Support to the Secretariat of the Investment Council of Armenia

Location:

Armenia

TCRS Number:

1757

Business sector:

Corporate information

Notice type:

Public

Status:

Approved

PSD disclosed:

12 Mar 2021

Project Description

Rationale

The EBRD-supported Investment Council (called Business Support Office in Armenia) was originally established in May 2007 and assigned to assist the Business Support Council, an organisation established by Presidential Decree with World Bank assistance in 2000. In January 2010, the BSO started to cooperate with the Secretariat of the Inspection Reforms Coordination Council (IRCC) and subsequently discontinued its support to the BSC, which had become increasingly ineffective in articulating the needs of the private sector.

Since its inception, the EBRD-supported Business Support Office (BSO) has also facilitated regular consultations between the Ministry of Economy (in charge of reform implementation) and the private sector, including through the provision of technical assistance to the IRCC. This resulted in the establishment of an SME Development Council (SME Council) in July 2011, designed to serve as a high-level platform for identifying, prioritising and resolving key constraints to SME development, for which the BSO has serves as Secretariat ever since.  The SME Council now is the principal platform for public-private policy dialogue in Armenia. The SME Council is supported by the BSO, whose staff provide expert economic and legal analysis and advice to the Council members and ensure regular communication between the government and the business community (including through its own online platform).

The BSO works in close coordination with the Ministry of Economy and is seen by the private sector as providing independent and effective advice on regulatory and legislative issues related to doing business in Armenia, as well as facilitating high-level dialogue with the government. There is strong political commitment to the BSO from the Government and clear support for reinvigorating the working sessions of the SME Council with the BSO as its Secretariat.

In addition, the BSO is playing a key role in supporting businesses and the Government in responding to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including in the development and awareness-raising of business assistance initiatives by the Government and the establishment of an advisory hotline for businesses. It is expected that the BSO will continue to play a central role in facilitating dialogue between the Government and private sector, which will contribute to restoring investors’ confidence, strengthening the business environment and addressing medium and longer-term challenges as a result of the pandemic, such as debt restructuring, organisational changes and insolvency procedures.

TC Services

The objective of the proposed TC is to provide continued funding for the Secretariat to the Armenia Business Support Office (BSO) to equip it with professional staff and other resources required to ensure the effective functioning of the Council.

The key functions of the BSO are to:

• Ensure the effective functioning of public-private dialogue for identifying reforms aimed at improving the investment climate, including in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

• Support the government and private sector in identifying and addressing key challenges to businesses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

• Contribute to the development of the reform agenda for the SME Council.

• Facilitate policy dialogue with the private sector through regular meetings with business associations and NGOs; and involvement of NGOs in the reform-making process.

• Initiate awareness-raising activities, keeping the business community informed on the reform processes, enhancing public awareness on the reforms undertaken by the SME Council.

• Co-operate with donors operating in the area of improving the business environment, sharing and exchanging expertise and information on ongoing projects.

• Monitor, analyse and research business related topics and areas in the Republic of Armenia.

Any competitive selections for business opportunities relating to this project will be published on the EBRD's website: Consultancy Procurement Opportunities.

General enquiries

EBRD project enquiries not related to procurement:
Tel: +44 20 7338 7168
Email: projectenquiries@ebrd.com

Access to Information Policy (AIP)

The AIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations following its entry into force on 1 January 2020. Please visit the Access to Information Policy page to find out what information is available from the EBRD website.

Specific requests for information can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form

Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)

If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).

IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.

Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out more about IPAM and its mandate; how to submit a Request for review; or contact IPAM  via email ipam@ebrd.com to get guidance and more information on IPAM and how to submit a request.

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