44th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regions and Fiscal Federalism", 25th - 29th August 2004, Porto, Portugal
Not only transition countries but also a large number of developing (and developed) countries have established free economic zones (FEZs) with the aim of attracting for-eign capital by providing tax incentives, creating employment opportunities and pro-moting exports as well as regional development. Major theoretical justifications for the establishment of such economic zones generally maintain that there are economies of scale in the development of land and in the provision of common services and utilities as well as external economies of agglomeration by having similar industries grouped together. One of the main characteristics of FEZs is the provision of generous tax in-vestment promotion schemes solely allowed in this enclave. In general such measures include: (a) profit tax exemption, (b) free or accelerated depreciation, (c) investment tax allowance, (d) subsidy for investment costs, etc. The incentive effects of various tax con-cessions on firms’ investment decisions can be compared on the basis of the net present value model. Without taxation, the net present value (NPV) is equal to the present value of future gross return, discounted at an appropriate interest rate less investment cost. An in-vestment project is therefore considered to be profitable when the NPV is positive. After introducing the corporate income tax, the present value of the asset generated from an in-vestment amounts to the sum of the present value of net return (gross return less taxes) and the tax savings, led by, for example, an incentive depreciation provision. In this study the theoretical approach is accompanied by a model simulation based on selected parameters.