Ufa - capital of Bashkortostan Republic In the 18th century Ufa evolved into an administrative, trading, manufacturing and cultural center of Russia. Ufa Municipal Public Bank was established on December 15, 1876. On June 14, 1922, the Decree of the All -Union Central Executive Committee abolished Ufimskaya Guberniya (Ufa Province), and Ufa became the capital of the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. The discovery of oil in Bashkiriya made Ufa one of the centers of the USSR oil extracting and oil refining industries. The city stretches 50 kilometers from the southwest to the northeast and occupies over 710 square kilometers. Ufa's population exceeds 1 million people representing over a hundred nationalities and ethnic groups. The bulk of the population is composed of Bashkirs, Russians, Tatars, Chuvash, and Maris. Ufa believers profess mostly Islam and Christianity. The city numbers over 1,000 streets totaling about 1,000 kilometers, 22 bridges and overpasses, and 6 river ferries. Ufa is the largest river port in the Urals. Vessels sailing down the Belaya, the Kama and the Volga deliver cargoes to the remotest places of the country. Branch-lines of the Kuibyshevskaya Railway connect Ufa with all major Russian cities. Ufa Airport has International and a Domestic Terminals with a total capacity of 800 passengers an hour. It is in Ufa where the residence of the President of the Republic of Bashkortostan is located, and the republican executive bodies are concentrated. Over 40% of Bashkortostan's total manufacturing potential is concentrated in Ufa. The principal industries are fuel production, chemical and petrochemical branches, engineering and metal machining. One hundred and eighty-six manufacturing companies are located in the city. The largest of these are three oil refineries, Ufaorgsintez, Engine-building and Instrument-building Associations, Immunopreparat and others. Joint-venture companies with foreign firms have been established and representation offices of foreign firms have been opened. The inhabitants of the capital are provided with foodstuffs by two meat-packaging factories, seven bakeries, flourmills, dairy plants, a confectionary, a macaroni plant, a tea-packaging factory, and Bashkir Cold Storage Kombinat. "Alekseyevski" State Farm is one of the largest agribusiness companies in Russia located near the city, it delivers fresh vegetables and fruit to customers in the capital throughout the year. As for foreign trade volume, Ufa City continues occupying the leading positions in the republic. In 2007 foreign trade turnover of Ufa's enterprises has totaled USD 1.5 bln. including export of more than USD 1.1 bln. and import totaling USD 346.2 mln. The number of the city's trade partners is equal to 78 countries with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China, India etc. among them. Ufa is a donor of the republic's and federal budgets. About 62.8 % of tax revenues accumulated on the territory of Ufa City municipal district of Bashkortostan Republic are directed to the federal budget and 29 % to the republic's budget. Investment attractiveness of the republic and its capital and their economic upturn are proved by appraisals of international rating agencies. The republic is in top 3 as for its minimum economic exposure and investment legislation environment. Over a period of 2004-2007 the rating doubled twice. As of today the international credit rating is "?+/Positive". The national scale rating has been raised from «RuA-» up to «RuA+». Ufa city municipal district administration places emphasis on the development of foreign economic relations, attraction of foreign capital, and implementation of large investment projects. Ufa City Administration actively co-operates with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on modernization of city economy and introduction of energy saving technologies. In 2006, the EBRD provided a 360 million rouble 10-year loan to the municipal housing utility "UJH" to modernize its district heating system in order to cut what had been chronic heavy losses of energy, heat and water. In 2007 a loan agreement was signed between MUP UfaVodokanal and the EBRD. The 500 million rouble loan will significantly help decrease the level of untreated sewage discharged into two tributaries flowing into the Volga River and thus cut Caspian basin pollution levels. At present, construction is dynamically developing in Ufa. Moreover, not only housing construction is being carried out, but also construction of educational and health care institutions, and transport works. In 2007 the city witnessed commissioning of many social, cultural and other anniversary facilities dedicated to 450th jubilee of Bashkiria voluntary joining the Russian State. Housing construction plays an important role in municipal economic, social and demographic policy. Thus, in 2007 owing to all sources of financial support, totally 612 thousand square meters of residential buildings were constructed and commissioned in Ufa. It is by 17 % more as compared to the same period of the last year. As for 2008, it is planned to construct and commission 670 thousand square meters in Ufa. Medical services to the city's population are rendered by cardiology, burn, laser surgery and reconstructive and plastic gynecology, neurosurgery and orthopedic centers; psychiatric hospital, maternity homes, tuberculosis, oncological and therapeutic physical training clinics. There are 58 therapeutic institutions including 16 hospitals, and 37 out-patient institutions. There are 217 preschool educational institutions, 170 general education schools, 23 public specialized secondary educational institutions, 21 public institutions of higher education, 6 private institutions of higher education and 18 vocational schools. The city numbers 11 national Sunday schools attended by over one thousand students. 150,000 students are enrolled in the city's universities, institutes and colleges. Ten scientific institutes have been created under the Ufa Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as the Botanical Gardens, the Museum of Archeology and Ethnography which comprises a unique collection of verbal poetic and musical folk lore, exhibits in archeology, ethnography and anthropology. The capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan is closely associated with brilliant figures of culture - writer S.T. Aksakov, singer Fyodor Chaliapin, numerous scientists, publicists, actors, playwrights and writers. Today's Ufa harbors more than a hundred writers and poets, members of various creative and artistic unions of Russia and Bashkortostan, who live and work here. It is into many languages that the best works by Mustai Karim, the Honoured Citizen of Ufa, People's Poet of the Republic of Bashkortostan, have been translated. Seven creative artistic unions (of composers, writers, journalists, theatrical workers, architects, painters and photographers) are active in the city. The capital also boasts six theatres, Bashkir State Philharmonic Society, Bashkir State Puppet Theatre, museums, culture centers and clubs, a circus, ballet and choreography studios, cinemas, a planetarium, two centralized library networks, children's music and arts schools. Ufa is justly proud of the National Library named after Akhmet-Zaki Validi which houses about 2 million volumes in various languages, 200 manuscripts of the 15th and 16th centuries, editions of Russian classical writers printed during their lifetime. Ethnic culture festivals and recitals of Turkic, Slavonic and other nations are staged in the Republic's capital. The 1st World Kurultai (Congress) of Bashkirs, Tatars' Congresses, Sobor (Assembly) of Russians, and Kanash of Chuvashes have become the events of a global significance. The capital of Bashkortostan coached Olympic champions in various sports events. Among them are ice hockey, swimming, and speedway champions. The Palace of Sports and newly constructed "Ufa-Arena" multi-purpose sports facility which are the principal sports facility in Ufa host numerous international and domestic competitions. Residents of Ufa have about a thousand sports facilities at their disposal, including Tennis Palace, 6 stadiums, 13 closed-door swimming pools, a closed-door horse riding school, a shooting center, 254 gyms, mountain ski routes, biathlon and ski jumping facilities. "Akbuzat" Republican Race Course was opened on July 19, 1982, which is the center of horse breeding and equestrian sport in the Republic. In 2007 Ufa hosted celebrations dedicated to the 450th anniversary of Bashkiria voluntary joining the Russian State. According to the programme of preparation for and celebration of the anniversary, construction of "Ufa-Arena" multi-purpose sports facility for 8,407 places, the Congress Hall, as well as further renovation of "Akbuzat" Horse Racing Course, Ufa Railway Station, and "Ufa" International airport buildings were implemented. For further development of the capital of Bashkortostan Republic, the investment project ""Infrastructural maintenance of Ufa City Municipal District of Bashkortostan Republic's complex development" has been elaborated. The total volume of investments into the project will account for RUR 135 bln. Ufa City and the Government of the Republic will grant more than RUR 26 bln., while RUR 23 bln. will be provided from the Federal Investment Fund. The rest sum will be obtained from extra-budgetary resources. This project presupposes active participation of entrepreneurs in development of industrial production as well as construction of housing and business and shopping centers. Creation of new roads and building sites and development of engineering infrastructure will allow expanding business on a mutually beneficial basis.