Economy of SamaraSamara, from 1935 to 1991 Kuibyshev, is a major city situated on the Volga river in the southeastern part of European Russia It was founded in 1586 as a defense outpost, and later grew into a major grain- trading center for the Volga region.
Important manufactures include motor vehicles, railroad equipment, chemicals, and machinery. The city also has an aerospace industry producing the Soyuz space shuttle. Due to this industry the city was a closed city during the Cold War. It was the temporary capital of the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1943 when German troops threatened Moscow. The city is served by highways and railways, as well as international airlines, among them Lufthansa flying to and from Frankfurt.
The region of Samara (population 3.3 million) contains two of the most economically powerful cities in Russia, Samara City and Togliatti. The region is rich in natural resources, including oil and gas, raw materials for bricks and cement, and mining resources.
The most significant industrial sectors for the region include machine building, petrochemicals, metallurgy, fuel production, and food processing. The market for non-industrial products is also expanding rapidly. Most significantly, telecommunications, household appliances and electronics, computers and office equipment pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and food products have existing networks for distribution and are areas with potential for growth.
Machine building is the largest sector of Samara's economy. Russia's leading car manufacturer, Avtovaz, is located in the city of Togliatti. This region is home to Russia's leading aircraft, aircraft engine, and spaceship and satellite manufacturers, as well as being the key distribution center for crude oil in Russia, and the third largest petrochemical industry center in Russia.
The region's continuously improving economic performance and increasing foreign investment inflow. A number of foreign technical assistance projects help create opportunities for further investment. Special agencies of the regional administration provide potential investors with information and organizational support.
The leading importers to Samara are Germany, Italy and the United States. The leading imported products are machinery, food products and raw products for food processing, pharmaceuticals, and oil and petrochemical products. Machinery, metals, chemicals and petrochemicals dominate exports. The leading industries receiving foreign direct investment are food processing, machine building, and chemicals and petrochemicals. The most significant investors are the United States, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Among the most notable foreign investments in the Samara Region are Packard Electric Systems joint venture with Samara Cable Company for the production and supply of wiring harnesses to Avtovaz and Corning Inc. joint venture with Samara Cable Company to produce optical cable. In addition, General Motors, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Nestle, and Danone all have placed considerable investment in the region.