Prime Minister of Armenia attends launch of Meghri Free Economic Zone
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 15, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan paid a working visit to Syunik Province where he attended the Meghri Free Economic Zone opening ceremony, ARMENPRESS was informed from the press service of the Government of Armenia.
The Head of Government toured the FEZ getting acquainted with the infrastructure in place and the planned activities. The Free Economic Zone was established on the initiative of the Government of the Republic of Armenia: Meghri Free Economic Zone CJSC is the organizer of the Zone. Preparatory work is complete, and the official launch of the Free Economic Zone was announced on December 15, 2017.
The FEZ shall be developed in two stages. At the first stage, basic infrastructure and other preconditions necessary for the launch of the Zone have been provided in cooperation with the companies involved in the FEZ activities.
The second phase envisages expansion of FEZ operations with additional infrastructure and 70 hectares of land in order to provide a business-friendly environment, of which nearly 50 hectares will be offered to operators, 10 hectares shall be used as logistical and storage areas, with the balance meant to host offices and other services.
Addressing news reporters, Prime Minister Karapetyan noted that the Government has serious intentions regarding the FEZ. “Our intentions are quite serious because we are convinced that the conditions to be created in the Free Economic Zone of Meghri and our country’s possibilities - I mean the trade regimes we enjoy with the EAEU and the European Union, neighboring Iran and other countries - may provide very good opportunities for business expansion,” the Premier said, adding that tourism and border trade with Iran shall be catalyzed in the Free Economic Zone; Iranian partners will be stationed there on their way to EU and EAEU markets.
“We also expect our partners to be deployed here in a bid to enter the Iranian market. I am sure that the FEZ has very good prospects. We are glad to usher in the launch of the Free Economic Zone today, but note that hard work is awaiting us ahead,” Karen Karapetyan emphasized.
Wide per-sector coverage has been allowed in order to get the most out of the FEZ: agriculture, processing industry, trade, transportation and storage, tourism and others. Some 50-70 operators are due to be involved there over the next few years, with about USD100-130 million-worth investments, 1,500 new jobs, and an annual turnover of USD250 million in exported goods and services.
Given its geographical position, commercial and logistical capabilities, as well as Armenia’s multi-vector preferential trade regimes, the free economic zone on the border with Iran can become a bridge between Iran, the EAEU and the EU. In addition, the free economic zone of Meghri will not only help address socio-economic problems in the region, but may also trigger influx of foreign capital to Armenia, strengthen economic ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, enable a better and more effective use of those potentialities arising from Armenia’s EAEU membership and its relations with the European Union.
Attended by Prime Minister Karapetyan, the first documents pertaining to the Free Economic Zone were signed. In particular, an agreement was signed between the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments of Armenia and Meghri Free Economic Zone Closed Joint-Stock Company. It was signed by Minister Suren Karayan and Meghri FEZ Director Ashot Zarbabyan.
A memorandum of cooperation was signed between Meghri Free Economic Zone CJSC and ArmHydroEnergyProject CJSC. The document was signed by Meghri FEZ Director Ashot Zarbabyan and ArmHydroEnergyProject CJSC General Manager Argam Julhakyan.
A memorandum of cooperation was signed between Meghri Free Economic Zone CJSC and Arman & Partner LLC. The document was signed by Meghri FEZ Director Ashot Zarbabyan and Arman & Partner LLC Director Artur Muradyan.
A memorandum of cooperation was also signed between Meghri Free Economic Zone CJSC and the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in Armenia. The document was signed by Meghri FEZ Director Ashot Zarbabyan and RF Trade Representative Andrey Babko.