On May 25 a new Presidential Order № 166 « On the improvement of special legal regime of the China-Belarus Industrial Park «Great Stone» (along with the «Statute on the special legal regime of the China-Belarus Industrial Park «Great Stone») was published.
The Order lists new benefits and preferences for the Park’s residents which makes the Park even more attractive to investors. The Order also contains provisions that were stipulated in other Presidential Orders designed to regulate the Park’s activity, including previously established benefits and preferences for the Park’s residents.
The Order would particularly interest those businessmen who are planning to create innovative projects in the spheres of electronics and telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, fine chemistry, biotechnologies, mechanical engineering, new materials, full-service logistics, e-commerce, large scale data storage and processing, sociocultural activity, as well as in the sphere of research and development (further referred to as «R&D»).
• goods transported by the residents within a free customs zone have been exempt from import VAT;
• the Park’s residents have been exempt from profit tax for 10 years from the date when profit was first accrued. Previously the profit tax exemption was in operation from the date of the resident’s registration;
• residents have been exempt from real estate tax and land tax for 50 years (the term of the Park’s operation) instead of 10 years.
The Park’s residency has become more accessible due to expanding the list of the Park’s main fields of activity. As a result, investors have been given an opportunity to execute investment projects in such new spheres as telecommunications, full-service logistics, e-commerce, large scale data storage and processing, sociocultural activity, as well as R&D. It should be noted that conducting R&D in the Park’s main fields of activity as well as creating and developing logistics previously qualified as the Park’s supplementary fields of activity.
Moreover, the following factors will foster accessibility of acquiring the Park’s residence:
• the minimum size of the stated amount of investment for the execution of an investment project has been reduced from one million US dollars to five hundred thousand US dollars;
• the amount of investment in the execution of a project (except for conducting R&D) can be equivalent to no less than five hundred thousand US dollars provided that the stated amount would be invested in the course of 5 years from the date of concluding an agreement with the Park’s administration regulating the conditions of conducting activity in the Park.
Activity of the Park’s administration
With an aim of guaranteeing a more effective and prompt consideration and response of the Park’s administration to the requests of the Park’s residents the term «one station» has been introduced by the Order. This notion implies that Park’s administration would not only perform administrative procedures within their competence, but also the ones that are within the competence of other state organs and organizations.
Administrative procedure has been modified specifically for the residents. Certain categories of cases (for instance, the ones regarding the environment, construction and architecture) will be heard by courts only. Previously these types of cases could be heard by other specialized state organs (such as the State Control Committee).
With the issuance of a new Presidential Order the Park has become yet more attractive for investors. The Order provides for a clear management structure of the Park, a wide range of benefits and preferences as well as the mechanism of the residents’ protection from the consequences of changes in legislation, especially in the sphere of taxation. Lowering the minimum financial threshold of acquiring the Park’s residence and expanding the list of business activities which the residents can undertake are important changes as well. All of the changes in the special regime of the Park will help it attract more investment.
Our Bureau would be glad to provide more detailed information on the conditions of conducting business activities in the Park as well as the benefits and preferences it offers.