JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) has been cooperating with the SMEDNC of Armenia since 2005. The cooperation started from the project titled “Human Resource Development in Small and Medium Enterprises of Armenia”. The main goals of the project were: 1. Further expansion of training programs of the SMEDNC; 2. Development of the business development services (BDS) market in Armenia; 3. Improvement of business knowledge of Armenian SMEs. The project provided training courses to total 73 Business Service Providers and SME staffs and contributed to the Armenian economic development.
In March 2013, the new project titled “Development of local production and promotion of local brands” started to continue for three years. The overall goal of the project is ‘the improved local products or businesses supported by SMEDNC contribute to the economic development of the target communities’. This project is based on the ‘One Village One Product (OVOP) concept’, originated in Japan to realize sustainable community development. The concept was redefined by SMEDNC as “developing the local areas, enterprises, human resources and products in a consistent manner”. The project is generating positive impacts with a view to sustainable local economic development based on the local identity, resources and people in Armenia.