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The Law on a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the Kaliningrad Region will be adopted not earlier than in fall 2005
The Law on a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the Kaliningrad Region will be adopted not earlier than in fall 2005, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, the Russian President's special envoy to the European Union, said. "The Law on a Special Economic Zone is of a strategic importance for the region, and on June 9 it will be considered by the State Duma in the first reading. However, already now we can unequivocally say that the document will not be adopted by the 750th anniversary of Kaliningrad," Yastrzhembsky said. He arrived in Kaliningrad to check preparations in the city for the jubilee which will be marked in July. For his part, Kaliningrad governor Vladimir Yegorov told reporters on Wednesday that he was ready personally to address the deputies in the State Duma (the Lower House of the Russian Parliament) to convince them of the necessity of the earliest adoption of the Law on a Special Economic Zone. "On Thursday, the State Duma will consider the law on this zone in the first reading. I am not among the speakers, but I shall go to Moscow and I am ready to personally address the deputies to convince them of the necessity of the earliest adoption of the law," the governor said. At present, there is an old Law on a Special Economic Zone in the Kaliningrad region, which was adopted in 1996. The experts say that it needs serious amendments. The process of the discussion and the adoption of a new law has been going on for about four years now. As is expected, the new law will substantially simplify the customs procedures and will make it possible to introduce a special customs regime for the goods and services listed in the Law on a Special Economic Zone. The document also provides for the possibility of benefits, connected with the sale of hard currency proceeds, and for simplifying the procedure of entry into the region for foreign investors. According to the forecast estimates of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, this draft law will make it possible to ensure the annual growth of the Gross Regional Product at the level of 10% - 15% in the course of 2005-2010.
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