Number of Arctic Residents Grew Sevenfold

Photo: Shtrik Vadim/

Number of Arctic Residents Grew Sevenfold

The number of businesses applying for residential status in Russia’s Arctic Special Economic Zone keeps steadily growing. According to the Ministry for the Russian Far East and Arctic, more than 300 companies now enjoy the status and benefits associated therewith. These companies intend to invest into the Arctic more than USD 5.8 billion and create about 14,500 new jobs in the coming years.

A year ago, in January 2021, a total of 41 companies were registered as Russian Arctic economic residents with a planned investment pool of some USD 2.4 billion. This means that within a year, the number of Arctic-oriented businesses grew more than sevenfold, while investments more than doubled.

Most Arctic Zone residents are hosted by Murmansk Oblast, which leads among other Russian Arctic territorial entities with about a third of all Arctic projects being implemented under the Arctic benefit program introduced by the Federal Government (113 projects). It is followed by Arkhangelsk Oblast (98 projects), the Republic of Karelia (33 projects), the Yamal Nenets Autonomous District (26 projects), the Republic of Komi (15 projects), Krasnoyarsk Krai, the Chukotka Autonomous District, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), and the Nenets Autonomous District (10, 8, 7, and 2 projects respectively).

Tourism attracts the bulk of new investments: as many as 68 tourism-related projects have been recently launched in the Arctic. Among other leading industries are services (43 projects), transportation and logistics (39 projects), and construction and development (31 projects).

There have already been some tangible results, experts say. Under the mentioned benefit program, business has invested into the region’s economy as much as USD 250 million. A total of 23 projects are being implemented at the moment, with about 2,000 new jobs created. The Arctic benefit program launched in 2020 appears to be increasingly popular not only with big business, but also with SMEs focused on implementing small-scale but socially significant projects.

Arctic Today is a column by PORA CEO Alexander Stotskiy analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.
Alexander Stotskiy
20 January 2022
Arctic Today