The Vologda Region is located in the Eastern portion of North-West Russia with borders on the Republic of Karelia and the regions of Archangelsk, Kirov, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Tver, Novgorod and the city of St.Petersburg. It covers a territory of 145,700 square kilometers, which is 0.85 percent of the total area of the Russian Federation, and has a population of 1.33 million people (0.9 percent of Russia's population), 900,000 of whom are residents of industrial zones. The regional center is the city of Vologda founded in 1147 AD. It is one of the region's largest cities with a population of about 320,000 and a network of industrial enterprises. It serves as an important transport center in Northern Russia, connecting Central Russia with the Urals and Siberia. Vologda stands at the intersection of railroad and air routes and also has a river port, although closed in winter, which transports cargo to the Baltic, White and Caspian Seas. The city of Cherepovets with 325,000 residents is the region's major industrial center. It is one of Russia's iron and steel producing areas as well as a significant chemical production area.
The region's total land area is 14.45 million hectares. Forest resources occupy 11.2 million hectares which comprises 77.5 percent of the region. The total land area is 1.46 million hectares, including: cultivated land - 87 thousand hectares; and other agricultural land - 59 thousand hectares. Mineral deposits include: flux limestone - 300 million tons, and dolomitic limestone - 1 billion tons. Water resources are 87 billion cubic meters including flowing surface water of 35 billion square meters. There are over 4,200 lakes, 17 of which are sizeable with a total area exceeding half a million hectares. The region also has 2,000 rivers and other water reservoirs. Thirteen of the rivers are large, their combined length totaling more than 2,300 km.
Forests occupy a total area of 11.7 million hectares, which is 72 percent of the Vologda Region. The total potential timber stock is 1,517 million cubic meters of mature timber, including 318 million cubic meters of conifers.
Primarily, the region's agricultural sectors are livestock breeding and dairy farming. Agricultural land occupies 9 percent of the entire area; half of it is used for crops. The primary grain is winter rye. There are also large crop areas for barley, oats and spring wheat.
The Vologda region cooperates with firms from 99 countries. The Region's businesses export ferrous and non-ferrous metals 74.7 percent), chemical products (17.6 percent), timber and lumber (5.4 percent), industrial machinery (1.3 percent), fuel and gas products (0.29 percent), foodstuffs (0.07 percent), and other products (0.6 percent). In 1998, the bulk of Vologda exports were shipped to: the United States (26.7 percent), Switzerland (14.6 percent), Germany (5.6 percent), Turkey (5.1 percent), the NIS countries (4.3 percent), Iran (3.9 percent), the U.K. (3.1 percent), Mexico (3 percent), Finland (2.7 percent), Canada (2.6 percent), Malaysia (1.5 percent), Latvia (1.2 percent), Taiwan (1 percent), and China (0.4 percent).
The Vologda region cooperates with firms from many countries.
The leaders of foreign trade in the Region are Severstal and Ammophos. Other local companies with considerable foreign trade operations are: Cherepovets Steel Rolling Plant, Azot, Management of Gas Pipelines under construction, and Vologda Ball Bearing Plant.
The most widely used form of investment in the Region is establishing joint ventures or companies with foreign investments.
The surprising beauty of nature, abundance and variety of monuments, high saturation of the art, original culture of the population have found reflection in the poetic name of territory - the Reserved Russian North.