The Moscow authorities intend to ease registration rules for companies at a high-tech business park in the Moscow suburb of Zelenograd as part of continued efforts to develop the country's high-tech and innovation sector, a local government source said on Thursday.
"Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has signed a decree with a range of proposals on the development of the special economic zone," the source said.
It said the Moscow authorities were planning to draw up special rules to cut red tape on registration in the technology park for small innovative companies that do not have plans to build their own production facilities.
The technology park in Zelenograd, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north-west of Moscow, is one of Russia's main electronic and nanotechnology centers. Development on the project, which is estimated at more than $24 billion, began in 2006.
The source said a total of 32 companies were registered in the park as of late 2009. But an official from the federal agency responsible for special economic zones earlier said some 200 companies were expected to work there.
Russia considers the development of the high-tech and innovation sector its top priority and has pledged billions of U.S. dollars in funding. It hopes development in the sector will end Russia's dependence on raw material exports.
Another major project under discussion is a high-tech business park or Russian "Silicon Valley" in the town of Skolkovo near Moscow and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has also put forward an initiative to create a similar technology park in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk.
Speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament Boris Gryzlov said the parliament would consider a bill on Friday to allow land to be given for free to priority projects in the high-tech sphere.
MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti)