Russia close-up: Tver region - strategically located between Russia's biggest cities

Russia’s Tver region is filled with contrasting landscapes. Thousands of kilometres of unspoilt countryside lie next to sleepy towns filled with historic monuments. This is the source of the Volga, one of the country’s largest rivers, and using the water

There are few big cities and many rural areas barely have any road system at all.

But get out onto the highways and you’ll see some of the busiest roads in Russia.

Tver is situated right in between Moscow and St Petersburg, the country’s two largest and richest cities.

And everyday thousands of lorries use Tver’s transit routes to get to them.

This central location still means that many young people leave the Tver region and go in search of the neighbouring bright lights but it’s also beginning to promise them a future at home.

Millions of tons of cargo travel down these roads every year and the region is expanding it’s infrastructure to cope with the load.

“Transport routes are vital for the future development of our region and we’re trying to involve as many companies as possible.  We would welcome the development of postal communications and back offices of big companies.  Real estate and communications are cheaper here and we provide the best conditions for companies that choose our region to do business in,” believes Valery Sidorenko, the region’s Economic Minister. 

And investors have been taking note.

In 2006 Russia’s leading online and mail order shopping companies moved their main supply depots to Tver. They now ship out more than one and a half million products each year.

If you’re shopping for your latest bestseller online, chances are it began it’s life at a warehouse like this one in Tver.  And it’s businesses like these which are heralding a bright future for the people of the region.

Since taking up his position, depot director Yevgeny Tikhomirov has seen sales rocket.

“I joined the company in 2006 in the beginning and it was the beginning of operations in Tver and since 2006. I see approximate growth two times, let’s say 80% something like that,” Yevgeny Tikhomirov says.

And as order numbers for mail order goods rises, so does the need for extra workers to supply them. 

“It’s great to have this opportunity.  I couldn’t find a job for half a year, then my neighbour told me there was a vacancy here and I passed the interview.  Now I’m very happy to be working here,” local resident Natalya Napolnikova says.

It’s a trend that seems set to continue.  Investment in the region is growing by nearly 30 per cent a year and officials estimate new businesses will create up to 5,000 job vacancies.  They hope it will mean that the goods keep heading out of Tver while the good people stay put.