In spite of the fact, that the general sequence of establishment and the mechanism of operation of Special Economic Zones were not changed, tourism and recreational zones have certain distinctions from industrial and manufacturing zones and technical and innovation zones. First, this type of zones can be established in the territory of several municipal units. Second, in tourism zones exploitation of minerals, ascribed to the type of medicinal, is permitted. Besides, an opportunity to establish such zones on the land of protected areas is envisaged by the law is the fact, which justification in respect to ecology and environmental protection causes severe apprehension.
And, finally, in tourism and recreational SEZ in contrast to manufacturing and innovation zones, the primary provided services are not only of economical, but also of social importance. To put it another way, the tourism and recreational activity consists in construction and development of the objects of tourism infrastructure, medicinal and sanitary complexes, as well as organization of recreation, medicinal and prophylactic activity on the basis of natural medicinal resources. The main specialization is so far allotted in the following way: it is planned to develop beach recreation at the Black Sea in the Krasnodarsk Krai and Kursh spit in Kaliningrad Oblast, tourism and active recreation - around the lake Baikal (the Republic of Buryatia and Irkutsk Oblast) and Altai area (the Altai Krai and the Republic of Altai) by means of creation of tourism complexes, which will rest on common infrastructure system, and treatment with mineral water – in the Stavropol Krai.
Thus, in the territory of seven regions of the Russian Federation conditions for the development, which should have a stimulating effect on business development in regions and territory as a whole in future, will be created. At the same time not only does the creation of tourism and recreational zones bring about the positive economic effect for the region in the form of growing volume of investments and value of services provided, innovations and modern methods of administration implementation, development stimulation of territories with low industry potential, but also has a significant social value due to the increase in the number of workplaces and the growth of population professional competence. Besides, as it is demonstrated by the world experience, the territories bordering the zones also start developing faster.
So, the government, following the pattern of the public private partnership assumes liabilities to construct necessary engineering, transport and social infrastructure, as well as grants a fixed set of privileges and preferences to the investors.
To stimulate investment activity of tourism and recreation zones residents the following tax remissions are fixed:
• Residents have rights to: upon the calculation of depreciation use a step-up coefficient of 2; transfer the losses of the previous taxation period to the current year in corpore; recognize expenses for research and development (including those without positive results) in that accounting (taxation) period, in which they were fulfilled, at the rate of actual expenses; be exempted from property tax and land tax within 5 years from implementation of property or from the date of property rights receipt;
• The Subjects of the Russian Federation have a right to establish reduced profit tax rate, which is to be levied for regional budgets, not lower though than 13.5%, and other tax remissions.
Besides, during the period of agreement effect normative and legal acts towards residents, which worsen their position as tax-payers, are not to be implemented..
In tourism and recreational zone duty-free customs zone regime will be established, in accordance with which the import of goods by the residents to be used in its territory no custom duties and VAT should be paid.
However the purport of special economic zones establishment should not be limited only to provision of exemptions from tax. The integral system of incentives will act in the zones, so simplified administration procedure (the principle of “one window” on registration of residents and the opportunity to carry out inspection check-ups – sanitary-hygienic service, fire-prevention service, trade inspection, labor inspection etc.
– only in the framework of planned complex check-up, decision about which will be made by a regional body of the Federal Agency for SEZ Management) and preferred treatment of land tenure will supplement the privileges mentioned above.
The success of tourist SEZ development in Russia will in many respects depend on how favorable in practice will be the conditions of business operation in these territories. And although the first results of zones operation can be estimated only in 3-5 years, which corresponds to the payback period of the most investment projects, carried out in the zones, even now there are grounds for optimism. First of all, this is wide positive world experience of establishment of so-called service zones, which develop successfully in the territory of the Carribean countries, Cyprus, Malta and other tourism orientated countries. Besides, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, within the next decade the situation will be highly favorable for the development of tourism industry in Russia, average annual growth rates of investments in tourism sphere being approximately 9.8%.
It must be understood as well, that the chosen tourism and recreational zones are promising only so long, as they are characterized by the unique environment and ecology situation. The majority of potential zones are situated in the protected areas – national parks, game- and forest reserves etc., where the absence of thruways and large recreation objects in many respects accounted for their relatively happy ecological situation. Apparently, the construction of tourism infrastructure and the sharp increase in the number of holidaymakers will amend the habitat existing there. So in the process of zone establishment it is important to bar the motto of private practice “economic development and profit at any price” from being approved by the state. On the contrary, the establishment of SEZ should decrease the share of disorganized tourism dramatically and, as a consequence, leave out the burden on the nature.
The extent to which the forecasts and fears expressed in the article are justified the time will show. At the moment the heads of the Subjects of the Russian Federation work out and adjust the detailed plans of actions for tourism and recreation zones establishment for 2007 with the Federal Agency for SEZ Management and The Federal Agency for Tourism, and before long it is planned to select by means of competition consultants to develop general plans of their development. Within 30 days from the decision on a zone establishment being made the agreements between the Government of the Russian Federation, supreme executives of public authorities and executive-administrative bodies of the Subjects of the Russian Federation, in which territory SEZ are created must be signed.
I.A.Sokolov The Forecast of the Population of the Russian Federation over the Medium Term Russia’s population has diminished since 1992, and until 2006 the population of the able-bodied age has not followed this path. On the contrary, against the backdrop of the downward trend, which is characteristic of the general population dynamic, the number of the able-bodied population was evidently on the rise. This peculiar situation has resulted from a favorable balance between the generation that enters into the ablebodied age and the one that leaves that. This process of growth came to an end in 2006, to be substituted by a notable rapid reduction in the number of the able-bodied population. While the reduction promises to be fairly small in 2007 (some 300,000), it should consequently grow to 1 mn. annually between 2010 and 2018.
Computations evidence that until 2026 the aggregate natural decline in the number of the able-bodied population should account for 18-19 mn., and the process is projected to linger until the mid-2050s.
Presently, the number of those employed in the national economy is accounted for 67 mn. A contraction in this number shall clearly triggers serious implications, so far as the functioning of the economy as a whole is concerned. Labor force should become one of the most demanded, if not the most scarce, resource in the country. Such an acute fall in the number of labor-resource capacity in the country can be compensated solely by immigration inflow, which should rise drastically. Given that some two-thirds of the immigration inflow is formed by able-bodied-aged individuals, to fully compensate for the projected losses of its ablebodied population in the two forthcoming decades, Russia will be in need for some 25 mn. immigrants,.
Such a huge immigration seems fairly unlikely, even if the country immediately starts pursuing a proactive and liberal immigration policy9. The magnitude of the problem raised the RF Government’s concerns – in 2006, by the RF President’s initiative, it was decided to establish more favorable conditions for immigrants, which testifies to a more adequate, albeit delayed, reaction by the federal authorities. The first steps in this direction are aimed at simplification of the respective legal procedures. In addition, the Government is keen to facilitate legalization of illegal migrants and liberalize the respective legislation. Since January 2007 the procedure of registration in RF has been simplified10.
The Forecast of the Dynamic of Labor Resources in Russia Should the birth rates and mortality rates in Russia remain unchanged for long, its population will decrease and the age structure will continue to deteriorate. The proportion of the able-bodied population should reduce from the current 63.3-63.5% to 57.6- 57.9% in 2020-2025. In parallel with that, the proportion of pensioners should grow from 20.3% to 26.15%. Both the proportion of the population aged over the ablebodied age and their absolute number should grow, especially after 2015. Thus, the proportion of individuals aged 25-29 in the able-bodied population, which currently accounts for 25.7%, by 2015 should fell to 25.2% and, consequently, to 18.5% - by 2025.
The peak in the contraction of the number of the population of the able-bodied age should occur between 2010 and 2014, when the average annual decline of the population of this particular group exceeds 1,mn. and another 1, 246 mn. over next five years. Note that all those who will have entered the able-bodied age by that time have been already born. That is why the change of the dynamic of the number of the population of this particular group in Russia can be secured only by reducing the mortality rate and ensuring the immigration inflow. The contraction rate in the number of the able-bodied population should notably diminish only between 2020 and 2025.
Doubling the nation’s GDP by 2010, the goal Pres. V. Putin has formulated in the early 21st century, should let Russia win back its position in the club of the most economically developed countries. However, the economic growth rates over the past three years has evidenced that this ambitious goal appears hardly achievable. According to the RF Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, doubling Russia’s GDP over the decade can be secured by the annual increment rate of 7.2%, while between 2004 and 2005 it slid from 7.1% in 2004 to 5.7% in 2005. In 2006, the respective index was at 1.5% down vis--vis the planned one. Economic growth rates in a country depend on the volume and level of technological and organizational structure of production, as well as the quality and quantity of its labor resources. In the last decade, Russia’s The 2002 Census evidenced that between 1989 and 2002 Russia received 11 mn. immigrants and found itself among top three nations worldwide in this respect (after the US and Germany). In 1975-88 RSFSR (Russia) received 13 mn.
This issue will be discussed in greater detail in a separate publication.
economic growth rates have also been affected by the world oil prices11. With international oil prices soaring, a government is not always keen to pursue a proactive economic policy that centers on technological achievements, improvement of the organizational structure of production and the quality of population (human capital).
Forecast of the Number of the Able-Bodied Population (in Thos.) Years Under able-bodied age Able-bodied age Over able-bodied age As Thos. As % in the As Thos. As % in the As Thos. As % in the total total popula- total popula- population tion tion 2006 23389.8 16.4 90426.7 63.3 29000.2 20.2007 22859.0 16.1 90188.2 63.4 29124.3 20.2008 22591.1 16.0 89602.2 63.3 29368.3 20.2009 22691.1 16.0 88926.3 63.0 29556.5 21.2010 22881.1 16.2 87793.9 62.5 29990.4 21.2015 24241.9 17.5 82036.5 59.3 32087.9 23.2020 25807.2 18.9 76963.7 56.2 34105.9 24.2025 25489.4 18.9 74814.1 55.4 34637.7 25.Source: “Naselenie Rossii”. Demographic YB Economic Growth and Challenges in the Area of Securing Labor Force in Russia until 2020-The annual growth of Russia’s GDP by 7.2% necessitates an equal aggregate growth in the number of labor in the economy and productivity rate. In 2002-04, the average growth rate of productivity was 4.9%, while the number of workers was growing on average at a meager 1.3%. Below, we provide computationsof growth in GDP assuming that the average annual productivity increment rates should be not lower than 5%13. Given contraction of the number of the employed population, all the variants evidence that such a dynamic is unachievable. Should GDP be doubled, by 2010 its volume would become 1.3 times greater than that of 1990, while in the situation possible in the conditions of the contracting employed population, even with the 7% average annual labor productivity growth rates, the respective excess should account for just 20% vis--vis 1990. Naturally, if growth rates in labor productivity are lower, GDP should grow at a far lesser rate.
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