ArmInfo. The Armenian government makes leaps and bounds toward creation of free economic zone on the Armenian-Iranian border, Armenia's Economy Minister Artsvik Minasyan told journalists after the government session on August 25. At the same time Minasyan found it difficult to name the dates of establishing the zone and noted that the Armenian side intends to provide residents of the zone with maximum privileges.
The Minister recalled that the idea of creating such a Free Economic Zone has been promoted for a long time and only during the latest meeting of the prime ministers of EEU countries in Sochi an agreement was reached on creating free economic zone on the Armenian-Iranian border in Meghri region. According to him due to establishment of FEZ the best platform for production of goods and provision of services will be created in the borderline zone both in terms of Iran-EEU relations and export of local products to various countries by using trade regimes Armenia has with Europe, the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Japan and other countries. Artsvik Minasyan also informed that the agreement between the EEU commission and Iran on creating FEZ was reached based on the proposal of Armenia's Prime Minister. At the current stage Armenia's only goal is to ensure legislative reliability. For this reason project on creating FEZ has been introduced, which will undergo corresponding coordination. The Minister noted that no additional new document will be signed between Iran and EEU as there is no need in that.
Earlier Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan stated that creating FEZ in Meghri is a very important program, which will open new opportunities for development of our economy. At the same time the Prime Minister noted that the program is vital from the point of regional development as well. "Development of regions is one of our priorities, and new free economic zone will boost development of Meghri. New job places will open, new prospects will appear", Abrahamyan noted. According to him, due to the program Iran will receive an opportunity to open joint enterprises with the countries members of the Eurasian Economic Union in the FEZ of Meghri and export products to EEU free of duty
According to official data EEU's trade turnover totaled 228.6 bln USD for the first half of 2016 (export- 140.5 bln and import-88.1 bln USD). Foreign trade turnover declined by 23% compared the same period of 2015. The export declined by 29.3% and import by 10.3%. Turnover within EEU for the first half of 2016 declined by 17% y-o-y and totaled 19 bln USD.
According to National Statistical Service of Armenia in the H1 of 2016 foreign trade turnover between Armenia and Iran declined by 16.4% to 113.5 mln USD, which was determined by drop of import by 19.2% to 75.7 mln USD amid drop of export by 10.3% to 37.8 mln USD.