ArmInfo. The executive director of the Aras free trade zone Mohsen Hadem Arab Baghi announced the intentions of Iran and Armenia to open a joint cooperation office in the free trade zones Aras and Meghri. This is reported by IRNA with reference to the executive director of FTA "Aras". According to Buggy, according to the agreements reached, during the recent meeting with the Governor of Syunik region of Armenia Vahe Hakobyan and within the framework of the development of the Armenian- Iranian cooperation, the office of joint cooperation in the free trade zones "Meghri" and "Aras" will open in the near future. "The successful experience of Iran in the creation and development of free trade zones can contribute to further cooperation with Armenia in the creation of a free zone on the border between the two countries," said Khadem Arab Bagi.
He also expressed confidence that the creation and development of a free zone "Meghri" with the support and cooperation of both sides will contribute to the prosperity of the free zones of both countries. According to him, the signing of the framework agreement between Armenia and the European Union can increase the volume of exports from the free zones "Aras" and "Meghri", which will lead to increased cooperation between the two sides, and ultimately will serve as the basis for the development of Iran and Armenia.
Earlier in August this year, Iran and Armenia signed an agreement on cooperation in free trade zones. According to the agreement, Iran and Armenia will develop cooperation in the Iranian free trade zone Aras and the Armenian Meghri zone. October 18 this year. Minister of Economic Development and Investments of the Republic of Armenia Suren Karayan informed that the free economic zone "Meghri" on the border with Iran will be launched at the end of November 2017. As the minister pointed out, at present there are 2 projects on creation of FEZ - Syunik and Meghri. In the near future, they are planned to be merged into one large free economic zone. "Work on the construction of FEZ" Meghri "has already started, at the end of November we will try to launch it," Suren Karayan said. It should be reminded that on August 3 the Armenian government approved the draft decision on the establishment of ZAO Meghri Free Economic Zone. 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 companies from Iran and Europe. According to the Ministry of Economy, 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 Syunik region, as well as the positioning of Armenia as a link linking Iran with the EAPP countries and with Georgia. It is assumed that 100-120 companies will operate there, whose revenues in 10 years will be $ 52 million. 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 Unified Energy Efficiency System.