June 19th the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index 2015 was unveiled at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The Republic of Tatarstan became the leader, followed by Kaluga, Belgorod, Tambov and Ulyanovsk regions.
The Index 2015 covered 76 subjects of the Russian Federation — each of them was ranked, depending on how local entrepreneurs judged the efforts of the regional authorities to create favorable conditions for business and investment. The final ranking is based on 45 indicators, combined into 4 areas:
Rating Committee evaluated the investment climate in the regions by each of these areas, relying primarily on the surveys of entrepreneurs, but also taking into account selected statistical data. In the end, 76 subjects of the Russian Federation were divided into five groups — from leaders to those lagging behind.
In 2014, the pilot testing of the Index involved 21 regions — all of them, except three, were able to maintain or improve their positions. St. Petersburg was able to jump from the fifth to the second group, and the Krasnoyarsk Territory, on the contrary, left the leading group and moved into the second half of the rankings.
Many of the indicators, taken into account in the Index, are also being used by the World Bank to identify countries with the best conditions for business. Thus it becomes clear what best international practices should be considered as benchmarks. In New Zealand, for example, the registration of new businesses involves just one procedure and takes no more than one day. In Russia, even in the regions from the top of the Index, you would need to undergo 4 procedures, spending 8 days to register an enterprise. However, in other areas the lag behind the world leaders is either minimal or nonexistent. In one of the Russian regions obtaining a building permit is takes just 5 procedures — as in Hong Kong, which was ranked first by this indicator in the Doing Business rankings by World Bank. Based on the experience of leading Russian regions, the collection of best practices, which was put together after the pilot testing of the Index, will be updated.
The Agency for Strategic Initiatives is making the Regional Investment Climate Index in conjunction with leading business associations: the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, "Business Russia", "Support of Russia" and the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.