Russian Federation Government Decree No. 238 dated February 28, 2017 transferred the authority for management of special economic zones in the North Caucasus Federal District, previously reserved to the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, to the Ministry of the North Caucasus Affairs of the Russian Federation. First of all, the changes will affect the SEZ within the North Caucasus tourist cluster project run by Joint-Stock Company Northern Caucasus Resorts.
As Andrei Reznikov, Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation for the North Caucasus Affairs, Chairman of the JSC NCR Board of Directors, clarified, the Ministry of the North Caucasus Affairs of the Russian Federation is a federal executive body responsible for the development and implementation of the State policy in the social and economic development of the North Caucasus Federal District. ‘The transfer of authority for management of special economic zones in the North Caucasus to the Ministry will improve the quality of their operation. Inter alia, due to the possibility of local evaluation and analysis of financial and economic indicators of investment projects and potential investors, implementation of operational activities by residents, and effective implementation of the State policy in the North Caucasus Federal District by the Ministry of the North Caucasus Affairs of the Russian Federation,’ Andrei Reznikov said.
He clarified that, in accordance with the Government Decree, responsibilities for management of special economic zones were divided: The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation will continue to strategically manage the SEZ at the federal level, whereas the Ministry of the North Caucasus Affairs of the Russian Federation will be responsible for taking operational decisions as regards the SEZ in the North Caucasus. This is due to the fact that it is the Ministry of the North Caucasus Affairs of the Russian Federation that is the responsible coordinator of the State program of the Russian Federation Development of the North Caucasus Federal District until 2025, which, inter alia, includes the tourist cluster development subprogram. ‘Thus, given the new powers, the Ministry will be able to make effective decisions on project development, thereby meeting the targets laid down in the State program of development of the district,’ the Deputy Minister said.
The Ministry of the North Caucasus Affairs of the Russian Federation will form an Expert Council to consider applications from potential investors and take decisions about awarding the status of SEZ residents within the tourist cluster, register and maintain the register of residents of the SEZ, to conclude tripartite agreements with JSC NCR and residents on tourist-and-recreational activities and perform other functions defined by Federal Law No. 116-ФЗ dated July 22, 2005 On Special Economic Zones in the Russian Federation.
Oleg Gorchev, Director General of Joint-Stock Company Northern Caucasus Resorts, recalled that for special economic zones within a tourist cluster, unlike other tourist-and-recreational SEZ in Russia, the federal principle of management is preserved, that is associated with the particular importance of the tourist industry for the development of the entire North Caucasus Federal District. ‘Under direct supervision of the Ministry of the North Caucasus Affairs of the Russian Federation, we as the management company of the tourist cluster together with the administration of the regions of the NCFD will be able to ensure accurate synchronization and interrelatedness of investment and technical policy, strategies for attracting investors and mechanisms for supporting them. Also, thanks to the coordination of the project from the Center, the clear target segmentation of the North Caucasus resorts and the absence of competition between ski complexes is still possible,’ he stressed.