Since the end of Communism, Russia has moved from a centrally planned economy toward a more market-based system. Economic reforms in the 1990s privatized most industries, with notable exceptions in the energy, transportation, banking, and defense-related sectors. The country is one of the world’s leading producers of oil and natural gas and a top exporter of metals, such as steel and primary aluminum.
The most attractive sectors for foreign investment in Russia include wholesale and retail trade, finance and insurance, manufacturing, and mining. The 1991 Investment Code and 1999 Law on Foreign Investment (FZ-160) guarantee that foreign investors enjoy rights equal to those of Russian investors, although some industries have limits on foreign ownership. The Industrial Policy Law (No. 488-FZ) gives preference to Russian-made products in government procurement and major government-funded projects; however it also provides for special investment contracts, which grant preferential treatment to foreign companies that localize production of an item not currently made in Russia.
Russia has eighteen federal special economic zones (SEZs) and several regional projects. Federal Law # 116 FZ, issued on July 22, 2005, regulates Federal SEZs in Russia. Most of Russia’s SEZs are managed by the state-owned company “Special Economic Zone OSJC”, which was founded in 2006 to accumulate and implement the world's best practices in developing and managing SEZs and to promote foreign direct investment.