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The role of special economic zones in the development of Abkhazia was discussed at a round table format.

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15.03.2019 18:51
The role of special economic zones in the development of Abkhazia was discussed at a round table format.
The role of special economic zones in the development of Abkhazia on the example of the special economic zone "Amra" was discussed in Sukhum.

Sukhum. March 15. Apsnypress. The importance of special economic zones in the development of Abkhazia at a round table format was discussed at the National Library named after I. Papaskir.
 
 The meeting participants stressed that the formation of special economic zones is provided in the Abkhazia's Socio-Economic Development Strategy until 2025, developed by the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Abkhazia and approved by Decree of the Head of State. A new economic model for the country was considered on the example of the organization of the Amra SEZ in the Gal district.
 
 The worker of the strategic studies center under President of the Republic of Abkhazia Ilona Mertskhulava noted that “the economy of Abkhazia is going through difficult times that are accompanied by political, social, economic, demographic difficulties and are characterized by low indicators of the level and quality of life, imbalances in regional development, subsidized budgets of various levels and other factors.”

   Mertskhulava called ways to solve problems: “One of the ways out of the current situation could be the modernization of economic approaches, including through the creation of the SEZ, the formation of economic clusters, etc. The SEZ has a certain value for the revival of the rest of the regions and border areas. The Strategy for the Socio-Economic Development of Abkhazia defines the goal of creating a special economic zone - creating competitive industries, developing new types of products, as well as developing infrastructure, creating new jobs, increasing employment in the eastern regions of Abkhazia and improving the living conditions of the population. We know that the keynote of creation of the SEZ is to attract investment in the business. And business requires stability and predictability, business needs transparency and security. We need investments on equal and mutually beneficial terms. On the one hand, the SEZ is an experiment on the formation of a spatial integration model based on the preferential regime, and on the other hand, I really want to hope that the experiment will truly become a tool for the sustainable development of the region. "
 
At the same time, Deputy Minister of Economy Batal Tarba recalled that there was signed a special agreement between the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Abkhazia and R-ASTIKO Limited Liability Company on the organization and functioning of the mixed-economic zone Amra: “The Special Economic Zone implies the solution of issues related to the fact that this is a production-tourist, port-infrastructure zone. The contract indicates the deadlines that must be met. First of all, until December 31 of this year, the Management Company undertakes to develop and submit a master plan for the development of the territory. On the basis of this fundamental document, it will be possible to draw conclusions about the prospects, feasibility and significance of the work to be carried out. As far as I know, the development of the document is in the final phase. We are in close contact with investors, a lot of work is under way to attract potential residents of the SEZ. "
 
 Batal Tarba set the dates: “Not later than January 1, 2020, the Management Company is obliged to begin the start of the improvement of the SEZ, which is being created practically in an empty field. Also, in investment liabilities no later than January 1, 2022, it is envisaged to begin work on the construction of the necessary infrastructure. There it is planned to create a port so that it could interact with the transport and logistics chain, including the foreign state zone. Thus, residents of the SEZ, which will be engaged in industrial production, will be able to export goods by sea to foreign markets. This work is scheduled to be completed in 2024. The first 5-6 years of the functioning of the SEZ will almost go to the improvement, preparation and alignment of the working process of residents. The lease term for land that is provided under the SEZ is 49 years. By law, for half of this term, residents of the SEZ are exempt from all types of taxes, with the exception of income tax, as well as mandatory contributions and payments to state extra-budgetary funds of the RA. These are unprecedented conditions for our country.”  
 
 As Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Abkhazia Adgur Lushba stressed: “Legally, the territory is ready for the creation of such forms. The place of choice of the SEZ was not accidental - the presence of land that is not involved in the economic turnover was one of the factors that influenced the decision making. But there are other conditions necessary for the creation of the SEZ - for example, the availability of labor resources in the Gal district, a convenient geographical location: the presence of the sea, roads and the possibility of joining the railway line. Hopefully, our expectations will come true. "
 
 Chairman of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Abkhazia Beslan Tsvinariya also expressed his readiness to contribute to the development of the SEZ. “But at this stage there are no real steps for the customs to be more actively involved in the work,” - he noted.

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