Tuesday, August 1 2017 17:25
Naira Badalian

Development of economic ties with Iran is among priorities of Republic of Armenia

Development of economic ties with Iran is among priorities of  Republic of Armenia

ArmInfo. Development of economic  ties with Iran is among the priorities of the Republic of Armenia.  Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan stated this in an interview with  the influential Iranian newspaper Sharh on the eve of his visit to  the Islamic Republic of Iran.

According to the head of the republic, the activities of the  Armenian-Iranian intergovernmental commission are aimed at expanding  trade and economic cooperation and the volume of bilateral trade. In  this contaxt, according to Sargsyan, the functioning of the free  economic zone in the Syunik region of Armenia can be favorable. The  FEZ, located on the border with Iran, according to the head of state,  will best serve to deepen interstate cooperation and strengthen ties  between the Armenian and Iranian businesses.

As noted Serzh Sargsyan, Armenia is ready, by virtue of its  capabilities, to contribute multifaceted support to the Iranian  business in Armenia. According to Sargsyan, the Armenian and Iranian  joint ventures are more competitive than each individually taken.

In addition, as the president stressed, Armenia pursues an open door  policy in terms of attracting investments to the country. He reminded  that the RA is a member of the World Trade Organization, which means  non-discriminatory treatment of local and foreign entrepreneurs.  Armenia also implements the policy of industrial development, within  the framework of which it is planned to expand cooperation with  neighboring countries, in particular, with the Islamic Republic of  Iran. In this context, Armenia attaches great hopes to the  development of Armenian-Iranian business ties within the FEZ  framework in Meghri.

The President noted positive developments in the field of banking  cooperation as a result of the weakening of the sanctions regime  against Iran. "I think that soon we will witness an increase in the  level of cooperation in this direction," stressed Serzh Sargsyan.

Earlier it was reported that the total cost of construction of FEZ in  Meghri is estimated at $ 32 million, of which $ 28 million is capital  expenditure. The construction of the FEZ on the border with Iran is  one of the priority investment programs of the Armenian government  and provides for the establishment of free economic zone with an area  of 10-15 hectares, with the possibility of subsequent expansion to  45-50 hectares. Despite the fact that the FEZ has not yet been built,  there are already numerous applications from various companies that  have expressed a desire to start work in the FEZ - more than 10  companies from Russia, there are also from Iran and Europe. According  to the Ministry of Economy, exploitation of the FEZ will create 2,500  jobs and increase exports from Armenia by 30%. The main goal of the  FEZ is the development of trade and economic relations with Iran and  other countries of the region, the development of the Syunik region,  as well as the positioning of Armenia as a link linking Iran with the  EEU countries and Georgia. It is assumed that 100-120 companies will  operate there, whose revenues will reach $ 52 million over 10 years.  The products will be exported to Iran, the countries of the EEU, the  Middle East, Turkmenistan and others. The total investment of all  companies for 10 years is planned to increase to $ 350-400 million.  The functioning of the FEZ has already been legislated in the Customs  Code of the EEU.  In total, seven such zones will operate in the  system of duty-free in the EEU.

Armenia's foreign trade turnover in the first half of 2017 was 1363.5  billion AMD or $ 2.815 billion with annual growth of 24%. During the  reporting period, trade with Iran amounted to $ 114.4 million with an  annual growth of 0.4%. At the same time, exports amounted to $ 34.7  million, a decline of 9.3%, imports - $ 79.7 million, with growth of  5.3%.

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