Based on its economic potential Kemerovo Oblast is a large territorial-production complex of the Russian Federation.
Its relatively small territory, a well developed road network and strong diversified economy make Kemerovo Oblast a key player in the economy of Siberia.
Around a third of West Siberia's main production assets are concentrated here.
Kemerovo Oblast is the country's biggest industrial region, the base for industrial development of both Siberia and Russia as a whole.
Kuzbass accounts for 56% of all coal produced in Russia, as well as 80% of all coking coal and even 100% of some of valuable high-ranked coking coals.
Furthermore, Kuzbass today represents: 13% of cast iron and steel, 23% of rolled steel, over 11% of aluminium, 19% of coke, 55% of ferrosilicon, over 10% of chemical fibre and yarn, 100% of drag conveyors and 14% of silk fabric.
Kemerovo Oblast exports 1200 industrial products in 80 countries around the world. Some of those products include: coal, coke, rolled metal, cast iron, aluminium, zinc, ferroalloys, slate, cement, glass, nitrogenous fertilizers, plastic, chemical fibre, synthetic resin, electrical products, heavy machinery, etc.
The Trans-Siberian Railway passes through the oblast in the north while the South Siberian Railway crosses it in the south.
The oblast has railway connections with all the other regions of the country.
Over 18% of Russia's rail shipments come from Kuzbass, 60% of which are coal.
In 2004 alone the Kuzbass department of the West Siberian Railway shipped over 208 million tonnes of goods.
Various airlines operating at Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk airports provide direct flights to cities in Russia and CIS.
Fuel and energy sector plays a major part in the development of the region's economy.
Coal mining and power industries together make up the backbone of the region's fuel and energy sector.
Kemerovo Oblast was established by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated 26 January 1843 titled "Concerning the establishment of Kemerovo Oblast within the RSFSR".
However development of the region's natural resources had begun much earlier, in the beginning of the 17th century with the foundation of Tomsk in 1604 and Kuznetsk in 1618.
In 1698 Peter the Great, having learned about the discovery of silver ore deposits near the river Kitat, ordered the Tomsk voivode to contribute with great zeal and diligence to prospecting and smelting works at the Kiya river tributaries.
Silver ore deposits of Salair, iron ore deposits in Mountain Shoriya and gold in Kuznetsk Alatau were discovered in a similar fashion.
Coal was first discovered in the region by Mikhailo Volkov in 1721.
Industrialization of the region began by the close of the 18th century.
Akinfiy Demidov, an industrialist from Ural, was the first to take interest in the development of the region's coal deposits.
Several years later Demidov's factories along with adjacent mineral deposits passed into the possession of the royal family.
From then on a part of Altai mountain district, Kuzbass was under the supervision of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancellery.