In 1998, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Law "On special economic zones and special regime of investment activity in Donetsk region". His main goal was to overcome the deep economic depression areas related to the closure (restructuring) mines. Now Donetsk region has one of the last places in Ukraine in terms of unemployment and the highest average salary – the second position after Kiev, who, incidentally, has a special status and special rights. Now, however, addressed to those cities and districts, which enjoy preferential taxation, can be heard only criticism. The inhabitants of high state offices – FEZ and TPD should be eliminated. With this strongly disagrees chairman of the Donetsk regional department of the Party of Regions, the chairman of the Donetsk regional council, Boris Kolesnikov.

– Boris Viktorovich, to understand the current situation, should probably remember the history of special economic zones and territories of priority development. How it all began?

– Back in the 1990's. before the regional elite of Donbass got a choice: to shift the burden of welfare miners laid off from liquidated state of uneconomic mines, in Kiev or receiving certain tax benefits themselves solve the problem. We chose the second option. Thanks to the benefits of SEZ and TPD, the problem of employment, we decided.

Much has been done for the first time, so there were mistakes. Thinking of a number of officials responsible for the efficiency of FEZ and TPD, really worked on formulas, benefits are – investors themselves will come "or" there are benefits – have the opportunity to steal. " Their actions need to be analyzed by the fiscal and law enforcement. For example, fully valid criticism of SEZ "Azov", which, except for the shipyard, not become the center of attraction of large investments.

But a much greater blow to the investment climate of Donbass inflicted and continues to incur the myths about our SEZ and TPD. They are born out of the Donets Basin and their main goal – to reduce or even eliminate competition from Donetsk enterprises.

– If possible, read more about the myths …

– The first myth: the process of admission to the BMS and TPA is opaque, and therefore "do not go wrong here."

In fact, one of the first American company went Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk Cargill meat processing company "Renaissance". And one of the leaders of MMC Donbass – Donetsk metallurgical plant – an example of successful co-existence of the enterprise with 100% foreign capital m ISTIL-Ukraine "and a local company.

During the work of the Council to approve investment projects, there were no complaints from prospective investors about discrimination or corruption. In order to reject all the charges of admission to the opacity of FEZ and TPD, the regional government is ready to create a public register of shareholders of participating enterprises.

– And yet the number of foreign investors, dead-projects in the region is small …

– You know, this problem is not only one of Donbass. TPRy SEZy and could only strengthen the motivation for entry of foreign multinational companies. But if foreigners, even under such conditions is not gone, it means that something is wrong within the country rather than region. You do not invest because they do not trust.

– Well, with the first myth solved the problems …

– Myth Two: benefits. Allegedly, the FEZ and TPD – totally ineffective, and their activities are strongly associated with crime.

Here it is necessary to compare the numbers. Since 1999, the entities operating in the SEZ and TPD in Donetsk region, the state provided the tax and customs privileges for $ 1.3 billion. However, thanks to them the region's economy and the country's 179 investment projects managed to attract $ 2.82 billion. The next step is the implementation of 37 approved projects worth $ 1.48 billion (unless, of course, investors are due to launched a campaign against the SEZ and TPD were not folded). This – the first.

Second. To talk about criminals, must be the real extent of the EEZ. Here, for example, a fact that modestly fails to mention opponents of special economic zones: in the mode of SEZ in Donetsk Oblast worked only two companies – "Nord", which produces household appliances, and "Renaissance" – for processing meat products.

As for the territories of priority development, it is more than two hundred projects in cities and districts of the region, where the investor has come and own funds built a high-quality companies with the latest equipment, creating jobs and giving people work. There, the average salary is 1,008 hryvnia, that is 1,5 times higher than on the field, with delays in their payment never was.

The activities of these enterprises is absolutely transparent. Do not become a risky venture investor funds for dubious benefits of violating the law.

Myth Three: the benefits enjoyed by only meat processors and no high-technology SEZ in the TPA and does not smell.

Let me just say that their 216 projects implemented within the Donetsk region, only 7 – a meat processing. Everything else – new shops, new production lines, new equipment in metallurgy, coal, food and construction industries. By the way, in our region is realized only investment project in the field of medicine – it Ophthalmic Clinic Laser Plus.

– But who, in this case, it is advantageous to cultivate myths? Who is the author?

– From experience, after a collision with the first wave of compromising, which originated in 2003 from a number of officials and companies, lobbyists, allegedly close to the alleged "prodonetskomu" Yanukovich's government, I can surmise that they are in favor of sending the new President of misinformation about 400 mln., "lost" to Benefit the Donbas. Especially many of these lobbyists around the Ministry of Economy, which officials at each change of government are trying to find "scapegoats" or "pests", responsible for the failure of economic plans and the failure forecasted results. SEZ and TPD – a convenient target, because any economist would agree with the simple thesis about the dangers of preferences for the development of market relations.

Yes, at the beginning of 2005 the balance of revenue and the benefits given in the FEZ and TPD has a negative balance (-3.96 billion hryvnia). However, if we subtract from the benefits 4,72 bln. privileges on import duties for raw meat, you get a surplus of $ 0,76 bln. Think about it: the state is seeking to pay import duties in 2,5-3 times more than the cost of the product itself. You can find out how much the country imported raw meat with payment of fees in this amount? I am confident that with the most scrupulous counting, this figure does not exceed zero.

"Butcher's question on" set up against us and the Ministry of Agricultural Policy, through which a fairly well-known companies in the meat market in the past, the government tried to dictate what a quota Donetsk meat processors have to get a general Ukrainian market. Now it looks like the head of the state offer a more "simple" solution: abolish all privileges and punish "zakononeposlushnyh of Regions investors.

Reaction is easy to predict. There is no doubt that investors will seek protection in the international courts. The situation resembles the government campaign against Lazarenko, joint ventures, which hastened to "ban" breaks the joint venture and a half years before the end of their validity. And investors, and the state (as a result of lawsuits from the SP) then lost billions of dollars.

What this implies for Ukraine, its budget, and most importantly – its public image, guess quite that simple. Slow-witted as I can explain.

First, increasing distrust of Ukraine, as has happened with Georgia, which, abandoning the FEZ and TPD, instantly lost 40% of investments. Even more tenizatsiey economy. Loss of economic independence and economic security of their own regions and the crisis in the regions and subregions of single-industry structure of the economy. Multimillion dollar losses for the budget, rising unemployment and, finally, the destruction of some industries due to the loss of competitiveness.

By the way, those who call for the immediate elimination of FEZ and TPD, for some reason does not lead to any results of macroeconomic studies, which would show how this will affect the economy and business climate of the country. What is most shocking, none of the ministries and departments never even tried to calculate the integrated effect of the preferential tax treatment (so-called multiplier effect and indirect estimates). But this is normal international practice. And in the Donetsk region have done.

So. As a result of all investment projects of the state received an additional income in the form taxes and mandatory payments of $ 9,8 billion UAH. Employees are paid 2.7 billion payroll, and the enterprises themselves in the form of depreciation charges and profits, paying taxes, received 5,4 billion UAH. the development of production and working capital. Adding these three quantities, we obtain 17,9 billion UAH. That is almost 3 times the amount of granted privileges.

For the Donetsk region liquidation of FEZ and TPD lead to the fact that this year it is estimated the Office of Regional State Administration on the development of the territory of Donetsk region, would wipe 335 million UAH. investments (including 115 million of foreign investments) and not be able to create, as planned, and new jobs.

– Yes, the prospects are not rosy. Do you have any suggestions? Is there any alternative?

– Certainly. The modernization of benefits and audit already working in the preferential projects.

But most importantly – the Cabinet should think seriously about the tax reform to make the investment attractive than individual territories of Ukraine, and the whole country.

Polina Andreeva.

(Donbass region) KID