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Top-20+ Technoparks and SEZs in Central Asia and the Caucasus to Grow and Scale Your Business in 202

Are you considering expanding your business into Central Asia, Georgia, and Armenia? Are you uncertain of their potential or unsure of where to begin? Could this region provide an opportunity to scale your IT product or startup?


Look no further. ITCOMMS helps tech companies develop their communication strategy in Central Asia and the Caucasus, including Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. We have extensive experience working in these regions that we are eager to share.


Here we will provide a comprehensive list of the best special economic zones and industry parks for tech companies, both local and international, looking to expand into these markets.


Kazakhstan


An international technopark for IT startups has been established to foster the growth of both Kazakhstani and international technology companies.


Opportunities and benefits for any domestic and international IT companies:

  • IT company registration

  • support programs, such as expat center, coworking, networking, vacancies, consulting and training

  • Astana Hub exempts its residents from corporate and individual income tax, value added tax and non-residents' social tax

  • assistance in obtaining a simplified visa and employment procedures for international participants


Register online on Astana Hub to become a participant


The Republic of Kazakhstan currently operates 13 special economic zones. To participate, you must be a registered taxpayer in Kazakhstan and have no business units or branches outside the SEZ.


Your operating income from any products related to priority areas in your SEZ must be at least 90% of the total revenue. Specific details, however, vary depending on the SEZ.


AIFC - Astana International Finance Center

The SEZ provides a legal framework to incentivize businesses to raise, execute, and safeguard their investments. AIFC offers more growth opportunities for both large and small companies, such as Binance, our long-time customer, who registered in Kazakhstan.


Opportunities and benefits

  • AIFC provides ample opportunities to establish trusts and private foundations. For more details, please download the AIFC Guide available on the official website.

  • E-residence registration is available here.

  • The AIFC Expat Center will assist with corporate registration, visa applications, and legalization. All processes are transparent and well-structured.


Kazakhstan's largest Special Economic Zone (SEZ) includes the city's new business district and Industrial Park. Its mission is to create sophisticated infrastructure, unique socio-cultural projects, develop and integrate high-tech production projects, and manufacture innovative products.


Opportunities and benefits



SEZ Park of Innovative Technologies is a professional environment to develop and integrate Industry 4.0 tech.


It focuses on information and communications technology, telecommunications, electronics engineering, renewable energy sources, resource conservation, natural resource management, materials design and management, as well as oil and gas production, transportation, and refining.


The park's main advantage is its access to highly qualified professionals.


Opportunities and benefits

  • The park attracts investment, integrates technology into the regional economy, and develops infrastructure.

  • You can apply for registration on the Park's website.


SEZ "Seaport Aktau" is a seaport special economic zone.


It focuses on creating a favorable investment climate and raising funds for export projects, sophisticated production facilities, and high-tech for import substitution. This will add new jobs and train local workers.


Opportunities and benefits

  • Participants are exempt from corporate income tax, land tax, property tax, import Value-Added Tax (VAT), import customs duties, and land rent.

  • The SEZ provides a special customs regime, allowing participants to receive goods for their own use without incurring customs duties, taxes, or other regulatory fees.

  • You can apply for participation here or email to info@sez.kz



This Special Economic Zone (SEZ) focuses on textile manufacturing, promoting the growth of the cotton-processing, textile, and garment industries in Kazakhstan.


Opportunities and benefits


  • Residents of SEZs are exempt from corporate income tax, land tax, property tax, value-added tax, and customs duties for imported goods.

  • It also provides a streamlined process for hiring foreign workers, as well as a free 10-year land lease.

  • You can apply for residence on QazIndustry, a website hosted by Kazakhstan's Industry and Export Center.



SEZ focuses on investing in projects that will create global petrochemical production facilities.


Opportunities and benefits

  • SEZ residents are exempt from CIT, VAT for suppliers, land tax, property tax, and land use fees. Additionally, SEZ offers a simplified process for hiring foreign workers.

  • You can apply for residence here.

For more details about all Kazakhstan's SEZs, go to QazIndustry, a Kazakhstan's Industry and Export Center. The website offers a simple online application procedure for any SEZ of choice.


Uzbekistan


According to the State Statistics Committee, Uzbekistan operates 20 SEZs, 116 SIZs directorates, 12 technoparks and 440 clusters.


This extraterritorial technopark is designed to provide the best conditions for research and development of high-tech products and services, as well as cybersecurity.


Opportunities and benefits

  • Income tax is 7.5%

  • Residents are exempt from sales tax, social tax, customs duties, VAT, and corporate income tax.

  • Apply for residency online here.


Software and IT technopark and IT accelerator.


Opportunities and benefits

  • The residents of the IT Park benefit from a 7.5% income tax rate. Additionally, they are exempt from corporate, social, and customs taxes.

  • Along with tax benefits, IT Park offers training for aspiring entrepreneurs, IT courses, job-seeking advice, and IT visa and relocation support to foreign residents.

  • Eligible residents of the IT Park are legal entities registered in Uzbekistan, who will be exempt from tax and receive additional benefits.

  • You can apply for residency here.


Uzbekistan's SEZs -- Official List

Opportunities and benefits


  • Residents of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are exempt from land tax, income tax, corporate property tax, social infrastructure tax, and customs duties. Depending on investments, including those made in US dollars, SEZs offer benefits for three to ten years.

  • You can apply for residency on the unified information portal of special economic zones. Please email your requests to info@mift.uz or mift@exat.uz .


Armenia


Armenia has four special economic zones in operation.

  • FEZ "Alliance"

  • SEZ "Meridian"

  • SEZ "Megri"

  • SEZ "ECOS"


Alliance focuses on alternative energy, electronics, precision engineering, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and industrial design, as well as telecommunications.


Eligible residents include corporations, solopreneurs, business units, and the representative offices of foreign organizations registered in Armenia and conducting business within the FEZ.


Opportunities and benefits


  • FEZ residents are exempt from all taxes, except for a 23% employee income tax. Alliance residents, meanwhile, are exempt from all currency restrictions, allowing them to repatriate investment capital, profits, and dividends.

  • According to the government procedure, the FEZ applicant must: file a brief company description to the FEZ operator, enter into a preliminary agreement of intent with the FEZ operator, prepare a business plan, file a written application to the authorized body of the Government — the Ministry of Economy


Armenia is the only member of the Eurasian Economic Union to host a Special Economic Zone focused on watches, diamonds, and jewelry.

Opportunities and benefits

  • Firms will be exempt from duties, Value-Added Tax (VAT), income tax, corporate income tax, and property tax. The jewelry sector is the Special Economic Zone's (SEZ) industrial focus and strategy. The SEZ offers free repatriation of capital, income, and dividends and allows residents to use any foreign currency.

  • Strategically located close to Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, the SEZ will help streamline business logistics. It has also entered into free trade agreements with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Please visit the YB Case website for the list of registration documents.

The Free Economic Zone (FEZ) was created to attract companies in the agricultural, trade, transport, processing, and travel sectors, both owned by non-residents and residents.


Since 2017, the FEZ has secured investments to fund its basic infrastructure. It is currently running as a business pilot, and is expected to gain momentum in the coming year.


SEZ "ECOS"

ECOS is a free economic zone designed to support IT companies and crypto technology. It seeks to facilitate tech projects, fund research bases and laboratories, and attract venture capital.


Opportunities and benefits

  • Each legal entity registered in the SEZ is exempt from most government charges and fees, other than a 23% income tax.

  • Sales tax and customs duties are also waived for SEZ residents. Furthermore, no property tax is charged for civic and industrial real estate. ECOS also allows sales transactions in hard currency within the SEZ.

  • The SEZ's official website was unavailable at the time of writing. To find out which documents are required for registration, contact their agents

Kyrgyzstan


The park was created to promote the worldwide expansion and sustainability of the nation's IT infrastructure.


Opportunities and benefits

  • The Park is a special tax zone for high-tech and IT industries, exempting companies from income tax, sales tax, and VAT. Residents of the Park pay a low 5% income tax and social charges totaling 12% of the country's average monthly salary.

  • Eligible applicants include software developers, IT exporters, or interactive service providers. To qualify, residents must generate at least 80% of their revenue from their service exports. Additionally, each resident must pay 1% of their revenue to the High Technology Park.

  • You can apply for residency online on the Park's website.


The Kyrgyz Republic has five officially registered Free Economic Zones (FEZs), of which only FEZ Bishkek is currently operational.

This industry-focused FEZ facilitates the manufacture of consumer packaged goods, food, and building materials.


Opportunities and benefits

  • Residents are exempt from sales tax, land tax, property tax, and income tax. No customs duties are charged on raw materials and goods imported to Special Economic Zones (SEZs) from the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Kyrgyzstan. Residents enjoy free access to the EEU markets. Goods exported from SEZs are subject to a fee of 0.25% of their customs value.

  • Residency guide


Azerbaijan


High Technologies Park of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences

The High Technologies Park provides infrastructure, facilities, and resources, as well as management bodies, to create innovative and high-tech products and conduct research and development.


The Park offers its residents customs and tax benefits (the full list is available in Azerbaijani).


Contact information for application is available on the official website.


Established in 2018, Alat FEZ is committed to creating a beneficial investment environment and promoting value-added and export-oriented production based on best practices.

Currently, the FEZ is developing its infrastructure framework.


Georgia


Georgia has four special economic zones governed by the Free Industrial Zone Law (FIZ).


All four FIZs offer businesses attractive benefits.

  • no corporate tax

  • virtual office services

  • no minimum capital/investment requirements

  • 100% foreign ownership

  • 100% repatriation of profit

  • remote registration services

  • low electricity costs


Registering your company in Georgia comes with many benefits. Additionally, each free industrial zone has its own business preferences.


Free zone Hualing Kutaisi

Georgia's Hualing Free Economic Zone is unique in that it offers industrial and office premises, as well as office buildings, for rent. These premises have been renovated and equipped with communication systems.


Poti Free Zone

Poti FEZ is strategically located near the seaport.


Tbilisi Free Zone

This free zone focuses on business registration in Georgia. Its convenient location provides direct access to highly qualified personnel and well-developed road infrastructure.

Kutaisi Free Zone

This FIZ focuses on technology, sales, service provision, light industry, logistics, and warehousing. The holding company offers flexible lease deals on a case by case basis.

You can contact agencies to learn more and get registration advice and support. Visit Georgia Wealth website for more details.

Great Potential to Grow and Scale a Tech Business

The IT and high-tech industry is rapidly growing in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Their governments are supporting IT-focused businesses and projects, and their knowledge-intensive and high-tech industries are emergent, with open domestic markets for new players.

Low competition can be a key benefit for startups and businesses planning to scale and grow in these markets. Our review indicates that these countries are willing to support such businesses and projects.


Do you want to promote your business in Asia or abroad? Send us email to welcome@itcomms.io


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