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'I will personally supervise economic push!'

20 January 2014

Prime Minister's eastern promise of special incentives for entrepreneurs.

'A five-year grace period for income, land and property taxes, and a reduction in insurance contributions'. Picture: Dmitry Medvedev's Facebook

The development of the eastern half of the country is seen as a long term Kremlin priority at the centre of President Vladimir Putin's plans for economic growth. 'Special conditions will be created for entrepreneurs running their own businesses [in Siberia or the Far East],' Medvedev told the annual Gaidar Economic Forum in Moscow. I will be personally engaged with this'.

He will 'supervise the application of financial incentives in Siberia and the Far East that include a five-year grace period for income, land and property taxes, and a reduction in insurance contributions,' reported RIA Novosti. An investment programme was approved last year allocating a minimum of 100 billion rubles ($3.2 billion) annually to Eastern Siberia and the Far East.

Medvedev also urged regional and local leaders to do more to woo investors. 'Regional and local authorities bear special responsibility for improving business climate. They should play the main role in the fight for investors,' he said. 'The investor understands that it is needed to go where it is profitable, convenient and safe to work. And as people say quite cynically very often that patriotism ends where a tax declaration should be filed.'

Economic development depended 'on your readiness to help those who invest money and energy in their business', Medvedev added. Major infrastructure projects are earmarked for a region stretching from the regions of  Khakassia and Krasnoyarsk to the Pacific. It will include a transport revolution including improvements to the Trans Siberian Railway and the Baikal Amur Mainline. 

A key aim is for Russia to exploit its role as an Asian country. Yet Eastern Siberia and the Far East is seen as suffering from 'decaying infrastructure, geographic isolation, extreme weather, a declining population and uncompetitive enterprises left over from the era of Soviet central planning', said RIA Novosti.

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