From firearms to free trade

  • 1999-02-04
TALLINN (BNS) - Paldiski, a former closed Soviet military base, has followed Sillamae, another formerly off-limits area, in seeking a free trade zone status.

Anne Taklaja, Paldiski Town Council's chairwoman, said the town had filed a new request for free trade zone status to the government Jan. 22.

"Three years ago the laws didn't permit to set up a free zone," Taklaja said, recalling the reasons why Paldiski's first application was turned down.

Taklaja said the town wants the free trade zone to cover its entire administrative territory. A development plan approved by the residents in a public debate suggests promoting the town's development as a transport and logistics center, she explained.

Taklaja said the town's geographic location, along with its two ports and a main road, offered good conditions for establishment of a free trade zone. "An airport is situated 13 kilometers away, at Amari," she added.

The government, two weeks ago, approved a plan to set up a free trade zone at Sillamae, in northeast Estonia.

Paldiski, closed to the civilian population, was a base for Soviet nuclear submarines, comprising a training center for nuclear submarine personnel as well as a nuclear reactor.