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2 Sep, 2008 02:30

Vladivostok gets look over ahead of 2012 APEC Summit

Russia will host the Asia-Pacific cooperation summit in 2012. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has visited the far eastern city of Vladivostok to remind officials that the clock is ticking and it's time to start building.

APEC includes economic giants like China and the United States and accounts for about a half of the global economy. In 2007, the then president Vladimir Putin suggested hosting the summit in Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok and he's checking on the preparations and schedule.

“All works must be completed by 2011 and not in some kind of emergency fashion. I ask you to finally begin construction and follow the schedule.”

The APEC summit will be held on Russky Island – several kilometres off the port of Vladivostok. The summit will bring a much-needed boost to the whole far eastern region. A multi-billion dollar project includes construction and developing infrastructure and energy supplies. Its aim is to turn Vladivostok into a modern far eastern business centre

The plans include an international congress centre and a federal university.  A three-kilometre bridge – the most costly part of the project – will link the island to the mainland. Igor Shuvalov, First Vice-Prime Minister, says the project will transform the city.

“We have to focus on engineering and transport to create the necessary conditions for business. The development of the far eastern region will be the basis for developing the city of Vladivostok into a new metropolis.”
The government has pledged to spend more than 200 billion rubles – 4 billion dollars – in budget funding, but hopes to attract private investment as well. So far, most projects remain on paper. The government promises that this autumn those words will become actions.