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.