22:40 GMT +319 January 2018
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    Panel speakers at the key session New Economic Policy in East Russia: Advanced Special Economic Zones, Special Economic Zones, Free Port Vladivostok during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

    Russia's Special Economic Zones First Step of Overall Economic Reforms

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    Russia Holds Its First Eastern Economic Forum (44)
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    Russia’s SEZs were created to develop the processing industry, high technology, new products, and transportation infrastructure.

    VLADIVOSTOK, Alexander Mosesov (Sputnik) – Creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Russia is the first step towards overall economic reforms, Tatsuo Hatta, President of the Asian Growth Research Institute told Sputnik on Saturday.

    Russia’s SEZs were created to develop the processing industry, high technology, new products, and transportation infrastructure. The Federal Law on Special Economic Zones in Russia was adopted ten years ago, with 28 SEZ successfully launched in Russia so far.

    "When oil prices fall, Russian economy gets hurt. Russia needs to strengthen its economy in the long run and I think deregulations Russia is trying out in these zones in vital to revitalize the Russian economy as a whole. I view the founding of these zones as the beginning of overall reforms in Russia," Hatta told Sputnik in an interview on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

    The Russian economy declined in 2014 following a drop in global oil prices and several rounds of anti-Russia economic sanctions imposed by several countries, including Japan, over Moscow's alleged role in the Ukrainian conflict. 

    "Russia's advanced Special Economic Zones have three components — first is deregulation, for example — simplifying administrative procedures, second is tax breaks, the third — construction of the infrastructure. I think these are crucial to make Russia's Far East an attractive place for investors," Hatta said. 

    Deregulation is the most important factor which will contribute to the growth of these regions:

    "For example, tax breaks cannot last forever, but the deregulation can. In a sense, these zones will be an experimental place to try out these deregulations. Politically these changing of administrative procedures and regulations are the hardest part".

    In mid-March, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the Russian economy had passed its lowest point at the end of 2014 and was now stabilizing.

    The EEF brought together business and government representatives along with industry experts from Russia and Asia-Pacific countries to discuss the economic potential of Russia's Far East and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as cooperation and investment opportunities. According to Moscow, the three-day forum resulted in signing of around 80 agreements worth some $19 billion.

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    Russia Holds Its First Eastern Economic Forum (44)

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