Geographical location. Lying in the south of Western Siberia, Novosibirsk Region borders on Altai Territory in the south, the Republic of Kazakhstan in the south-west, Omsk Region in the west, Tomsk Region in the north and Kemerovo Region in the east.
Federal district: Siberian
Administrative center: Novosibirsk (1.5 mln people), distance to Moscow – 3,191 km
Natural resources. Novosibirsk Region lies mainly on the West-Siberian plain, with the Salair range in the east. The Ob is the main river of the region, the major lakes are the Chany Lake (salt lake), the Ubinskoye Lake etc. The Ob Hydro Electric Power Station and Novosibirsk water-reserve are situated here. The soils are represented chiefly with leached chernozem. Forest steppes and steppes occupy most part of the region territory.
The region possesses the total of 523 deposits of various mineral resources, 83 of them are exploited at present.
People explored reserves of coal (Gorlovsky basin with quarries of high quality antracites, Zavyalovskoye deposit of Kuzbass with reserves of coking coal), refractory clays and peat. Oil and natural gas deposits have been discovered in the north-west of the region: Verkh-Tarskoye, Maloichskoye, Vostochno-Tarskoye, Tai-Dasskoye, Rakitinskoye, Vostochnoye, Vostochno-Mezhovskoye and Veselovskoye deposits (gas condensate field). The oil presented there is close in its quality to that of the Brent mark. The reserves of four discovered marble deposits exceed 8.5 mln. cubic meters.
One can mention considerable resources of subsurface fresh waters, thermal and mineral waters: over 0.5 mln. cubic meters of water is taken daily from 9.5 thous. wells functioning in the region.
The total area occupied with the forests makes around 4.5 mln ha. The total timber reserves of the main forest-forming tree species are estimated as much as 278.8 mln. cubic meters.
Primary economic activities. Novosibirsk Region has a unique economy pattern, atypical for Russia in general. Since the mid-2000s, 61% of the GRP has belonged to the service sector, 20-24% to the industrial sector (which is relatively low) and 6-9% to agriculture. At present, food industry is developing vigorously; machine-building is reviving, manufacturing 20% of machine-building output throughout Siberia. Electrical engineering (production of generators, turbines, massive electric steel-making furnaces), aircraft and instrument-making industries, production of machines and agricultural machines predominate in machine-building complex.
There are about 50 enterprises and organizations belonging to the military-industrial complex (MIC) in the region. Most of them are situated in Novosibirsk, entering the top 10 list of the largest MIC centres in Russia.
As for non-ferrous metallurgy, one can mention the prominent tin smelting plant, the only one in Russia (OJSC «Novosibirsk tin smelting plant»), gold refinery (gold smelting), factories manufacturing rare metals and nuclear fuel – “Novosibirsk chemical concentrates plant”.
Major branches of industry: machine-building and metalwork, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, chemical and timber industries, woodworking, light and food industries, manufacture of construction materials (cement). There are two functioning power plants in the region – Novosibirsk Hydro Electric Power Station and Barabinsk State District Electric Power Station.
Agriculture. According to the all-Russian agricultural census as of July, 1 2006 the total area of the cultivated land belonging to the farms of all the categories made 6.3 mln ha, or 36% of the total regional land, arable land – 3.3 mln ha, or 19%. The regional agricultural sector specializes mainly in growing of grains, potatoes and vegetables; meat-and-milk cattle breeding is highly developed together with poultry and bee-farming. Manufacture of flax-fiber plays a significant role as well.
Fuel and energy complex. Recently one could notice the increase in production facilities of the fuel and energy complex enterprises. Thus in 2007 the FEC regional growth rate was 150.6% as opposed to 105.9% of the industry in general. This tendency kept during the years 2009 and 2010. Much in this relation was done by the enterprises of oil industry (OJSC «NovosibirskNefteGaz») and coal mining (CJSC «SibAntracite»), which production facilities grew 172% and 118% correspondingly.
Foreign trade turnover of Novosibirsk Region amounted to 1033.9 mln USD during the period January-June 2011 gaining 112 mln USD (12,2%) in comparison with the same period of 2010. The GRP net balance decreased by 13.5% making the total of 30 mln USD.
In the first half of 2011, the sales turnover with the countries of far abroad increased by 19.6% and reduced by 11.2% with the countries of CIS totalling respectively 836.3 mln USD and 197.5 mln USD if compared to the first half of 2010. As a result, during the period January-June 2011, sales turnover with the countries of far abroad made 80.9%, that with the CIS states – 19.1% of the total sales turnover (75.9% and 24.1% respectively in the same period of 2010).
The region carried out foreign trade operations with the partners from 104 countries of the far and near abroad (from 95 countries during the period of January-June 2010). 79.4% of the foreign trade turnover monetary value fell on trade with China, the Ukraine, Iran, Germany, Bulgaria, the USA, Uzbekistan, Belgium, Kirgizia, Japan.
Transport infrastructure. Being the largest transport hub of the eastern part of Russia, Novosibirsk Region links Siberia, the Far East and Central Asia to the European regions of the country. Railroads, motorways, airlines and river routes are intercrossing here.
The railway referring to the Novosibirsk section of the West-Siberian railroad is over 1.5 thous. km. long. The total mileage of public motorways of regional and federal ownership is 14.8 thous. km, motorways with hard surface – 11.8 thous. km.
Tourism. Compared to other Siberian regions, Novosibirsk Region possesses relatively small area (178 thous.sq.km.), which is nevertheless larger than that of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland altogether. In fact it’s like a whole country with considerable tourist and recreation facilities. Nature is one of the key tourist advantages of Novosibirsk region, which diversity of views and landscapes is truly peculiar: prisons of the Salair range, Baraba plains and Kulunda steppes, taiga and light birch woods, dozens of rivers and huge lakes and of course the Ob Sea with its clear water. Three specially protected zones are located in the region – the «Kirzinsky» Federal sanctuary, natural monuments of regional significance «Kazantsevsky cape», «Sugun Peninsula», providing facilities for cognitive tourism.
Erected in the middle of the XXth century, the building of Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet theatre became the symbol of the city. In fact, it is the largest theatrical building in the country and the second in the world. The central part of Novosibirsk houses the chapel of the Saint Nikolay, erected in 1915 following the Novgorod-and-Pskov traditions in honor of the patron saint of the emperor Nikolay II.
Novosibirsk Zoo is the largest zoo of the Transurals, numbering about 400 species of various animals. It is the only zoo in the world to manage Altai Argali sheep and Putorana snow sheep.
30 km away to the south-east from Novosibirsk lies Akademgorodok, research centre which was built for purpose separately. Near Akademgorodok lies Historical-Architectural Museum, where one can see the specimens of culture of Siberian nationalities’ – starting from the petroglyphs and finishing with luxury manors. The structures that have been brought from other places are of great value – the Tent Church of the Savior from Zashiversk built in 1700, peasant houses, Buddhist temple dugan (cathedral church) from Buryatiya, the prison watchtowers and the wind mill.