MOSCOW, August 13 (RIA Novosti) — When it comes to investing in Crimea, infrastructure is the hungriest for money and projects. Both businessmen and authorities agree that there is so much to be done – from constructing new roads and ports, adding infrastructure for airports and train stations to allow for comfortable travel in the region, and building brand new or upgrading existing hotels to international standards.
The good news is that quite a few investors are showing their interest in public private partnership projects. Several companies from Russia, China, Turkey, Israel and Austria are looking into highway renovation in the region.
According to the acting head of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov, the region plans to present its most lucrative projects at the Sochi foreign investment fair in September and at the Beijing fair in October this year. One of the highlights is a 3-billion-dollar port construction project in the east Crimean city of Kerch. Also, three main traffic arteries will be renovated – the highways connecting Kerch, Simferopol and Sevastopol, alongside Simferopol and Dzhankoy, and the twisting highway along the Crimean southern coast from Alushta to Yalta.
As Kendrick White, managing partner at Marchmont Capital Partners, told Radio VR, the fact that the peninsula is badly lagging behind in terms of infrastructure development, also offers a lot of opportunities.
“During the last 20 years, I've seen huge investments across infrastructure in Russia, in roads, airports, train stations, hotels. I get the feeling that that was not the case in Ukraine and specifically in Crimea. I think it was underfunded, it was not properly developed as a global tourist destination. The tax incentives need to be established by the leadership of Crimea, they need to encourage infrastructure investment, they need to encourage the development of public private partnerships for road and other infrastructure development, and I think if they do that correctly it's going to attract a lot of investors” he claimed.
Chinese companies might become the first foreign investors in Crimea’s economy after the republic joined Russia in March this year. A Chinese construction firm and a private investment fund reportedly may be involved in the construction of a transport corridor to Crimea across the Kerch Strait. The project is aimed at building a 25-meter deep port south of the city of Yevpatoria on Crimea's western coast, including grain and freight terminals, as well as an airport, LNG terminal and shipyard.