Some 37 major new investment projects worth 400 billion rubles ($13.4 billion) will be implemented in Russia's volatile North Caucasus Federal District in 2001, Presidential Envoy to the region Alexander Khloponin said on Wednesday.
"This is a sign that the state has established certain conditions to attract Russian investors [to the region] and I believe we will move forward," Khloponin said in an interview with the Izvestia daily.
"People believe today that we can work to create small- and medium-sized businesses," Khloponin added.
High unemployment coupled with low living standards are thought to be the main factors driving residents of the North Caucasus to join militant groups and the Russian government has cited investment in the region as a key solution to the regular terrorist attacks.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced in January 2010 the establishment of the North Caucasus Federal District and named Khloponin as deputy prime minister and presidential envoy.
The onetime Krasnoyarsk governor and former business executive, who has been charged with improving the economic and social situation in the region, has been described as a "crisis manager" for the district.
PYATIGORSK, January 19 (RIA Novosti)