businesses more agile, efficient and bound to grow locally and beyond borders. Together with the EU and our local financial partners, including ArmSwissBank, we are driving private sector development and helping companies develop the economy,” says George Akhalkatsi, EBRD head of Armenia.
Histogen, an Armenian-German scientific-practical centre of pathology, is another beneficiary of the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line in Armenia.
“Efficient treatment starts with accurate diagnostics” – that’s the motto of the centre based in Yerevan. “We provide the most accurate and reliable pathomorphologic diagnostics in line with modern medical requirements and with help from our team of high-level professionals,” says Ruzanna Kocharian, Deputy Director.
Since opening in 2017, Histogen has aimed to bring the local population the highest quality services in a fast, affordable and easily accessible manner.
“Time is of the essence, especially with serious illness: the faster the diagnosis, the faster you can begin treatment. And a scanner purchased with support from our partners definitely helps us to share test results with our colleagues abroad and seek medical opinions more broadly, all with the aim of finding the right treatment,” notes Ruzanna.
The newly acquired scanner allows the transfer of sensitive medical data at high speed and in high quality for remote analysis and diagnostics. The scanner has also allowed Histogen to become more actively involved in scientific research and contribute to ongoing studies.
This is especially important for Ruzanna’s centre, which acts as a base for the Armenian Medicine Institute, where a young generation of medical professionals acquire knowledge and practical skills in pathology.
To date 13 companies in Armenia have already benefitted from the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line and the number is growing. This programme is also active in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.