Pacific city of Vladivostok has been chosen to become Russia’s first ‘free port’ in move that could boost trade and bolster the economy in the far east of the country.
Russian president Vladimir Putin announced
the Pacific port would benefit from the new status by July and it would boost the economy of the Primorsky Territory in the country’s Far East.
Draft Law “On Free Port Vladivostok” was presented by Pavel Volkov, Counselor of the Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East. He noted that the Ministry has elaborated three draft laws related to the port itself and to the required amendments into the federal tax legislation.
The Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East proposes to give the status of a free port to seven districts and municipal areas of the Primorsky Territory.
The Free Port is to consist of specialized territories (port, industry, tourism etc.).
The decision would see less strict customs regulations, the introduction of tax incentives for port operators, and a lower cost for ships coming into the port. It will make the city an attractive option for overseas trade and help stimulate the economy, which has suffered as a result of Western sanctions following the Ukraine crisis.
The region is also strategically placed to aid the President’s pursuit of new stronger ties with Asian nations, particularly China.
Putin said: 'Russia has a high potential as a major power in the Asia-Pacific region. I propose to give to Vladivostok the status of free port with an attractive easy customs regime. Let me remind you that this is available in respect of Sevastopol and other ports of Crimea'.
According to the bill, the free port will include, besides Vladivostok, practically the whole Primorsky Territory – the Artyomovsky municipal area, the Nadezhdinsky, Shkotovsky, Partizansky and Khasansky districts, as well as the Pogranichny area on the border with China. They all can count on government support.