Thursday, January 19 2017 19:55
Alina Hovhannisyan

Ministry of Economy: Iran, Russia and China are interested in becoming organizers of Free Economic Zone in Meghri

ArmInfo. Iranian, Chinese  and Russian enterprises have expressed readiness to become organizers  of Free Economic Zone (FEZ) in Meghri, Deputy Minister of Economic  Development and Investments Hovhannes Azizyan stated at the press  conference attached to the presentation of the "FEZ in Meghri"  investment program. He noted that the stakeholders can submit their  programs till February 10, 2017. 

"For launching the trade zone initial investments amounting to $28  mln are needed, considering the possible expenses the needed  investments reach $32 mln. According to the investment program it is  planned to open 2500 jobs within ten years, while the number of the  companies will increase to 120, with total investments amounting to  $350-400mln", he noted. The countries of the EEU, EU, Middle East,  UAE, Syria, Turkmenistan and others will become target directions.  According to him FEZ will be located in Syunik region, the area will  total 10-15ha with possibility of further expansion. 

The enterprises operating in the FEZ will specialize on the following  fields: processing of agricultural products, industry/engineering,  chemical production, pharmaceuticals, high technologies, and textile  production. 

"We intend to choose the program, which will the most assist  implementation of the goals of Armenian economy development.  Importantly, the organizer should present a program envisaging low  tariffs for the companies so that we can involve as many players as  possible", Azizyan said. "I am sure that the business will be  profitable for the organizers, while for the enterprises this is a  serious opportunity for development", he emphasized. In this light  the Deputy Minister expressed hope that already in April the  government of Armenia will make a decision to launch FEZ in Syunik  region. 

According to Azizyan the main advantage is that the zone is located  only 2km far from Iranian FEZ "Aras". "This will definitely  contribute to fast development and increase of efficiency of  bilateral trade, which will first and foremost ease entry of goods on  the market. The Iranian side is more than interested in this", he  noted. Azizyan brought the example of two other free trade zones  functioning in Armenia (Meridian and zone of high technologies),  which have been operating for two years without significant progress,  one of the reasons of which is non-successful location.  Azizyan  considered preliminary agreement between Iran and EEU about a  temporary FEZ as a factor positively affecting the development of  trade relations. In this light the Deputy Minister informed that  according to the new Customs Code of the EEU, FEZ will have Duty Free  system.

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