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.