On June 9 2016 President Vladimir Putin announced the planned reform of special economic zones (ie, special territories with tax and customs benefits). Putin also declared that 10 of the 33 zones will be closed immediately and that responsibility for the remaining 23 will be transferred from the Russian Federation to the applicable region. The list of special economic zones to be closed has not yet been published, but according to available information they will be mainly tourist zones. The special economic zone known as 'Titan Valley' in the Sverdlovsk region will remain open.
The development of special economic zones in Russia began in 2005 and was originally intended to attract foreign investment and establish new business areas. However, after more than 10 years the government's investment in special economic zones has proved ineffective.
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