If you are thinking of starting business in Russia, avoid the big cities! That is the conclusion the new study by Forbes magazine.
The researchers ranked Russia's most business-friendly cities – and turns out Moscow and St. Petersburg are nowhere close to the top, taking 27th and 29th respectively.
Strange as it may seem, the host city of the 2014 Olympic Games, Sochi, was named the best option for businessmen willing to conquer Russia. Ufa and Chelyabinsk (in the Urals) ranked second and third. The top 10 business-friendly cities are rounded out by Tyumen, Nizhny Novgorod, Makhachkala, Kazan, Ulan-Ude, Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don.
“I think it's important that we brought down business policies to municipal levels,” Elena Murzina, Economy Minister of Chelyabinsk told RT. “Our main aims were reducing red tape and helping small businesses financially. We used to hold competitions for getting financial support, but now we do the opposite – we compensate some of the expenses that businessmen incur, for example, when they take loans. We also support businesses started by women. If a certain entrepreneur faces problems, we tend to work them all on an individual level.”
In 2010, the top three was totally different, featuring Krasnodar (southern Russia), Khabarovsk (Far East), and Ekaterinburg (Urals).
The rating is based on such criteria as labor market, financial resources, infrastructure, red tape, taxes and density of population.
The success of Sochi, the analysts say, is generally due to the wide availability of financial resources in the city – mostly due to the forthcoming 2014 Winter Olympics.