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Russia has numerous Special Economic Zones and Free Trade Ports, and is continuing to look at investing on more, especially nearer to the borders with China in both the Russian Far East and Siberia. Russia’s recent history in such zones has tended to place them with access to servicing the domestic, rather than export markets.
Therefore many of the zones listed are ideal for accessing Russia’s heartland. However doing this also requires knowledge of shipping – Russia is bisected by several massive rivers that are used for transportation, as well as its highly developed Trans-Siberian rail system and its spin offs. Consequently, understanding the significance of these zones requires an understanding of Russian market dynamics and transportation modes.
However, zones such as Vladivostok to the East, and the cluster of zones around Moscow and Western Russia do also service markets in Eastern Europe and beyond. We can take a tour of these zones, roughly running from east to west, as follows: