Simplified visa regime will be extended by Russia to cover eight airports in the country’s Far East region by 2017 end, demonstrating its initiative to open up the area more towards the Pacific coast to attract more tourists and investors.
The support of Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, for the new economic policy of the Far East is said to have led to the creation of a special economic zone, the Free Port of Vladivostok, in 2015.
Besides lower tax rates, other benefits have lured many companies to set up shop and pledge investments worth around $6.1 billion in the region.
Moreover, facilitating applying for visas online and issuing them on arrival has also increased the number of tourists to Vladivostok, with thousands of them coming from China, South Korea and other countries in East Asia.
The Asia Times quotes Alexander Galushka, Russia’s Minister for Development of the Far East, as saying in an interview in July that as the Far East shares a border with some of the world’s most vibrant developing economies, it was crucial for them to tap these nations to develop their eastern territories.
In addition to extending the visa system to more places in the Far East such as Kamchatka, Chukotka and Sakhalin and for more nationalities, Putin has sanctioned funding to construct new border entry points in this region.
According to authorities, processes for hiring workers in the Vladivostok Free Port have also been made simpler.
The port is offering a zero-tax rate for investors for a period of five years on land and property, the ceiling for income tax is being fixed at a maximum of five percent and administrative processes, including getting permits for construction projects, would be streamlined.
Local authorities said that till now, Chinese investors have evinced more interest in the Far East, as they are handling projects worth about $1.3 billion, followed by Japanese and South Koreans.
Pavel Volkov, Deputy Minister for the Development of the Far East, said that of the projects that have been announced, a few have already begun their first phase of operations and more are in the construction phase. He said that the Free Port regime’s real benefits will be seen only after about three years when they would be in a position to it again.
Development Minister Galushka had said that though this region had totally managed to attract private investment of $37 billion, the goal was to get $67 billion by this year-end.
If you are looking to travel to the Far East region of Russia, get in touch with Y-Axis, a prominent consultancy for immigration services, to apply for a visa.