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Free Economic Zones (FEZ)

Six free economic zones were established in the Republic of Belarus: FEZ Brest (1996), FEZ Vitebsk (1999), FEZ Gomel-Raton (1998), FEZ Grodnoinvest (2002), FEZ Minsk (1998) and FEZ Mogilev (2002).

At present, over than 280 resident companies operate in the free economic zones. They employ more than 61,000 people. The aggregate amount of investments put into the projects stands at $360 million. The investments come from over than 30 countries across the globe.

The free economic zones are viewed as an efficient model of administrative and economic management. They are aimed to foster local development attracting foreign investments and advanced technologies.

All the resident companies of the free economic zones enjoy a special legal regime for the first seven years since their registration.

The major preferences of the free economic zones include tax free profits on all goods and services for five years, then a 50% discount. The discounted rate cannot exceed 12%;

- 50% discount on VAT. This does not extend to the VAT at a preferential rate of 10 (9.09) % and 0%;

- no customs duties and taxes on imported equipment and goods to be used within the FEZ. The manufactured goods are freely exported;

- preferential terms of land lease;

- free disposition of currency earnings.

Resident companies are registered by a FEZ administration provided they pledge to invest at least $1 million in an investment project. 
The number of documents required to get registered as a resident company has been reduced.

The documents are processed within 14 days. Denial of registration of resident company can be challenged in a court.