According to Mr Gusev, the region’s economic performance exceeds 2017 nationwide indicators, with the exception of investment volumes. This has objective reasons since an ambitious investment project involving the construction of two new reactors at the Novovorenzh nuclear power plant has now been completed. This project was financed at a rate of 40–45 billion rubles annually. Today, the regional administration is doing its best to compensate for these investment shortfalls. In this connection, the Acting Governor asked Mr Putin for support in establishing a special economic zone in Voronezh Region. The Government would have to issue relevant instructions.
Replying to President Putin’s question regarding the expected results of establishing this special economic zone in the region, Mr Gusev noted that the radioelectronics sector has good prospects. The region’s Sozvezdiye Concern manufactures equipment for the Armed Forces. It is currently also moving into the civilian sector and will try to find a site for new facilities. Certain prospects are also linked with the possibility of manufacturing components for the nuclear industry because the region has the required competences and potential. In the next four to five years, it should be possible to have up to 15 companies accumulating over 30 billion rubles’ worth of investment in the special economic zone. As a result, about 3,000 jobs would be created.
Five to six companies are already in talks about siting their facilities in the planned zone, Mr Gusev noted. There are plans to allot land plots for the special economic zone near an existing industrial park. A utility infrastructure already exists there, and this would make it possible to launch new production facilities in only two years.
Vladimir Putin noted that it had been decided some time ago not to set up new free economic zones, but that a unique situation has taken shape in Voronezh Region. The thoroughly developed and prepared project can yield a substantial and positive regional economic effect. The President promised to support this proposal.