13 February 2004
"Investing in Yaroslavl"
Yaroslavl Province may not have natural resources, but it has plenty of resources for potential investors. An Expert correspondent visited the province to find out what’s in it for the province and its inhabitants.
In Expert RA’s rating of the attractiveness of Russian regions to investors for 2002-2003, Yaroslavl Province moved to first place in terms of investment risk (minimal in Yaroslavl Province) and attractive investment legislation. Only because the overall investment potential here is not the greatest did Yaroslavl rank only 33rd.
That is to say, there is no oil in Yaroslavl Province, no metals and diamonds. There isn’t even much lumber. However, Yaroslavl residents see Yarpivo Beers, Balkan Star Tobacco, and the Saturn Engine Plant as their oil wells. This potential is what the province hopes to “mine.” “God gave our region few natural resources,” many locals say. “We’ve got nothing. Unfortunately.” But after a moment, they add: “Or fortunately. By the way, it’s a moot question…” Thus, the region is pursuing its own investment policy. This policy’s main feature is its flexibility and the variety of support given to investors.
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