VLADIVOSTOK, June 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Fourteen sites in Russia's Far East have been designated as priority development areas offering incentives to investors, a minister responsible for building the region's economy has announced.
However, more work lay ahead to build essential infrastructure, the minister said, while Deputy Preme Minister and Presidential Envoy to the region Yury Trutnev warned that status about to be defined should not be used to promote projects already underway.
Priority ranking was designed to increase the area's attractiveness as an investment destination, Trutnev added.
Measures to stimulate inbound investment were being drafted into a parliamentary bill, now successfully nearing completion, Minister for Far East Development Alexander Galushka said, reviewing incentives being prepared after a meeting in the region's port city and administrative capital on Monday.
Draft legislation proposed a range of benefits such as reduced rental charges, tax privileges and insurance payment benefits alongside preferential connection to infrastructure facilities and simplified customs procedures, Galushka said.
Years of cooperation between Russia's Far East Development Ministry and foreign investors had identified Russia's Far East as a reliable partner in driving investment projects, Galushka said after a meeting in Vladivostok.
“Foreign investors positively assess proposed projects to create priority development areas and express their readiness to continue working in this direction,” Galushka said.
Fourteen sites had been designated as policy priorities in a list still being assembled, he said. “These are the most developed territories, but we still have work ahead to create infrastructure,” the minister added.
State support of prioritized investment projects will help Russia’s Far East raise more than 2.4 trillion rubles in the next 3-5 years, Trutnev said.
He added that in the last nine months the government formed a new model of the region’s development, prepared the legal framework for the creation of territories of advanced development, considered the projects of their establishing and their sites.
The main problem of implementing the model is that “all works are done on the internal, federal level.” “We have to switch to supporting individual projects,” Trutnev said.
At the moment, the ministry is considering 32 investment projects with 20 of them allowing to create 53,000 jobs and to increase production in monetary terms by 656 billion rubles annually.
However, several federal programs in the region are underfinanced, Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka said. “Unfortunately, it primarily concerns social programs,” he said.