18:43 GMT09 April 2020
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    Despite Western sanctions over the 2014 reunification of Crimea with Russia, the peninsula’s economy has seen rapid growth both in terms of economic output as well as investments. This has left the republic with ambitious goals for its future development.

    Following a strong economic performance in 2017, the republic is eager to reach out to those interested in doing business. A large delegation from the Russia's Republic of Crimea attended the recent Russian Investment Forum in Sochi, where they shed some light on the region's success and ambitions.

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    According to the republic's Minister of Economic Development Natalia Chaban, prognoses indicate that Crimea experienced 10% growth in gross regional product during 2017, with investments also surging.

    "At the same time, we have very seriously increased investment, they were three times more than we planned. That is an increase of three times. Not percent, but three times," the minister told Sputnik.

    Andrey Nazarov, chairman of the board of the Yalta International Economic Forum Foundation, underscored Chaban's sentiment, saying that there is a rapidly growing interest among Western investors to "fill the gaps" in Crimea's economy, even before sanctions are lifted.

    "We have no doubts that in 20 years, Crimea will be a second Monaco," the chairman told Sputnik, later going on to say that "Businessmen in general, regardless of if they are Russian or European, people are very often very wise, pragmatic and therefore want to fill those niches which are currently free, ahead of time. Of course, in 20 years there will not be an opportunity like there is now. Therefore, many are willing to take risks, even during sanctions to act and invest in Crimea."

    READ MORE: 'It's Stupid to Be Afraid': Italian Politician on Yalta Economic Forum in Crimea
    One of the areas of the economy that Nazarov was keen to point out had seen considerable investment was in wine production. The peninsula's climate is ideal for vineyards, and has thus attracted the attention of Italian and French firms seeking to invest in production there.

    The fourth annual Yalta International Economic Forum is slated to take place later in April of this year. Several hundred participants from upwards of 60 countries are expected to attend, including from Western countries.

    investment, anti-Russian sanctions, Russian Investment Forum, Russia, Crimea
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