LONDON (Global Trade Review) — Italy and Armenia’s export credit agencies have agreed to collaborate to promote and develop trade and investments between the two countries.

A memorandum of understanding was signed today by Italy’s Sace and Export Insurance Agency of Armenia (EIAA), in which they commit to enhance business opportunities by identifying projects of mutual interest, sharing information and exchanging best practices. The agreement also allows for using advisory and technical assistance services to support SMEs in the development of integrated supply chain projects in key areas for both countries.

According to Sace’s managing director of international business, Michal Ron, the agreement not only enables the credit agency to support economic and commercial relations between the two countries, it also contributes to “the identification of new cross-border opportunities for Italian companies”.

Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) as well as its trade relations with Iran could create new opportunities for Italian businesses, says EIAA’s executive director, Vazgen Abgaryan in a statement.

“With an open economy and attractive investment climate, Armenia offers unparalleled opportunities for Italian companies to set up business and receive exposure to the wide market of EEU and Iran. EIAA will be willing to act as an information and transaction catalyst to facilitate business,” she says.

Italy exported €108mn of goods to Amenia in 2015, mainly in the textile and machinery sectors, thus being Europe’s second-largest exporter in the country after Germany. The new areas of collaboration include the petrochemical, infrastructure, textile and fashion, food and pharmaceutical sectors.

The agreement with Armenia comes as Sace is stepping up to strengthen trade relations with Iran after sanctions on the country were lifted earlier this year. In April, the credit agency allocated new funding to support Italian exports to Iran through a variety of initiatives, including credit lines of €4bn to companies in the infrastructure, oil and gas and transportation sectors.

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