ArmInfo. On August 17, Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan paid a working visit to Meghri, Armenia. The press office of the Armenian Government reports that the Prime Minister first called at Meghri customs checkpoint. Hovik Abrahamyan was informed of the ongoing activities. The Head of the Government was told that the checkpoint provides round-the-clock services ensuring that citizens and businesses cross the border within 10-15 minutes.
Passenger traffic has reportedly increased as a result of the abolition of visa regime with Iran. In this connection, the Premier told the customs officers to minimize the time required for passenger and freight traffic so that border crossings could be implemented smoothly and rapidly. Hovik Abrahamyan instructed them to continue improving the quality of services provided.
Then the Prime Minister visited the site of the proposed free economic zone in Meghri, which is to be launched by prior arrangement between the two heads of government. The FEZ is expected to better materialize Armenia's economic and industrial policy with Iran by promoting bilateral economic ties, enabling such services as may allow unimpeded access to the Eurasian Economic Union and Iranian markets.
Hovik Abrahamyan highlighted the importance of having a free economic zone at the border with Iran that can help launch new businesses, boost exports, found processing industries and create new jobs.
According to Minister of Economy Artsvik Minasyan, in line with the Government's economic priorities, the FEZ will provide wider opportunities for local businesses, especially in Meghri region, since it will generate jobs and tap the resources available in this area. The Minister advised that as instructed by the Prime Minister, the project of free economic zone has already been sent to the
"We look forward to launching the free economic zones within a short period of time, which has both infrastructure and service delivery components," Artsvik Minasyan said.
The Prime Minister took the opportunity to meet with the local population in order to get acquainted with their problems and concerns, after which the Premier held a consultative meeting with the heads of communities of Meghri.
Hovik Abrahamyan said the Government is going to carry out major infrastructure projects in the region that are sure to attract new investment and bring about economic revival in the region. "Focused on the creation of new jobs in our country, the Government is implementing a job- extensive policy in the provinces," the Prime Minister emphasized.
According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, in Jan-June 2016 the foreign trade turnover between Armenia and Iran dropped by 16.4% to $113.5 mln. Imports declined by 19.2% to $75.7 mln, with exports falling by 10.3% to $37.8 mln.