Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that the city of Vladivostok and surrounding districts are to be given the status of a free port in order to foster economic growth and investment.
According to President Putin’s statement, Russia’s first ‘free port’ will be operational beginning in 2016. Currently the bill is being developed and the first details of the project have now emerged.
According to the bill, in addition to Vladivostok the free port will include 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.
The port will be established for 70 years and will include a port and airport zone, an industrial zone, a scientific zone and a tourist-recreational zone. The focus of the port’s new status will be on developing logistics, ship repairs, manufacturing, export-oriented and import-substituting industries, and agriculture
Companies wishing to receive the status of resident must present a long list of documents and receive approval from the agency that regulates activities in the port territories. Residents must not participate in regional investment projects and must not have branches or representation offices outside the free port.
Vladivostok, at the head of Golden Horn Bay is close to Korea and China, and is currently home to the Russian Pacific Fleet. It was actually a free port in the late 19th century when its status allowed duty-free goods to be imported from abroad. This turned it into one of the largest ports in the world along with the likes of Hamburg and London, but the status was removed in 1909.
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