Finance Ministry opposes Economy Ministry's project

Successes of special economic zones in China inspire Russian EconomyMinister German Gref, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported. Officialsof the Economy Ministry hope to increase the dynamics of the economicgrowth and create favorable conditions for businesses by establishing suchzones in Russia. However, the Finance Ministry and the State CustomsCommittee believe that the creation of special economic zones in Russiawill lead to increased corruption and bureaucracy. The Economy Ministryelaborated on a draft of the bill on special economic zones at the end oflast year, but the Ministry's officials failed to convince their colleaguesfrom the Finance Ministry and the State Customs Committee of the necessityof creating these zones. This document has been discussed at a meeting withPrime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov recently but it has not been approved yet.Moreover, it was decided to determine in general whether these zones werenecessary or not. The Finance Ministry has started to look for advantagesof creating special economic zones in Russia. In particular, the Ministrypromises that an average salary in these zones will be some 20,000 rubles(about $634), exports of finished products will double and profits will be30 percent. The Ministry states that these figures have been calculatedtaking into account working practices of other countries..

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