Special economic zone of technical innovation type – a magnet for investment in the Region
In today's context, many Russian regions, Tomsk Region among them, are facing a dilemma – to work on creation of an attractive investment climate and modernize operations, reform the economy, and increase the overall living standards, or stew in their own juice and hope for miracles and federal subsidies. Sensible and pragmatic economists would select the first option. Only really interesting investment projects can secure infusion of capital in the Region. And Tomsk Region does have conditions for such projects to appear!
International agencies confirm the high economic potential of the region. In 2008, Standard & Poor's assigned its 'B+/Stable/' long-term credit rating to Tomsk Region (on the global scale, in Russian rubles and foreign currency). The region is particularly attractive for investors owing to its Special Economic Zone of Technical Innovation Type (SEZ). The SEZ lies within the city's borders and contains two sites – Northern and Southern. The Zone is accessed via intra-city road network, and the airport is just 18 km away. The number of resident companies has already exceeded 40, and over 20 investors are involved in own construction projects in the Zone. Being a SEZ resident is profitable – the residents are provided with federal tax concessions and benefit from a reduced profit tax rate. The residents also do not have to pay property and transport taxes (for a period of 10 years).
The core activities of the companies residing in the SEZ are development of new materials and nanotechnologies, industrial electronics, instrumentation engineering, and biotechnology research. In May 2011, a presentation of Tomsk SEZ to potential British investors took place in London. The presentation was attended by companies such as IBMCC, DG Leadership, Invest Northern Ireland, and experts from higher educational institutions and analytical and research centers. The feedback from the British audience described the climate in the SEZ as extremely attractive for investments.
On his visit to Tomsk to preside at a conference "Perfecting Instruments for Innovative Development in the Regions," Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin acknowledged that the catalog of investment projects in 2011 grew longer in many respects owing to the accomplishments by the residents of the Tomsk SEZ.