TEHRAN, Iran (Islamic Republic News Agency)—Iran’s Minister of Industries, Mines and Trade Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh said on Monday that Iran will contribute to construction and operation of Meghri Free Zone in Armenia.
Nematzadeh made the remarks in a meeting with Armenian Minister of Energy Infrastructure and Natural Resources Ashot Manukyan.
Nematzadeh said that Iran has good experience in setting up free zones and is ready to share experience with Armenia to help set up Free Trade Zone.
“Iran and Armenia enjoy potential for expansion of economic and industrial relations and their level of exchanges should be upgraded,” he said.
The minister said Iranian and Armenian private sectors are interested in promotion of trade and economic relations.
“We should use the potential of the private sector for upgrading trade by removal of banking and insurance hurdles,” he continued.
The official said Iranian banking system and Export Guarantee Fund is ready to remove commercial barriers.
“Holding joint meetings within framework of commission and visit of officials can serve as an effective factor to identify problems and barriers to go ahead with commercial, industrial and mineral cooperation.”
He said Iranian technical and engineering service companies are capable enough to contribute to designing industrial and commercial infrastructural projects in Armenia. In addition to “mineral exploration and exploitation, especially copper, iron, ore, and gold and designing steel production projects, Iran is also ready to put its technical and engineering potential at the disposal of Armenia,” stated the minister.
Iran is ready to sign preferential tariff deal with Eurasian union, said Nematzadeh, adding that “Regarding membership of Armenia in the Union, we expect its support to conclude the deal.”
The Iranian minister said that Iran has distinguished scientific status, especially in the nano-technology, bio-technology, information technology and telecommunications.
He called for signing Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) for transfer of technology and knowledge with Armenia.
Manukyan welcomed contribution of Iranian investors to Armenian projects; especially its mineral projects.
“For construction of free zone we will use Iran’s experience and expansion of the relations can further provide the ground for Iran’s membership in Eurasia,” said Manukyan.
He said that Iran and Armenia have firm political ties based on good neighborly friendship and that economic and commercial relations between the two countries should be upgraded in pace with their friendly and political ties.
“Iran’s insurance coverage to the industries can help development of the industry in Armenia.”
He said that his country fully supports conclusion of a preferential trade agreement and Iran’s membership in Eurasia.
The Armenian minister said Iran’s help to set up Meghri free zone will serve as first step to that end. “Although the membership and conclusion of the agreement can lead to expansion of commercial and economic relations, the two-way ties should further expand irrespective of the issues.”
He noted that elimination of custom barriers is one of the most important barriers to promotion of bilateral commercial relations.
“The Armenian government pays special attention to elimination of barriers and problems facing the private sector and entrepreneurs and not only supports Iran’s stances but also considers it as partner of its interests,” Manukyan stated.
He said a deal on nano-technology had been signed during his recent visit to Iran.
“The information technology exhibition will be held in Armenia in June 2017 with presence of well-credited international companies and active presence of Iranian companies in the expo is welcomed.”
The 14th Iran-Armenia Joint Commission session opened in Tehran on Monday morning co-chaired by Manukyan and the Iranian Minister of Energy Hamid Chitchian.