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Turkey to invest over $4 bln in South Russian region

ANKARA, August 7 (RIA Novosti) - Turkey plans to invest more than $4 billion in South Russia's Krasnodar Territory, where the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be held, the head of the Turkish-Russian Business Council said Tuesday.

Turut Gur said that by the end of the current year Turkish investment in the region will reach $1 billion.

In late 2006, the Krasnodar governor signed an agreement in Istanbul on a 770-million-euro ($1 bln) investment program comprising 330 projects.

A Krasnodar deputy governor said last month private investment in Sochi, a Russian resort city chosen to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, could exceed $20 billion.

"There are plans to establish over 3,000 investment sites, and European investors have already started showing great interest," Yevgeny Muravyev said. "Substantial investment will go into construction, with plans to build four cement plants to guarantee that cement demand in the region is met."

Maxim Perov, a senior official at the Russian Regional Development Ministry, said private investors would be more likely to invest in tourism, services, and infrastructure, ranging from restaurants and thoroughfares to telecommunications and transport.

Perov said even if the sea and mountain resort had lost the Olympic bid, it would have attracted investment anyway. "The International Olympic Committee's decision [in favor of Sochi] has acted as a catalyst, an incentive to develop the entire region," the official said.

Officials are currently considering establishing an interdepartmental agency to handle arrangements for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

An International Olympic Committee coordination commission will visit Russia August 27-28 to discuss a general plan for the preparation of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

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