Weekly Digest on Impact on SMEs in EAP (June 26, 2020)


  • 820 SMEs have already received assistance from the Armenian government through its 3rd action. Ministry of Economy suggests applying for preferential loans up to a maximum of 50mln AMD (more than US$ 104,500) by June 30, 2020. https://bit.ly/3i4QJnI
  • 50,094 jobs restored in Armenia after coronavirus-related strict restrictions were lifted in May. Nikol Pashinyan, the Prime Minister of Armenia, welcomed the decision not to continue the regime of strict restrictions, which caused 71,471 job losses in April. https://bit.ly/3fRuJKU
  • The EU Green Agriculture Initiative in Armenia (EU-GAIA) helps overcome the economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic by opening a call for participation. Support will be provided through agri-investments, equipment, infrastructure and services to grain, herb and sheep breeding agribusinesses in Lori, Tavush and Shirak regions of Armenia.  https://bit.ly/3hOYb6h


  • The volume of cargo transportation in Azerbaijan in January-May 2020 amounted to 81.186 million tons, which is 10.3% less YoY, according to State Statistical Committee data. The decrease in traffic is connected with the pandemic and subsequent quarantine measures. https://bit.ly/2CpHfmr
  • In January-May, retail trade turnover in Azerbaijan decreased by 1.7% YoY, according to the Central Bank. Volume of services to the population declined by 14.9%, investments in the non-oil sector by 16.7%. Decrease in economic activity was partially compensated by measures undertaken by government. https://bit.ly/2YuOkuR
  • More than 28 thousand taxpayers requested support from government to partially cover salaries of more than 264 thousand workers. These taxpayers received nearly 93 million AZN ($54 million), including more than 44 million AZN ($25.72 million) of volume planned for the second month. Microentrepreneurs sent more than 116 thousand requests, and received almost 62 million AZN ($36.24 million). https://bit.ly/2YoJizG


  • Over 340 business entities received real estate tax deductions in the amount equivalent to $1.55 million, and 217 organizations made use of deferrals, payment by installments and tax credits in the amount of $2.1 million. https://bitly.su/K7Yj
  • In January-April, the state-owned plant “Vityaz” sold the annual volume of antibacterial air purifiers, which have been produced since 2005, but have hardly been in demand. In 2019, desinfectants accounted for 14% of all medical equipment manufactured by the plant, and now it is almost 28%. https://bitly.su/gViPfJ4
  • The National Bank informed that inflation is slowing faster than expected, and therefore it decided to go for “easing the monetary policy. From July 1, the refinancing rate dropped to the next historic low – from 8% to 7.75%. https://bitly.su/mWvAMW
  • Production of disposable face masks increased 72 times and protective clothing for doctors 260 times YoY in April 2020. Over 1.6 tons of desinfectants were produced, which is 15.4 times as much as in 2019. At the same time, the production of refrigerators decreased by 26%, washing machines by 21%, microwave ovens 2.7 times, electric stoves 2 times. https://bitly.su/Ytw0m3u


  • Occupancy rates of hotels increased by 22% in Georgia. Around 86% of June reservations were made by Georgian citizens, whereas non-residents made 14% of the bookings. 70% of bookings in July are currently made by the foreigners. In June, room prices in the surveyed hotels declined by about 30% for Tbilisi and by about 50% for the regions. https://bit.ly/2YjEjAp
  • The number of foreign visitors to Georgia in May fell by a record 95% in May, and the tourism revenues from international travelers decreased by 97%, as a result of the border restrictions imposed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. https://bit.ly/2AIYyyB
  • Georgia has spent over 400,000 Gel (about $133,000) for Stop Covid mobile app to help stem the spread of COVID-19. The Government urges citizens to actively use the mobile app for tracing by informing people if they have been in contact with a COVID-19 infected person. https://bit.ly/3enSfiw

The Republic of Moldova

  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the activity of factories is disastrous. 75% of enterprises continued to operate, partially being involved in the production of masks and protective medical equipment. 25% of enterprises stopped activity, of which 52% sent employees on planned or involuntary unpaid leaves. https://bit.ly/2YZK7ya
  • National Statistics Bureau reports that in Q1 2020, 33.2 thousand or 4.1% of the total employed population (3.7% men and 4.6% women) were affected by the Covid-19 crisis. 60.6% of people did not work at all, 28.4% worked remotely, 25.5% worked fewer hours. The number of people on unpaid leave increased 3.5 times, on annual leave 2.9 times. https://bit.ly/37W5Vi0
  • Road passenger transport is one of the most affected sectors of the national economy, the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure states. According to the data, in March 2020, only 88% out of the total number of 6,865 planned trips were made. https://bit.ly/3fOXub7
  • The state of emergency will be extended until 15 July. The decision was made by the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission, as Republic of Moldova is continuously registering record numbers of infections and deaths caused by COVID-19. https://bit.ly/2Z2PGvR


EU4Business Updates

C Bot ChatBot with AI keeps Georgian business informed during pandemic

A Rustavi City Hall ChatBot, inspired by the Mayors for Economic Growth initiative under the EU4Business umbrella, has set up fast and effective communication with local residents – it  handles more than 1,000 questions on coronavirus statistics and recommendations, as well as questions about municipal services.


Fresh food producers participate in the world leading virtual trade fair

With ITC support, dozens of fresh produce companies trading in everything from avocados to hazelnuts participated in a unique online edition of the leading fruit and vegetable trade fair – with virtual booths, chat functions and digital marketing material.


EU response to COVID-19: Armenian farmers receive high-quality legume seeds

Farmers in the Armenian regions Lori, Shirak and Tavush have received nearly 20,000 kg of high-quality legume seeds.


Local entrepreneurs retool 3D-printing production to make PPE, lung ventilator parts

3D.Farm from Donetsk Oblast, which specializes in 3D printing technologies, started manufacturing components for mechanical lung ventilation systems, face shields, and more. This is a great example how local entrepreneurs are making a real difference in fighting the pandemic.


From water treatment to antiseptic: How one company pivoted production to fight COVID-19

When the pandemic started, Mykhailo Ivonin, the Director General of “Water Treatment Technologies” research and design institute in Sievierodonetsk, took the risk of launching antiseptic production at the lowest possible price. His company donated products to over 100 families with children in Luhansk Oblast and in other oblasts of Ukraine.