Russia's SEZs to open by 2007
A Business Correspondent
To assist Russia's high-tech and industrial progress, six special areas will be
largely set up by the end of 2007. Two types of special economic
zones—technological and industrial-will be established under legislation that
came into force in January 1, 2006.
The zones will offer companies working in the areas customs and tax breaks for a
maximum of 20 years.
The first phase of a technology zone in Tomsk, Siberia, was launched in April
this year. Three more zones will be launched in Dubna and Zelenograd near Moscow
in September and in St. Petersburg later this year. The zone in St. Petersburg
will focus on research, IT products and equipment.
The zone in Dubna, where a nuclear centre is based, will produce nuclear
technology, the Zelenograd zone will specialise in microelectronics, and the
Siberian zone in new materials. An industry zone in Yelabuga, in the Volga
republic of Tatarstan, will produce car parts in cooperation with Korea's
Hyundai and the US giant General Motors. The zone in the central Russian region
of Lipetsk will specialise in household appliances and furniture.
Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the government has planned to spend $ 2.84
billion (78.8 rubles) on the development of special economic zones in the next
four years. In 2006, about $ 290.6 million (8 billion rubles) will be allocated
from the budget on the project. Special tourist and port zones are under
consideration. The regions to accommodate special port zones could be picked
from a contest at the end of 2006.
The Economic Development and Trade Ministry has drafted a law on special port
zones. The ports of Ust-Luga and St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland, the
Barents Sea Port of Murmansk, and the Far Eastern port of Nakhodka are mentioned
as candidates for the project.
The Russian government hopes skilled workforce, low-priced resources, uncostly
electricity and relative cheap land will guarantee the project's success.
[19 June 2006]