The St. Petersburg Times

Published: May 28, 2014

Kaluga region has been rated Russia’s best region for investment out of 21 regions evaluated by Kremlin-aligned think tank Agency for Strategic Initiatives, while the country’s economic centers, Moscow and St. Petersburg, trailed at number 17 and 20 respectively.

The pilot study, published on the agency’s website, gauged the investment climate in 21 of the Russia’s 83 federal districts, issuing ratings according to four sets of criteria — regulatory environment, institutions for business, infrastructure, and support for small and medium businesses — on a scale of 1 to 5. These ratings were then averaged out and regions were then assigned tiers from I to V, with V being the lowest on the scale.

Kaluga — a special economic zone that has a long-standing reputation for being friendly for investment — was the only region surveyed to score top marks in all four categories. Meanwhile, Moscow and St. Petersburg trailed the pack. Moscow, designated a tier IV region, placed 17 on the overall rankings. St. Petersburg — Peter the Great’s “window to the West” — fared even worse and was designated a tier V region, placing 20 overall, besting only Primorye region on the Pacific coast.