Funds flow to Sochi ahead of Olympics

Sochi's Winter Olympics committee has signed $1 billion worth of contracts at the international investment forum in Sochi, with the city’s administration securing even more investment.

Billions of dollars continue to flow into Sochi as the city is hurrying to get ready for the 2014 Winter Olympics, with major business leaders promising funds – including Anatoly Ballo, Deputy Chairman of Vnesheconombank.

“Our total commitment to the development Olympic games projects will be not less than $2 billion.”

Russian Railways CEO, Vladimir Yakunin has more – “We consider the possibility to invest not less than 4 additional billion roubles.”

Sberbank CEO Herman Gref is also opening the purse strings for Sochi.

“According to our business plan, the total investment is about 40 billion roubles.”

There is a lot of money is being pumped into Sochi. As always with such huge sums of cash some of it is lost to frivolity and ads little permanent value. But the renovation of this beautiful old port promises and the planned modern extensions promise a lasting legacy.

The Sochi sea port is being extensively redesigned for the start of the games. A Yacht Marina, a 4 star hotel, shops and office buildings. Konstantin Sakharov, General Director of the Sochi Grand marina says it’s one of those projects the city will be capitalising on before and after the Olympics.

"The port will be ok. It’s not quite an Olympic site, its not a stadium its not a sports facility. This is a project for the future. That’s for sure – its for the cruising business, the marina business, that’s very nice. If we talk about that part, where the emerging valley is, and so forth, that’s a totally different story. I mean we have in Beijing, or Greece, in Athens, there are some stadiums which are not being properly used, and so forth. Lots of things have to be thought a little bit deeper, even at this particular stage."

Russia’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak called Sochi – the world’s largest construction site with 60 thousand builders expected to be busy next year.
300 hundred companies are already working on the projects.

But developers say, if it wasn't for the Olympics good roads, hotels and functional ports would have taken decades to be built. This raises concerns over how many other Russian cities could remain underdeveloped just because they never made it into the international spotlight.