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Duty Free at all costs

Primorsky Krai returns to the topic of creating a public "duty-free". This time - in the perimeter of the gambling zone

Duty Free at all costs
Primorsky Krai today is the leader in applying measures of advanced economic development, developed at the federal level. The Territory has three territories of advanced development (TOR "Nadezhdinskaya", "Mikhailovskaya", "Bolshoi Kamen"), the entire south of the region covers the Free Port of Vladivostok, two projects were supported by the Far East Development Foundation, the Eastern Economic Forum is held here by presidential decree. The intensity of the development of these and other mechanisms impresses both local authorities and regional business. From the outside it looks like a real "drive": the process not only moved from the bureaucratic format to the ground, but also received attention and appreciation from those to whom it is addressed. And it's worth a lot.

At the same time, few have noticed an interesting initiative voiced recently by the governor of Primorye, Vladimir Miklushevsky, during a joint visit of the Primorye gambling zone to Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev. Officials discussed with investors their problems and possible solutions to these problems, and as a result, an initiative appeared to create a duty-free trade zone on the territory of the gambling zone. Literally a few days later, within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Miklushevsky made a statement on the initiative to create "duty free" in the gambling zone: "We in Russia do not have such a thing yet. And this is a topic that must be created at least in the "pilot" mode. We want this for the first time in our Primorye gambling zone.

“World practice shows that gradually most of the income shifts from the field of the game to the area of ​​additional services - accommodation, entertainment, shopping, MICE tourism. For example, in Las Vegas, the game now brings 30% of income, the remaining 70% - related services, ”stated Vladimir Miklushevsky.

It is interesting that this is not the first time that the initiative has been voiced to introduce duty-free in Primorye, at least in some form. It is no secret that at the stage of initial public discussions of the draft law on the Free Port of Vladivostok, this measure was discussed and received quite wide support, especially from the population. The possibility of a duty-free purchase of goods - be it Japanese cars, or Korean office equipment, or Chinese equipment - is a perfectly understandable "carrot" for both local business and many ordinary residents of the seaside city. Even in spite of the fact that in this situation it would be necessary to "cut off" the south of Primorye from the rest of the country by the customs border.

The introduction of a “duty free” zone in a single “Primorye” gambling zone, of course, will not lead to such large-scale consequences as the transfer of the customs border. Nevertheless, from the little that voiced by the governor of Primorsky Territory, it is not clear exactly how such a zone can be made, and how it will function.

The press service of the Primorsky Krai Administration could not provide the EastRussia correspondent with additional information on the idea of ​​organizing a duty-free zone in Primorye, saying that the idea is still quite "raw". They did not hear anything about the initiative in the Far Eastern Customs Administration - by now, information about this idea has not been sent to any department of the department with any reason to discuss how exactly such a zone could function within the framework of Russian legislation, the department refused, without excluding at the same time, that, perhaps, such an option would arouse interest among the local population and tourists.

Experts interviewed by EastRussia correspondent noted possible conflict consequences of the initiative. "The desire of the region to introduce duty-free trade on the territory of the gambling zone" Primorye "is in all probability connected, in its turn, with its desire to deprive a part of the revenues of the federal budget, developing its gambling business. Since taxes on the gambling business, on the income of individuals, most of the income tax are being received today in the regional budget, and import customs duties are the income of the federal budget, "said Professor of the Department of Economic and Social Geography of Russia, Geography Department of the Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov Olga Kuznetsova.

At the same time, she noted that the economic efficiency as such of the gambling zone with the appearance of "duty-free" in it is highly questionable, since it is unclear how and in general the authorities of the region will be able to control that they come to it for the purpose of recreation and entertainment , Rather than buying cheap products. 

There is another expert opinion that the initiative may well be interesting, but first it must be calibrated with the general strategic development plans of the country, the creation of which should be the main focus of the state’s efforts.

"This plan should provide for a system of priorities in the development of Russia, as well as take into account all sorts of other plans - regional, municipal, etc. It is this plan that will ensure that in the future in Russia, state support measures will not be created separately, nor will There are questions about the advisability of providing any state support measures to a particular region. Such, as, for example, to support in one way or another the gaming industry in Primorsky Krai or not, "explained Director of the Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development Dmitry Panyukov.

Experts note that with the current widespread expansion of free zones in the world economy, including the Russian one, tax incentives are far from the main incentive to attract foreign capital. Factors such as political stability, investment guarantees, the quality of infrastructure, qualifications of the workforce, simplification of administrative procedures, and various kinds of exclusive "chips" may turn out to be more significant in this respect today. The gambling zone itself has already become such a "feature" - for example, it is here that the most high-standard hotel is located today, not only in Primorye, but throughout the Far East. From this point of view, a reasonable upgrade of the gambling zone is, of course, interesting.

ER Help

Currently, in the gambling zone "Primorye" operates a single complex - Tigre de Cristal, which includes a hotel and a casino. In turn, there are four more hotels, and all of them will be 22. The total amount of signed investment contracts for construction of hotels and casinos in the Primorsky Krai IMCZ exceeds 113 billion rubles. The key investors were Ji 1 Interteinment together with Melco International Development Limited, the Malaysian company NagaCorp Ltd, Royal Time Primorye and Diamond Fortune Holdings Prim.
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