Construction of free economic zone in southern Armenia to kick off before summer
YEREVAN, March 16. /ARKA/. Construction of a free economic zone in the southern Armenian town of Agarak, near the border with Iran, will kick off before summer, Minister of Economic Development and Investments Suren Karayan told journalists today. According to him, preparatory work has already begun, and the corresponding development program will soon be submitted to the government’s approval.
"We hope that after the approval of the program the construction work will start in 1-2 months," Karayan said.
According to government officials, the free economic zone will create 2,500 new jobs and increase Armenian exports by 30%. According to Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Investment Hovhannes Azizyan, the main purpose of the free economic zone is to help boost trade and economic relations with Iran and other countries of the region, help the development of the Syunik region, as well as position Armenia as a link between Iran and members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Georgia.
The initial investment into the free economic zone is about $28 million. The free economic zone has one advantage –it is the proximity to Aras free economic zone built by Iran on its side of the border.
The free economic zone will house about 120 companies, which are supposed to earn $52 million in ten years. Their products will be exported to Iran, EEU member states, the Middle East, Turkmenistan and others. The trade turnover between Armenia and Iran in 2016 amounted to about $280 million, of which $70 million were Armenian exports. -0-