Geographic position. Saint Petersburg is located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city is the second (following Moscow) large in the Russian Federation (1,439 sq km)
Per capita gross regional product (2007 estimate):US$ 9,710
Primary economic activities. Saint Petersburg is a major trade gateway, financial and industrial centre of Russia specialising in oil and gas trade, shipbuilding yards, aerospace industry, radio and electronics, software and computers; machine building, heavy machinery and transport, including tanks and other military equipment, mining, instrument manufacture, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy (production of aluminium alloys), chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, publishing and printing, food and catering, wholesale and retail, textile and apparel industries, and many other businesses.
Machine building and metalworking gives 42% of the production volume in the city, 34.3% of the tax returns and employs 56.4% of the industrial personnel. One of the main specific features of machine-building is the dominating high-tech production such as power machine-building industry, turbine engineering, radio and electronics industry, instrument-making industry, diesel engineering, printing machine-building industry, machine-tool building etc.
Shipbuilding.St. Petersburg remains the major Russian shipbuilding centre. Shipbuilding enterprises are constructing vessels of various types: nuclear icebreakers, tankers, refrigerator ships, boats of all types, including hydrofoil boats, racing yachts, cruise yachts etc.
Automotive and auto-parts industry is on the rise. World-known care manufactures have built there plants in Saint Petersburg.
Food industry provides 42.2% of tax returns and 32.8% of the production volume. Of all the industries it is the food industry that shows the most intensive development. Saint Petersburg is known as the "beer capital" of Russia, due to the supply and quality of local water, contributing over 30% of the domestic production of beer with its five large-scale breweries.
Textile industry (light industry) employs 6.2% of all industrial workers. The textile industry enterprises produce all sort of ready-made garments, textile products, draperies, footwear and other products.
Foreign trade turnover of St. Petersburg was 49.4 bln USD in 2008 (23.6 bln of export, 25.7 bln of import). Processing industry and utilities remain the most attractive sectors for foreign investors. Largest trade partners of St. Petersburg are the Netherlands, China, Germany, Italy, Finland, the USA. Largest exporters to St. Petersburg are China (19%), Germany (12%) and Finland (8,4% ).
Transport. St. Petersburg is the largest transport hub of Russia. It is a part of the important transport corridor linking Scandinavia to Russia and Eastern Europe. The city has all sorts of transport infrastructure such as motor roads, railroads, river and sea transport, airport, oil and gas pipelines. A complex system of riverports on both banks of the Neva river is interconnected with the system of seaports, thus making Saint Petersburg the main link between the Baltic Sea and the rest of Russia through the Volga-Baltic Waterway. Saint Petersburg is served by Pulkovo International Airport and by three smaller commercial and cargo airports in the suburbs.
Tourism. Saint Petersburg is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and related groups of monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is a home to The Hermitage, the largest art museum in the world. There are — 220 museums, 2000 libraries, more than 80 theaters, 100 concert organizations, 45 galleries, exhibition halls, 62 cinemas, 80 clubs and etc. About 100 cultural and art festivals are held every year, including more than 50 international ones. In May—June, the season of the white nights begins, that gives a peculiar charm to the city. Over its history St. Petersburg has been referenced as "the Venice of the North" and the "Northern Palmira" due to its numerous rivers and channels dressed in granite embankments.