Thursday, August 31 2017 16:33
Naira Badalian

Suren Karayan: Armenian FEZ in Meghri will start operating in November 2017

ArmInfo. The free economic zone  in Meghri on the border with Iran will be launched in November.  Answering the question of ArmInfo, Minister of Economic Development  and Investments of Armenia Suren Karayan said on August 31 after the  government session. The Minister recalled that recently, at the  invitation of the Ministry of Economy, the chief adviser of the  Iranian president visited Armenia, who is also the chairman of the  Council of all the FEZ of Iran, during which the Memorandum on the  establishment of a working group and cooperation between the FEZ in  Meghri and "Aras" in the Islamic Republic of Iran was signed. The  memorandum, as indicated by the minister, will allow for closer  cooperation between the FEZs of the two countries. "Already in  November we plan to start the activities of the Meghri FEZ," Karayan  explained. Earlier - on August 21 the head of the Armenian government  Karen Karapetyan informed that a certain specifics on the terms of  the creation of the Free Economic Zone with Iran will appear after  the visit to Iran. According to him, already at the end of November a  certain platform will be formed. "In this issue, we went through a  lot - both successful negotiations and unsuccessful ones, but the  platform will be uniquely created, and more specifically the issue  will be discussed in the near future during the visit to Iran,"  Karapetyan said.

On August 3, the Government of Armenia approved the draft decision on  the establishment of 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, and also to form  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 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 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 EEU. In total, seven such zones will operate in the  system of duty-free in the EEU. 

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