Austrian companies grab the chance to invest in Sochi

Russia has been promoting business opportunities in its Krasnodar region at a conference in Vienna this week. During the event, the Austrian builder Strabag signed a $US 90 MLN contract to renovate the Adler Airport near Sochi.

Austria is second only to Germany as the European Union’s most active investor in the southern Russian territory of Krasnodar.

Hungry for investments, the 2014 Winter Olympics-holding Krasnodar region has signed over 100 agreements in Vienna.

A long history of business co-operation allowed Austria to boost investment by 15% last year to $US 4 billion. This year is likely to bring another $US 2.3 billion to the region's funds.

Krasnodar is not only reaping the fruit of many years' good business connections, but it's also expanding the possibilities for future co-operation.

“Everyone wants to participate in the Olympic projects. Currently, the most attractive sectors are refining and construction. The priorities have changed for the better,” says Krasnodar region governor, Aleksandr Tkachev.

Foreign investors jumped at the opportunity to take part in high-quality projects. New special economic zones and Sochi's Olympic constructions are top the list for attracting business.

Austria has hosted two Olympic Games and knows that infrastructure comes first. The highlight of Krasnodar presentation in Vienna became the announcement of the contract to renovate Adler International Airport near Sochi

That was awarded to Austrian builder Strabag, which is partly-owned by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

Austrian Minister of Economics and Labour, Martin Bartenstein, stressed that investments of this calibre develop business ties both directly and indirectly.

“Strabag made the highest offer. The order that it has won is for part of Sochi airport, a terminal worth $US 96 million. And that’s the start of what we hope for and expect from our businesses in this region,” Bartenstein said.

The new airport will be the welcome mat for new direct flights by Austrian airlines connecting Sochi and Vienna.