Cluster approach to organization of special economic zones in Russia and Kazakhstan

Irina D. Turgel, Larisa G. Bozhko, Ekaterina G. Zinovyeva


The article aims to study the theoretical and empirical foundations of combining free economic zones with industrial clusters. The theoretical foundation is provided by the concept of a cumulative and circular process and the theory of ‘new economic geography’. The empirical part deals with the creation of cluster-type economic zones in Russia and Kazakhstan. The symbiosis of special economic zones (SEZs) and clusters is expected to enhance export potential and act as a powerful catalyst for national innovative development. Establishment of clusters within the framework of the existing SEZs can bring to these zones highly efficient projects for manufacturing export-oriented products. Methodologically, the research relies on systemic and structural-functional approaches, the logical method and the method of formalization as well as on the comparative and grouping methods applied to analyze SEZs. The study also provides a general overview of the SEZs and clusters operating in Russia and Kazakhstan and indicates their main types and characteristics. The practical significance of this research is that its findings can be used to devise recommendations for improving economic performance of both countries, attracting new technologies and investments and addressing social and economic problems of the regions.


economic regulation, special economic zones, cluster approach, industrial cluster, Kazakhstan, Russia

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