Special Economic Zone “Innopolis”

BRB RAMO experts for investors in the Russian economy: Case of  Innopolis – special economic zone.

SEZ ” Innopolis ” is a special economic zone (SEZ) of a technical and innovative type on the territory in the Republic of Tatarstan. It was formed by the Russian Federation government decree from November 1, 2012, in order to attract investment and develop IT technologies in the region. The SEZ gives residents and partners the right to tax and customs benefits, insurance premiums and a number of other privileges.

The total territory of the SEZ sites is 311 hectares, they are located in the Verkhneuslonsky and Laishevsky municipal districts of Tatarstan. As of 2020, 109 companies have the status of a resident of the SEZ Innopolis, 26 are partners, and 50 have received the status of a startup. Companies operating in the SEZ “Innopolis” generated 3.8 thousand jobs, the amount of investment amounted to about 27 billion rubles.

Special Economic Zones

Special economic zones (SEZs) are zones that have a special legal status within the federation and have preferential economic conditions for their residents. They are created to attract direct investment, faster business growth and the development of the region. Investors are provided with customs and rental benefits, tax preferences, special infrastructure and other opportunities. 

Foreign residents receive simplified conditions for doing business and investing. As of 2020, the Russian Federation has 33 SEZs, seven of them are of the technical and implementation type. According to the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the latter contribute to the development of ” innovative activities for the creation and sale of scientific and technical products, bringing them to industrial use.” The special economic zone of technical innovation type is usually located in the scientific and educational centres and aimed at developing innovative entrepreneurship.


On November 1, 2012, the Russian Government adopted Resolution No. 1131 on the establishment of the innovation SEZ “Innopolis” with a total area of 311 hectares in the territories of the Verkhneuslonsky and Laishevsky districts of Tatarstan. The SEZ in Innopolis is the 5th technical and innovation zone in Russia and the 2nd special economic zone in Tatarstan after the SEZ “Alabuga”. At the end of 2017, the shares of both SEZs worth about 32 billion rubles were transferred to the Republic of Tatarstan for free use. In 2019 the territory of Innopolis was moved from the Ministry of development of digital public administration of the Republic under the control of the Minister of the economy of the region, which, in the opinion of the government, will promote the “acceleration of development institutions”. As the Kazan edition “BUSINESS Online” notes, in practice, the management of the economic zone is carried out by the management of the SEZ “Innopolis” and its general director Renat Khalimov. Particularly important decisions are considered by the Board of Directors under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic Rustam Minnikhanov.

The Innopolis SEZ was developed as the centre of business activity of the eponymous satellite city of Kazan with the university and an economic tool for attracting financial and intellectual resources to the field of IT entrepreneurship in the innovative city. 

Its investors and residents receive the following privileges:

  • Special conditions for insurance premiums and income tax to the regional and federal budgets, as well as transport, property and land.
  • Special customs regime without rates on import and export of products.
  • Simplified taxation scheme in the amount of 1 % of the total income or 5 % if the taxpayer (a company from the IT industry) chooses the “income minus expenses” mode
  • Providing preferential packages for residents (office in a technopark, preferential housing rental Implementation of a free business acceleration program, free mobile internet and subscription to entertainment services.

  In the summer of 2012, an office of the Innopolis SEZ was opened in California to attract foreign specialists and investors. The branch also helps Russian entrepreneurs gain access to the international business infrastructure and invite foreign specialists to work under a simplified scheme. As of 2020, students and teachers from 37 countries live in Innopolis.

In August 2020, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov and Russian Post CEO Maxim Akimov signed an agreement on the creation of the first Russian border zone for cross-border e-commerce in Innopolis. By November, the company plans to build a new customs warehouse and create a ” hub ” to speed up international mail transport between Europe and Asia.

In 2018, the Innopolis SEZ received an award from the state company “Special Economic Zones “in the category” Social Environment ” for the development of the business ecosystem of the region. In 2019 and 2020, the innovation zone was included in the Global Free Zones of the Year 2019 Awards of the fDi Magazine in several categories. Innopolis SEZ is also a member of the World Free Zones Organization and a member of the Association for the Development of Clusters and Technoparks in Russia.

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