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We are living in times when cities are not only there  to ensure economic and capital investment growth. The creation of an environment which would improve living standards and outcomes for the planet is also of vital importance for local governments now.  

At first glance, there are enough support measures affecting cities’ investment capacity. However, a broader view shows that investment is apparently attracted by the areas with higher living standards and development strategies meeting global trends.

Moscow is a city that carries out various quality of life projects and programmes. The city implements new digital solutions that improve citizens’ living standards and make governance and service delivery efficient, namely, the Unified Medical Information and Analytical System, Moscow Online School, accessible school or kindergarten enrolment and others. Moscow also increases citizens’ life expectancy through the Moscow Longevity initiative (a project for leisure and sports for people over 50).

Taking global trends into account, Moscow joined the OECD Project “A Territorial Approach to the Sustainable Development Goals” in 2019, which allowed it to assess the development of the capital in relation to international standards and UN principles, as well as to compare Moscow to foreign cities and present its achievements on the global stage. 

Public programmes and projects of the city ensure the achievement of almost all Sustainable Development Goals, OECD experts confirmed in a report launched on December 1, 2021.

According to international research, Moscow is in the top 5% of OECD regions for achieving SDGs 4, 8 and 9 (“Quality Education”, “Industrialisation, Innovation and Infrastructure” and “Decent Work and Economic Growth”).

Let’s compare Moscow’s achievements with the results of such world megacities as London, New York, Mexico City and São Paulo.

Moscow achieved a value of 74.8% by the indicator “The percentage of the 25-64-year-old population with tertiary education” (SDG 4), while the score was 54% in New York and 20% in São Paulo (2017).

Notably, the Russian capital has the lowest value among the compared regions by the indicator “Unemployment rate” (SDG 8) – 1.2%, with 5.3%, 4.8%, 5.5% in London, New York and São Paulo respectively (2018).

In terms of the indicator “Patent applications per one million people” (SDG 9), Moscow is also ahead of all compared cities with 437 applications. To make it clear, the values are 393.13, 2.2 and 7.0 in New York, Mexico City and São Paulo respectively. All the data is taken from OECD (2017). 

Overall, Moscow reached the OECD value in seven out of 16 SDGs (SDG 14 “Life below water” is not assessed in Moscow). London, for its part, achieved eight out of 17 according to the OECD. Yet it should be noted that Moscow leaves behind London and many other cities concerning the indicator “Gender gap in employment rate” (SDG 5) with a score of 9.9 (26 in London). 

Besides the significant competitive advantages of Moscow such as human resources, sustainable infrastructure, quality education and dynamic economic growth, OECD experts highlight its achievements in innovation and digital technologies.

Hence Moscow was ranked third in the Global Rankings of Cities on Coronavirus 2021 by StartupBlink. Furthermore, the city’s results in SDGs and digitalisation were valued by the World Council on City Data: within the Smart Cities Forum, Moscow was awarded ISO certificates ISO Sustainable Cities and Communities – Indicators of Urban Services and Quality of Life and ISO Sustainable Cities and Communities – Indicators for Smart Cities.

All measures are implemented in conjunction with investor support and business climate development. The following projects are being carried out: “Industrial quarters”, which implies complex development of ineffectively used city areas, turning them into almost 2000 hectares of green spaces, modern manufactories, science parks, residential and recreation areas and providing about 500,000 new jobs across 130 projects in progress; and “Encouraging workplace creation”, which motivates developers to create jobs in residential areas outside downtown and the city.

In addition, there is the successful SEZ “Technopolis Moscow”, where more than 295 businesses engaged in microelectronics and optics, industrial automation, energy efficiency, nanotechnologies, medical technologies and biopharmaceutics are located.

Not to mention that the investment portal of Moscow is being constantly developed in order to provide up-to-date information, including the SDG agenda, a user-friendly search for available subsidies, benefits or grants and the ability to ask a question or to report a problem (

This all confirms that Moscow provides an enabling environment for attracting private investments and participating in global competition for FDIs, which in turn will be directed to the city’s further sustainable economic growth.

This content is sponsored and created by Invest Moscow and hosted by and does not involve fDi's journalists.

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
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