Italian companies looking to do business in Crimea despite sanctions

The Black Sea coast in the Yalta region, Crimea.  © Sergey Malgavko
Undaunted by sanctions, investors from Italy have arrived to Crimea in search of 500 hectares of land to create an agro industrial park on the peninsula.

The businessmen are interested in building greenhouses and develop wine growing, livestock breeding and processing agricultural goods.

“We are here because Crimea really needs to be developed. The climate here is similar to what they have in Tunisia. That’s why we would like to grow here the same products we cultivate in Tunisia. We want to create a 500 hectare agro industrial park in Crimea,” said Francesco Lo Ludice, a member of the delegation after a meeting with Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Ruslan Balbek.

The investors want to attract dozens of Italian agricultural technology companies to work in the industrial park. Sanctions are not an obstacle as production will be sold in the Russian market.

“Trading with Russia from Crimea is way cheaper because you have neither customs clearance nor logistical hurdles to deal with,” Lo Ludice said.

The regional authorities assured the Italian businessmen would get the necessary support to get the best plot of land to start the project.

“The investors will have direct contact with the top Crimean officials to avoid red tape and feel comfortable,” said Balbek.

The Italians plan to visit local wineries and farms during their five-day stay as well as to sign a memorandum of cooperation with the Crimean government.