The Crimea may become a special economic zone

On March 24 the newspaper Vedomosti with reference to the source in the government of Russia reported that the Government of Russia planned to assign to the Crimea the status of the special economic zone and to adopt a federal target program for the development of the region. A special corporation will be created to implement the plans.

According to the publication, these proposals will be announced by the Vice-Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak at the meeting of the socio-economic development of the Crimea, which will be held today by the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev. He will be in charge of the development of this region in the government.

Earlier the Prime Minister of the Crimea Sergey Aksenov, the co-chairman of The Business Russia Andrey Nazarov and Russian deputies, in particular, Sergey Mironov spoke about the need for creation of the SEZ in the Crimea.

According to the source of the newspaper, the Crimean special economic zone will be similar to the SEZ in Kaliningrad region. For this purpose, as in the case of Kaliningrad, it will be needed to adopt a separate law, which will allow providing tax benefits to all major investors, ready to invest into the region.

Residents of the Kaliningrad SEZ during the first 6 years are exempt from payment of taxes on profits and property; they are not subject to the mandatory sale of a part of the foreign exchange earnings. The special fiscal regime operates in Kaliningrad region up to April 1, 2031. The duration of the Crimean SEZ is not yet determined, but it will not exceed 49 years.

Russian investors are ready to engage projects for $5 billion in the Crimea. Tourism, agriculture and port services will be developed in the region.

In addition to private projects there also will be state projects, and what is important that social and infrastructure ones will be on the first place. All the projects are planned to join in the federal purpose program of the Crimea, execution of which will most likely be assigned to the Minister of the region. The decision on the elaboration of the program may be adopted today. The budget of the program, including the costs of the federal budget, is not yet determined. But, it is already clear that only the transport infrastructure needs not less than $10 billion.

The corporation of development of the Crimea may be created to execute state projects and to attract private investors to the peninsula. Many Russian regions have such corporations. According to the publication, as a rule, they are 100% "daughters" of Vnesheconombank, but in the case of the Crimea it is not excluded that the state company like Olimpstroj will be established.

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