Business & Tourism Program Adopted

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The government adopted fundamental documen’s on the development of small and medium business and tourism on August 3.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Armen Gevorgian said that the basic provisions of the strategy and policy of developing small and medium businesses in Armenia have been defined for the first time.

The service establishmen’s employing up to 30 persons and production enterprises employing up to 80 persons will be considered medium-sized.

Businesses employing up to five persons are called "microenterprises"; enterprises with more employees are considered small. The number of their employees will also vary depending on the type of activities.

After the adoption of the aforementioned law–the government is expected to adopt an annual program of developing small and medium business.

According to the concept–small and medium enterprises are to receive tax privileges and other government support–and all the legislation is to be revised in this context.

Chairwoman of the Union of Businessmen of Armenia–member of Parliament Hermine Naghdalian called the adoption of the documen’s a "historical step." According to her–the government has proved its intention–not only in word–but also in deed.

Gevorgian expressed optimism that the National Assembly will adopt the law this autumn–and the first program of supporting small and medium business will be launched in the next financial year.

"The government program of developing tourism in Armenia" is based on the tourism development concept approved in July. It also provides for the adoption of a special law. Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ara Petrossian said that the program consists of three parts:

1. To form the legislation on tourism; the first step must be the adoption of the Law "On tourism";

2. To ensure the competition for the Armenian tourist products;

3. To arouse the interest in the Armenian tourist products in the world.

Under the program–in 2003 at least 150,000 tourists are expected to visit Armenia–and in 2005 in the second stage of the program 225,000 are expected to visit. Petrossian said that under the program–2001 is to become a turning-point in the development of the sphere–which is also connected with the celebration of the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in Armenia.

Funds for the development of the tourism program are expected to be procured with the assistance of international financial organizations.Business & Tourism Program Adopted

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