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22 Sep, 2008 02:36

Sochi forum trumpets Russian business investment despite market woes

The Sochi international business forum held over the course of this weekend in Southern Russia saw the signing of deals worth more than 19 Billion dollars. Despite the volatility on global and Russian markets in recent weeks, investors are still keen to

Russian investors say the financial turmoil may have changed the forum's agenda but had no impact on investors' actions according to Andrey Donskikh, Chairman of Uralsib

“We are very satisfied with the results of the forum.  Especially taking into consideration nerviousness on the russian stock market. We managed to do all we wanted. Uralsib signed a large number of new investment deals and prolonged those signed in Sochi a year before.”

In the chase for investors Krasnodar region turned out to be more successful. The host of the seventh international business forum managed to attract 6 billion dollars of investment. Indeed Krasnodar's pearl – Sochi Olympics 2014 – makes the decision for many investors. But despite Kransnodar's dominant position, other regions also got their slice of the pie. Orenburg region, for example, signed one of the largest investment contracts, worth 600 million dollars, to build a cement plant with a German company.

Despite reportedly diminishing interest of foreign business in Russia, German, French and Italian business executives here in Sochi were keen to secure contracts on what they say is one of the most profitable markets.

Reiner Hartmann, Board Chairman of the Association of European Business Russia points out that few who come to work in Russia are eager to leave.

“Those who are already here, they feel the temperature somewhat different to those who are still outside the fence and want to come into the Russian market.  So those who are here, we have not any indication from one of our members that someone wants to wrap up the business and close up the shop. Not at all.”

One third of Sochi's total agreements were signed with foreign partners. And this suggests that despite current uneasiness on the Russian financial market, international investors will stick to their strategic long-term plans in Russia.