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12 Mar, 2008 03:42

Economic Minister fishes for investors in Cannes

The sunny French resort city of Cannes is where Russia plans to find investors willing to fork out more than $46 BLN on Russia's regions. Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina is leading the charge.

“There's a whole exhibition called Discover the Regions of Russia featuring projects from more than 20 regions worth some 30 BLN dollars. They're counting on this money. Another ten regions are holding separate shows worth billions of euros,” she said.

The Russian exhibition is this year's second largest behind the city of London featuring two-dozen large-scale projects in residential and commercial real estate.

Participants say Moscow and St. Petersburg have been the traditional destination for foreign real estate investors coming to Russia but now is the perfect time to expand beyond the two leading cities.

“Moscow has always been Russia's shop-front, and after ironing out problems here, we've understood how to do business. So we can now develop these types of projects in Russian regions that lack interesting developments,” believes Arthur Trofimov, Board Chairman of Eurasia City.

The head of the Khanty-Mansy Autonomous region Aleksandr Filipenko says there are some key attributes which investors must have.

“These are the people or companies that have the necessary resources and more important who have the experience in this type of large-scale projects. There's a great need for this type of investor,” he said.

But others including one of the country's largest property developers Renova Stroy Group say potential investors should be aware of thorny issues the regions are still working hard to resolve.

“Disadvantages are the specialists. Often we lack the labour force needed and competent specialists. The problem is more severe in the regions. Of course foreign investors often don’t understand this market, so we act as a guide for them,” explained he company’s head Viniamin Golubitsky.