Azerbaijani investors interested in free economic zone "Araz"
Iran, Tehran, Sept.22 / Trend T.Jafarov, A.Akhundov /
It is possible to create a joint free economic zone on the Azerbaijan- Iran border, the Deputy Director of Economic and Investment Affairs of the Iranian Free Economic Zone "Araz", Iraj Khatami, told Trend.
"The Free Economic Zone "Araz" borders with Azerbaijan on three sides. We have future plans to pursue economic cooperation with Azerbaijan in two forms, the first of which the creation of a joint free economic zone on the Azerbaijani-Iranian border, where it will be possible to implement a joint trade and industry," Khatami said.
According to him, a second form of cooperation may be through the provision of 50-100 acres of land to the Azerbaijani investors in Iran for activities in the field of oil, food and others. These investors may be given the right to control the area.
"We can allocate 50 hectares of land at the initial stage, which in future may be increased," Khatami added.
He said two Azerbaijani investors already operate in the Free Economic Zone "Araz". One of them is the Khazar Plastics Company engaged in manufacture of plastic bags and its export to CIS countries, another company involved in packaging and the subsequent export of tea to the world markets.
"These companies have invested $100 million in the Free Economic Zone "Araz" in the first stage," Khatami noted.
The Azerbaijani investors specializing in the production of copper and profile also interested in the Free Economic Zone "Araz".
"Another Azerbaijani investor intends to invest in the oil sector that is to bring crude oil in the area, refine it into gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products and to export to Turkey or other markets. The zone has all conditions for this kind of activity. We have a railroad to transport crude oil and trucks," Khatami said.
The Commission of the Free Economic Zone "Araz" has already granted permission to two companies for activities in this area and to the territory for these companies will be allocated after 10-15 days.
The country introduced incentives for companies working in the "Araz". Namely they are exempted from taxes for 20 years, as well as customs duties on imports of raw materials and technologies. Although, the companies should pay customs duty on raw materials for sale of products on the Iranian market.
Khatami said the Azerbaijani investors are also interested in participating in the projects prepared by the Iranian government.
"Recently, group of investors from Azerbaijan have visited the Iranian Free Economic Zone "Araz" and they expressed a desire to participate in government projects "Maskan-e Mehr ", consisting of providing housing for poor families," Khatami said." The Azerbaijani investors interested in investing in the construction of this project."
"In addition we have a railroad project Aslanduz-Julfa. If we manage to build a railroad between the two cities through a joint Azerbaijani and Iranian investment, it will greatly assist the economic development of Azerbaijan, in particular the withdrawal of the blockade of Nakhchivan. Azerbaijan will be connected with Turkey and other countries through this railway. Azerbaijani investors are also interested in participating in this project," Khatami said.
The Iranian government developed a project on construction of a railway between the Iranian city of Aslanduz located near Bilasuvar and the Azerbaijani town of Julfa, located in the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic. Investment of $ 500 million is required to implement the project. The length of this railway line is 220 kilometers
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