ArmInfo. A certain specifics on the terms of the creation of the Free Economic Zone with Iran will appear after the visit to Iran, the head of the Armenian government Karen Karapetyan told journalists in Tsakhkadzor on August 21.
According to him, already at the end of November a certain platform will be formed. "We went through a lot of things in this issue - both successful negotiations and unsuccessful ones, but the ground will be uniquely created, and more specifically the issue will be discussed in the near future during the visit to Iran," Karapetyan said. Earlier, on August 17, Minister of Economic Development and Investments of Armenia Suren Karayan and Adviser to the President of Iran, Secretary of the Coordinating Council of Free and Special Economic Zones Akbar Torkan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. The purpose of the document is to establish the main areas of cooperation between Armenia and Iran in the sphere of free economic zones, in particular, to ensure the promotion of the free economic zone "Meghri" and the special economic zone "Aras" and close cooperation between the latter.
On August 3, the Armenian government approved the draft decision on the establishment of ZAO Meghri Free Economic Zone, which was launched earlier in October 2017. At the first stage, it is planned to equip the territory adjacent to the Meghri checkpoint, as well as the formation of physical infrastructures. This will be followed by the provision of appropriate privileges and the involvement of companies in the FEZ.
The total cost of construction of FEZ in Meghri is estimated at $ 32 million, of which $ 28 million is capital expenditure. The construction of a free economic zone on the border with Iran is one of the priority investment programs of the Armenian government and provides for the creation of a free economic zone with an area of 10-15 hectares, with the possibility of further 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 SEZ - 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 SEZ 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 EEA 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 EEA, 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 EAEC. In total, seven such zones will operate in the system of duty-free.