Friday, September 8 2017 14:54
Naira Badalian

First Deputy Industry and Trade Minister: Russia is interested in creating free economic zone on Armenian-Iranian border

First Deputy Industry and Trade Minister: Russia is interested in  creating free economic zone on Armenian-Iranian border

ArmInfo. Russia is interested  in the free economic zone being created on Armenian-Iranian border,  first Deputy Minister of industry and trade of Russia Gleb Nikitin  stated  within the  framework of the regional trade and industrial  exhibition forum "ARMENIA EXPO 2017" on September 8 in Yerevan.

According to the Deputy Minister, during the meeting with their  Armenian colleagues, they discussed very closely the project of  creating FEZ in Meghri on the border. "We confirm that in case of  entering into specific agreements with the Iranian side on special  conditions related to the entry of the Russian enterprises to the  residents of this industrial zone for the residents of this  industrial zone, there will be interest in placing production there,"  he said.

According to Nikitin, Russian enterprises are interested in the  Iranian market. "Armenia really has the highest level of relations in  the discussion of tariff and non-tariff restrictions that can be  removed for residents of the zone, so the Meghri zone is interesting  for us," said the first deputy minister of the Ministry of Industry  and Trade of the Russian Federation. Earlier it was reported that the  free economic zone in Meghri on the border with Iran will be launched  in November. The Minister of Economic Development and Investments of  Armenia, Suren Karayan, said this on August 31 after the government  session, answering the question of ArmInfo. 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. "Already in November we plan to start the activities of  the Meghri FEZ," Karayan explained.

To recall, on August 3, Armenian Government approved a draft decision  on the establishment of Meghri JSC 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 building 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 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, the operation 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 area, 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 are planned to 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 the duty-free system.

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