National Rating Agency has presented the third annual remote rating of investment attractiveness of Russian regions. The rating is based on NRA's own methodology. The purpose of the project is to identify the most attractive Russian regions in terms of the implementation of investment projects.
2015 has become the second year of reduction of investment attractiveness of Russian regions. Throughout the year, the average value of the investment attractiveness index has been declining along with the fall of the key social and economic indicators used in the rating. Of the 80 regions of the Russian Federation included in the 2015 rating, 19 regions have worsened their position in the rating, 10 regions – improved, rating positions of remaining 51 regions remained unchanged.
The most resistant to the economic crisis turned out to be metropolitan regions (Moscow and St. Petersburg have been included in the IC1 Group and remained leaders of the rating), as well as industrialized regions with significant investment potential and experience in attracting private investments – in particular, the Republic of Tatarstan, Moscow, Belgorod, Leningrad, and Samara Oblasts, Krasnodar Krai.
The most significant factor in the economic development of resource regions remains the dynamics of prices for raw materials, mainly oil. Low global prices for energy sources lead to curtailment and 'freezing' of investment projects of large oil and gas companies, which is already reflected in the rating assessments of a number of 'raw' regions. In particular, in 2015 Tomsk Oblast worsened its position in the rating, having moved from the IC3 Group (high investment attractiveness – the third level) to the IC5 Group (average investment attractiveness – the first level).
In general, low industry diversification has a negative impact on the investment attractiveness of regions and reduces their resistance to the crisis. Regions that are highly dependent on the state of the leading industry showed a negative trend in the rating – in particular, it refers to Amur, Vologda, Chelyabinsk and Kemerovo Oblasts.
Among the factors that had a negative impact on rating positions of some regions are also increased social and political risks. The most significant impact of these risks experienced the Komi Republic: on the background of the large-scale corruption scandal, the region has shifted from the IC3 Group (high investment attractiveness – the third level) to the IC5 Group (average investment attractiveness – the second level).
The weak positions in the rating still have a number of depressed and underdeveloped regions of the North Caucasus, South and Siberia, which develop through government investments and transfers from the federal budget. The possibilities of federal funding of these regions are reducing, while attraction of private investments in these regions so far failed.
In 2015, in the remote rating of investment attractiveness of Russian regions were included 80 out of 85 federal subjects of the Russian Federation. Indicators of Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs were accounted when determining the rating of Tyumen Oblast; indicators of Nenets Autonomous Okrug were included in the assessment of Arkhangelsk Oblast. Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol were not assessed due to lack of sufficient number of comparable statistics.
In order to make the rating, NRA used statistics, expert assessments and the results of surveys of entrepreneurs. In total, the rating methodology included 54 indicators, over half of which were estimated on the basis of operational data for the first 10 months of 2015 (January-October), and the rest – on the basis of the final adjusted data for 2014.