The significance of the Rostov region is influenced by its favorable geographic location. The abundance of natural resources, well-developed transport infrastructure, and high availability of human resources contributed to the development of the area as one of the largest centres of diversified industries, progressive agriculture, science and culture.
In terms of economic changes of recent years and output of goods and services, the Rostov Region takes one of the leading positions both in the Southern Federal District and Russia as a whole.
As for the size of the economy, the Rostov Region is one of 12 largest territorial entities.
The leading sector of Rostov economy is industry. The largest share in industrial production belongs to metallurgy and mechanical engineering. The Rostov region has the leading position in the country for the production of electric locomotives and steam boilers. More than half of all Russian grain harvesters are produced in the Rostov region. The heavy helicopter industry and steel pipe manufacturing industries are of paramount importance for the region’s economy.
The Industrial Production Index in January/November 2017 amounted to 109.4% compared to the one of 2016. Manufacturing enterprises (110.1 %) make for the higher growth rates and provide 80.0% of aggregate output of the produced production. As before, manufacturing industries keep exerting a great influence on the levels of production, notably mechanical engineering and the military-industrial complex.
The Rostov Region takes the leading position in production of combine harvesters; machines designed to harvest grain, oil, leguminous and cereal crops; equipment for nuclear facilities. Production of heavy main-line locomotives, steam boilers, heavy helicopter and steel pipe manufacturing industries are of paramount importance for the region’s economy.
The power system of the region has a total capacity of 6,000 megawatts and is the largest in the Southern Federal District. There are main types of power generation: nuclear, thermal, gas, water.
A significant contribution to the development of the production sector has been made by Taganrog Metallurgical Plant, PJSC; Combine Plant ''Rostselmash''; Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant; ''Rostvertol'', PJSC; a branch of
''AEM-Technologies, JSC'', ''Atommash'' in Volgodonsk, LLC ''Rostov electrometallurgy plant'', LLC; ''Novoshakhtinsk oil plant'', PC.
The Rostov region is the largest fuel and energy base of the European part of Russia. Its explored reserves of coal amount to 6.5 billion tons. Over ninety percent of its deposits of high-quality anthracite are in demand in the world market. The production potential of the region’s coal mines is about 10 million tons per year.
The Regional Law ''On industrial policy in the Rostov region'' (from 20.10.2015 № 418-ZS) has been passed. The document contains measures for industrial activity stimulation.
The Rostov Region is the biggest producer of enriched anthracite.
The Rostov region is one of the largest agricultural regions of Russia. Its share in the total area of the country’s farmland is 5%. Production of grain crops is of paramount importance. The main grain crops produced in the region are: spring barley, corn, millet, rice, buckwheat, peas, and soybeans. The leading industrial crop is sunflower. Grain harvests average 10 million tons per annum, sunflower harvests – up to one million tons, vegetables – more than 700 thousand tons. Horticulture and viticulture are also developed. Vineyards yield more than 15 thousand tons of grapes annually.
Livestock farms specialize in dairy, cattle, sheep, horse and poultry breeding. The fishing industry is an integral part of the agricultural sector. On average, about 350 thousand tons of meat (live weight), 1 million tons of milk and 2 billion eggs are produced.
The food and processing industry of the Rostov region rank first in quantity of produced goods (works and services). The industry has more than 200 large and medium-sized enterprises, and more than one thousand small businesses, which have about 40 thousand employees. Their overall contribution to the industry volume amounts to approximately 28%.
In the Russian Federation the Rostov region ranks:
• 2nd for grain harvest;
• 2nd for egg production;
• 4th for sunflower harvest;
• 5th for milk production;
• 5th for the production of field grown vegetables.
Every year the Rostov region increases the volume of exports of agricultural raw materials and food commodities. According to preliminary estimates, about 11 mln tons of cereal and oil crops were exported in 2016, including their derivative products. In addition, these companies are exporting vegetable oil, cereals, bread, flour, molasses and pastries. The geographical dispersion of export includes the CIS countries, the EU countries, Israel, and the Middle East.
The brands ''Zolotaya semechka'', ''Donskoy Yantar’'', ''Zateya'', ''Mayak'', ''Pudov'',''Beliy medved’'', ''Tavr'', ''Indolina'', ''Vepoz'', ''Azov confectionery factory'', ''Mishkino'', ''Molodets'', ''Utolina'', ''Semikarakorsk Cheese factory'' and others are widely known, not only in the Rostov region, but also abroad.
The transport infrastructure of the Rostov Region is represented by railway system and highways of federal importance, sea and river ports (5 ports), the international airport in Rostov-on-Don (Platov), the regional airport in Taganrog and is an integral part of the transcontinental transport corridor “North – South”. The region is crossed by the highway ''Don'', the railway line Moscow-Rostov-Caucasus, the shipping route along the river from the centre of Russia to the Black and the Mediterranean seas, and the air corridor St.Petersburg-Moscow-Caucasus.