The Moscow Times interviewed more than 50 mayors and governors for its Beyond Moscow series, asking many of them about what they saw as the reasons for investors to be interested in their respective cities or regions. Below is a selection of some of the answers.
Arkhangelsk Mayor Viktor Pavlenko
Arkhangelsk is the cultural, educational and engineering capital of the Russian north. We will develop housing, energy and infrastructure.
Arkhangelsk is a gateway to the Arctic. Arctic exploration offers a great potential for the city's development in terms of new jobs and investment.
Astrakhan former Mayor Sergei Bozhenov
The convenience of Astrakhan's geographical position. The Silk Road passed through Astrakhan, and today's transportation corridors through the city and the region — north to south and west to east — have deep historical roots.
There is a green light and a positive attitude on the behalf of the governor and myself to any investor — whether it is someone building a small stall, a drug store, a big business center or a factory producing iron or cement. Incentives offered to those doing business include tax breaks, low rents on land for industrial construction, and administration officials who provide advice and assistance to investors.
And in Astrakhan there are a lot of beautiful women. The mix of blood — Slavic and Asian — creates something special. No man could resist: you can admire, fall in love, get acquainted and, possibly, get married!
Grozny First Deputy Mayor Ismail Khusainov
Areas for investments have been analyzed, the capabilities of the city's infrastructure have been investigated, and a number of investment projects will be offered for implementation in Grozny.
Grozny is relying on the experience of cities such as Kazan, Istanbul and Ankara, where healthy investment climates have already been created, by meeting with top officials of those cities.
In a nutshell, vacant niches for the development of business are awaiting investors in Grozny. The absence of strong competition, a lack of red tape and local government support are key prerequisites for attracting investors and creating new production facilities and jobs.
Kazan Mayor Ilsur Metshin
Kazan is the leader among the country's 10 largest cities as far as business opportunities are concerned. Kazan tops the list, thanks to its cost-efficient procedures for establishing company and property registration.
We are located in the central part of Russia and a strategically important route from Moscow to the Far East — and from Western Europe to China — goes through Kazan. Besides, the city is situated on one of Russia's most important waterways — the Volga River and is near the confluence with its major tributary, the Kama River.
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Mayor Andrei Lobkin
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk has industrial potential with its large mineral reserves. In the short term, housing, food, energy, communication, trade, consumer services, the financial and credit system, and tourism will be further developed. The city has many opportunities for investment projects, including comprehensive development of suburbs, and projects related to gas. The administration of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is working to improve the city's infrastructure and reduce administrative business barriers.