Russia establishes three new special economic zones

Tempo de leitura: 1 minuto

Russia’s Ministry of Economics has announced that three new Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will be established in three Russian Federal Districts – the Southern Federal District, Central Federal District and Siberian Federal District. Ministry stated that this will attract about Rubles 197 billion (US$ 3.18 billion) of investment in the economy, and help launch new industries in chemistry, gas processing, agriculture and other areas. SEZ offer tax incentives that motivate employment, and new product and services creation.

Russia has been increasingly turning to SEZs as a means to motivate domestic companies to become more active, a pressing requirement now as many Western businesses have left the Russian market and created gaps that Russian businesses can now move into. Fifteen of Russia’s 45 SEZs were created in the last two years, while in the first half of 2022, 77 new resident companies were registered in Russia’s SEZ.

Russian businesses are slowly getting used to the concept, which took off in China in the late 2000’s, and allowed Chinese businesses motivations to manufacture, cement a domestic market share and then expand into export markets. In the two decades since, Chinese businesses are now among the world’s largest overseas investors. The Russian government will be hoping to motivate a similar response amongst Russia’s domestic companies, which tend to be conservatively run and concentrating on easier to reach local, rather than national and export markets. Many simply sell raw materials and leave the added value process to foreign buyers to carry out across the border.

SEZ typically offer reduced profits tax rates for a period of years, exemptions for VAT, the ability to waive import duties on imported goods in duty-free zones, and discounts on local taxes and operating overheads such as mandatory employee payments and utility costs.

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