The Novgorod Region is a unique region located in the Northwest of the Russian Federation and bordering the Pskov, Tver, Leningrad and Vologda Regions. The Region’s territory covers 54,500 square kilometers. As of 1 January 2021, the average annual population was 592,415 thousand people.
The geographical location between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, as well as the well-developed transport infrastructure, are significant advantages of the Region. The major federal railways and highways pass through the Region’s territory. It takes a few hours to get from Veliky Novgorod not only to major Russian megalopolises, but also to such foreign countries as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Belarus. And that is an access to ports, airports, and customs terminals. In 2018, M11 highway was opened. Furthermore, a major airport investment project for building an airport in Veliky Novgorod is planned to be implemented.
The Novgorod Region has a strongly-pronounced export-oriented foreign trade. Since ancient times, trade has been the main occupation of the Novgorodians. Starting from the XI century, Novgorodians have been vigorously selling their goods to foreigners: first to locals of Gotland Island on the Baltic Sea, then in the XII century Novgorodians established trade relations with Germans, especially with the city of Lübeck. Later, in the XIII century, several German cities, including Lübeck, formed the Hanseatic League, and trade with Novgorod intensified.
Legendary trade routes passed through our city, and in the main square of Novgorod deals were struck with member cities of the European Hanseatic League.
Currently, trade relations continue to make good headway. According to data for 2019, foreign trade turnover of the Novgorod Region amounted to USD 1,916.0242 million, of which USD 1,348.9188 million was accounted for by exports.
Trade transactions are conducted with partners from 111 countries. Novgorod Region’s top five foreign trade partners are China, Brazil, the United States, Finland, Sweden.
According to data for 2020, 352 participants of foreign economic activity were registered in the Region, of which 228 entities engaged in foreign economic activities carried out export operations. According to customs authorities for 2020, 184 small and medium business (hereinafter referred to as the SMBs) exported their products.
The Government of the Novgorod Region has a strong focus on the development of small and medium businesses as the most important efficiently developing sector of the regional economy, which greatly contributes to the successful achievement of socio-political and financial-economic targets. The strategy for the socio-economic development of the Novgorod Region until 2026, approved by Law No. 394-OZ dd. 04.04.2019 of the Novgorod Region, which assigns a special role to the implementation of the Novgorod Region’s export capacity, has been elaborated.
The Strategy outlines 4 vectors of the Region’s development. “The Region is an Industrial Center for Exports” has been highlighted as one of the key lines of development by 2025. The production of competitive, high-quality goods, striving to increase exports of Novgorod manufacturers’ products to foreign markets, a favourable geographical location between Russia’s largest economic zones, and implementation of a wide range of measures to build the export capacity of SMBs in the Novgorod Region will significantly increase the volume of Novgorod’s products exports by 2025.
To implement the measures outlined in the Strategy, the state program “Ensuring Economic Development of the Novgorod Region in 2019-2024” has been adopted, which provides for the implementation of measures of the regional part of the national project “International Cooperation and Export”. To that end, the sub-program “Development of Export Activities in the Novgorod Region” has been developed and is being successfully implemented.
The main objective outlined in this document is to increase the export capacity of the Region.
Targets to be met by 2024:
- Increasing exports of Novgorod’s non-resource products.
- Increasing exports of services such as transport, tourism, telecommunications, computer, information, construction, etc.
- Engaging new SMBs in export activities.
- Increasing the share of small and medium businesses exports in the Region’s total exports.
- Expanding the sectoral diversification of exports.
- Extending the list of importing countries for Novgorod products.
Currently, an increase in export activity among SMBs in foreign trade has been observed. Companies do not stand still and mainstream new developments in their activities, production, and master various methods and forms of international cooperation, thus emphasizing that they are full-fledged participants in foreign economic activity. Increasing exports from small and medium-sized companies is a significant resource for the development of the Novgorod Region.
The Region’s greatest export capacity is in such industries as: timber processing, chemicals, mechanical engineering, food industry, agriculture and tourism.
A special role in the development of export capacity is assigned to the Novgorod Export Support Center being a key export support tool in the Region.