GREAT STONE industrial park is a free economic area with a special legal status. The industrual park with an area of 11,247 hectares is located near Minsk. GREAT STONE park was established in 2012 and is designed to be in operation till 2062.
On 12 May, 2017, the President signed Decree No. 166 which considerably expanded preferences and guarantees for the Park residents. At the moment, business opportunities in the GREAT STONE park are unprecedented for CIS and Baltic states.
- fine chemistry
- machine industry
- advanced materials
- integrated logistics
- electronic commerce
- activities in storing and processing large data volumes
- social and cultural activities
- design and experimental research and development (R&D) projects
Any natural or legal person, without any limitations. GREAT STONE is a Chinese-Belarusian project, however investment conditions are generally common for Belarusian / Chinese natural and legal persons, and for other foreign investors.
There are two major requirements:
1) to carry out an investment project in one of the Park business areas (listed above)
2) applied investment volume – 500,000 USD or more, if invested during 3 years (or 5,000,000 USD if invested during a longer time period) and for R&D projects irrespective of time period.
In exceptional cases, entities not complying with the above requirements may also be accepted as residents.
1. Tax and customs preferences
- exemption from profit tax: for 10 years from the date of profit origin, and thereafter – 50 % of general rate (equals to 18%)
- 0% dividend tax rate: for 5 years starting from the year of dividend distribution + exemption from offshore levy (i.d., an opportunity of receiving dividends without tax imposition in Belarus)
- 5% reduced royalty tax rate – up to year 2027
- exemption from real estate tax
- exemption from land tax
- 9% reduced income tax rate for Park employees (instead of general 13%) + opportunity to pay social protection contributions based on the national average salary rate (instead of general limit of 5 average salary rates)
For example, if an employee has a “net” salary of 1,500 US dollars, he will have to pay 820 dollars of taxes on general Belarusian terms, however in the GREAT STONE park – only 286 dollars (three times less).
- no requirement to pay social protection contributions for foreign citizens
- opportunity to use free customs zone procedure (i.e., importation of goods is possible subject to their further exportation (including processed goods) beyond the territory of the Eurasian Union without paying VAT and customs duties)
- all goods produced by Park residents within the free customs zone will be exempt from “entrance” VAT if sold in Belarus
- cash cycles related to most works and services rendered to Park residents by foreign companies will be exempt from VAT; such works and services comprise auditing, consulting, marketing, legal, engineering, advertising works and services, etc.
2. State support and safety of investment funds
GREATSTONEis the major investment project in Belarus; its legal basis and guarantees have been stipulated by the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the People’s Republic of China
- Park residents have legal guarantees for the most favourable economic regime to conduct business in Belarus, as compared to any other business regimes (and if any more favourable regimes would be established in the future, they will apply to Park residents as well)
- all transactions with Park residents and investors are based on the “one-station” principle – all procedures are run immediately in the Park’s territory
- Park investors enjoy all guarantees set forth by Belarusian laws, including international treaties, as weel as grandfather clause which guarantees that any future law changes will not impact Park residents (in terms of taxation – at least up to year 2027)
- any inspections of residents may take place in exceptional cases only, and subject to agreement with Park administration only
3. The Park has economically advantageous location, logistics and infrastructure
- visa-free entry in Belarus for investors and their employees
- the Park is located in the immediate vicinity of the Moscow-Berlin travel corridor
- its vicinity to Belarusian capital city gives access to qualified labour force
- free entrance to Eurasian Economic Union’s unified market
- the Park is included in the “One Belt – One Road” project as its junction point
- up-to-date warehouse and customs infrastructure, created by the world leader in logistics China Merchants Group, provides optimization of logistical and export-import procedures;
- National Airport Minsk is located within the Park territory
4. Privileges during construction phase
- simplified procedure for obtaining land plots promptly
- land plots may be obtained at investor’s option on lease conditions or into ownership, with ready for use infrastructure (ready for service roads, utility networks, etc.)
- facilities may be designed and constructed according to EU or Chineses standards, no accomodation to Belarusian standards is necessary
- exemption from recovery of any losses to the state, related to land plot occupation
- residents don’t have to obtain conformity certificates for construction activities
- simplified procedure for commissioning of completed projects
- goods used for construction and outfitting of production facilities may be imported without paying customs duties and VAT
5. Privileges during production phase
- preferential prices for some power resources (at cost)
- no requirement to sell foreign currency
- no limits on foreign trade transactions, no time frames for completion
- free-of-control prices (tariffs) for own-produced goods
- no quotas on production and foreign trade, no other quantity limits
- free-of-charge obtaining of documents giving the right to employ foreigners under tight schedule
- possibility to register foreigners at place of work