Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Armenia Business Enabling Environment project and the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia jointly hosted a “Public-Private Dialogue in Armenia” Stakeholder Meeting in Yerevan.
Vahan Kerobyan, the Minister of Economy, and John Allelo, the USAID/Armenia Mission Director, with Ministry representatives, business associations, private companies, and international organizations took part in the event to accomplish the following: discuss the issues and challenges facing public-private dialogue (PPD);hear the opinions of the participants on how to improve opportunities for dialogue; and to review various PPD mechanisms that would create effective, and sustainable dialogue platforms.
“The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia attaches great importance to dialogue with the private sector and the business community; and to the open and honest discussion of issues that the business leaders face. Business representatives and sector associations representing the interests of their membership play a crucial role in the public-private dialogue,” said Vahan Kerobyan, the Minister of Economy.
“Dialogue between the public and private sectors in Armenia is not a new concept. A number of successful initiatives have been organized in the last decade, in which international donor organizations, including USAID, have provided technical support. Despite the progress made to date, many policy reforms and legislative processes still do not sufficiently include the views and interests of the private sector. USAID will remain committed to supporting these initiatives that will contribute to improved business environment for private sector growth,” said John Allelo, the USAID Armenia Mission Director․
“Public-private dialogue is a rather challenging process, and it does not result in a simple recipe for success. It largely depends on the willingness, capabilities, and the long-term vision of the parties to find a common ground on issues that need to be addressed and resolved. In addition, in order for the PPD to be successful and effective, the private sector must have the relevant knowledge to conduct the dialogue, to present the issues, and the ability to realistically advocate for their initiatives,” said James Brew, international expert for the ABEE project.
The participants also learned about international best practices in PPD, as well as the prerequisites for the success and risks for failure. The stakeholders discussed further steps towards creating a meaningful and effective dialogue between the private and public sectors in Armenia.