Kemerovskaya Oblast is located in West Siberia, and occupies an area of 95,700 square kilometers, which is 0.85 percent of Russia. Over 63 percent of the area is covered by forests, and 26.8 percent is covered by agricultural lands. The region borders with Novosibirsk in the west, Tomsk in the north, the Krasnoyarsk region in the east, and the Altai region in the south.
The oblast is partially covered by mountains (in the south and southeast), and forests and steppe (in the central part and northwest). The climate is continental. Winter is long, and summer is short. The main rivers (Tom, Chulym, and Inya) belong to the Ob river basin.
As of January 1, 2001, the region's population is 3 million. Kemerovskaya is the most urbanized oblast in Siberia: over 87 percent of the local population inhabits twenty cities. Kemerovo is the administrative center, with a population of over 530,000 residents. Another large city is Novokuznetsk, home to 580,000 people. Other large cities are Prokopievsk, Leninsk-Kuznetsky, Mezhdurechensk, and Kiselevsk, with over 100,000 people living in each of them. The average wage in the region is US$90.
Kemerovskaya oblast has two airports, located in the cities of Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk. Foreigners travelling to the region usually take a flight from Moscow to Novosibirsk, and then take a taxi to Kemerovo.
The total length of railway track in the region is 4,000 kilometers. The local railway system is connected with the Trans-Siberian Railroad. The total length of the water transportation route is 517 kilometers. A considerable part of the consumer goods and western products that come to the region arrive through Novosibirsk by truck.
The banking system of the Altai Krai is represented by such banks as Taidon (the largest bank in Siberia with ownership capital of 600 million rubles), KuzbassUgolBank (11 affiliates throughout the region, plan to establish affiliates in other regions of Russia, a key bank in the region), KuznetskBusinessBank, and KuzbassTransbank. Affiliates of banks headquartered outside of the region, such as the Savings Bank of Russia (Moscow), BashKreditBank (Bashkiria), SibAcademBank (Novosibirsk), and GUTA-Bank (Moscow), operate in Kemerovo.
Kemerovskaya oblast is the best discovered geological area in Siberia. Its natural resources are enormous. The region is famous for its Kuznetsk coal basin (Kuzbass), the largest in Russia. Coal resources are estimated to be 725 billion tons. Over 43 percent of coal deposits are found close to the surface (in a depth of 1.3 - 3.5 meters). Various types of coal have been discovered in the region. The most valuable type is coking coal, and 66.4 percent of the reserves of coking coal in Russia is located in the Kemerovo region. Kuzbass is also rich with iron and copper ores, polymetals, boxites and phosphorites. Deposits of iron ore are concentrated in mountainous areas, such as Gornaya Shoria and Kuznetsky Alatau. Iron ore deposits in Gornaya Shoria are estimated to be up to 2.2 billion tons, and in Kuznetsky Alatau - 68.1 million tons. The mountains of Kuzbass contain gold deposits.
Kemerovo is the largest industrial region in Siberia, and is one of the key regions in the Russian economy. Even though the region covers 0.85 percent of Russia's territory, it contributes 2.1 percent to the Russian economy. The region contributes over 44 percent of the rock coal, and 70 percent of the coking coal mined in Russia. In addition, over 13 percent of steel and cast-iron, 23 percent of rolled steel, 11 percent of aluminum and 17 percent of coke is produced in the region. In 2000, gross regional production was equivalent to 102 billion rubles (approximately US$4 billion).
Foreign investment is mainly targeted at trading, restaurant business, and maintenance of mining equipment. The largest investment project with foreign capital (US$2.8 million) in the region was to establish the InvestEnergo joint venture, based on the Zarechnaya coal mine. Producers and distributors of mining equipment, first of all British and German, are active in the region. Barlows Tractor Sibir company, distributor of Caterpillar equipment, has recently established an office in the city of Kemerovo, and service centers in Bachatsky and Mezhdurechensky districts of the region.
A lot of festivals, such as "Kuzbass theatrical", "Kuzbass palette", "Jazz at the Old fortress" are hold annually in Kemerovo