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Isn't this basically an attempt at Hong Kong/SEZ/Charter City type development. Not necessarily doomed to failure?

It's definitely not Hong Kong and not a charter city -- whatever they mean by "their own something something", it definitely doesn't imply any comparable levels of autonomy.

So yes, it's basically a SEZ, I suppose. It could as well work if the main problem was the tax burden -- which, unfortunately, it's not. Taxes didn't kill e.g. Magnitsky or make e.g. Chichvarkin lose his business and flee the country.

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