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Armenia, Iran Creating Free Economic Zone To Expand Exports

Armenia’s government is working with Iran to create a free economic zone in the country’s southernmost Meghri region, Economy Minister Artsvik Minasyan said on August 25.

“The creation of a free economic zone with Iran will make available a good platform for the production of goods and rendering of services especially at the border sector,” said Minasyan, who did not offer a date when the zone would begin to operate.

The zone will stimulate relations between Iran and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which Armenia is a part of, and the goods produced there will also enjoy preferential trade regimes Armenia has established with Europe, the United States, Canada, Switzerland, and Japan, he said.

The goal will be to expand both production and export of goods from the zone, he said, adding that legislation is being drafted to create the zone.

Plans for the zone were first announced on August 22 by Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian, who sees it as a good economic opportunity for Armenia.

He said the project will allow Iran to establish joint ventures with EEU member states in the zone and start exporting goods to the common EEU market.