St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg City Guide

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Located on the Neva River at the easternmost part of the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg is the second-largest city in Russia and the third-largest city in Europe, with some 4.8 million inhabitants. Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, it was capital of Imperial Russia for nearly 200 years until Soviet times, when Moscow was re-established as the nation’s capital. The city has been nicknamed the Northern Capital and the Cultural Capital of Russia given its rich history and its status as one of the country’s main intellectual centers. The historic city center of St. Petersburg is a UNESCO World Heritage site. St. Petersburg covers a total area of 1,439 square kilometers with a population density of 3,300 people per square kilometer. Continue reading…

South Koreans to Energize 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi

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Nov. 4 – Russia and South Korea are teaming up to develop a tourism hub in the mountainous North Caucasus region and Korean investors have signed on to contribute US$1 billion towards the US$30 billion project.

The state-run OJSC Northern Caucasus Resorts Company (NCRC) signed a joint venture agreement with Korean Western Power Co. (KOWEPO) and CHT Korea within the framework of the 2nd Russia-Korea Dialog International Forum in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.

The joint venture will produce and provide energy in the Northern Caucasus. The first stage will see five coal-fired power plants built in energy-deficient regions, with one in Sochi’s Krasnodar region, host of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Continue reading…

Siemens to Become One of the Biggest Investor in Russian Economy

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Oct. 19 – German engineering and industrial giant Siemens AG will spend €1 billion (US$1.37 billion) on projects in Russia over the next three years, Peter Löscher, head of the board, said on Monday.

Russia’s energy sector will get the bulk of investment – around €700 million, with €400 million to be invested in a St. Petersburg-based joint venture created between Siemens and Russian firm Power Machines to be spent on gas-fired turbine construction and servicing them. The German company will hold 65 percent in the joint venture. Continue reading…

Russian Government Better Off Not Selling Natural Monopolies

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Jul. 20 – While the Russian cabinet has been trying to accelerate privatization, foreign experts suggest it may be better to ease up, saying that selling the “natural monopolies” could possibly be counter-productive.

Giving a speech at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum this June, President Dmitry Medvedev demanded that the government correct plans for privatization of large state companies till August 1, 2011.

“Great volumes of property aren’t necessary for the state. The government has presented offers under the schedule of privatization of the large companies. Realization of these plans certainly is necessary, but they are too modest,” Medvedev declared. Continue reading…

Italian and Turkish Developers to Construct the New Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg

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Feb. 16 – St. Petersburg’s new aviation hub Pulkovo will be expanded by Italian Astaldi together with Turkish Ictas Insaat, the airport said on its web site. The contract is worth an estimated US$1.2 billion to US$1.3 billion.

“The main criteria for choosing the general contractor were international experience in building large hubs, as well as the ability to combine European quality and service standards… with Russian norms and demands,” Sergei Edmin, chief executive, VVSS international consortium (Northern Capital Gateway LLC) said in statement. Continue reading…

Russian Railways Look for High-Speed Rail Network Bids

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Jan. 31 – Foreign investors will be invited to Russia to design, build, finance and maintain a new high-speed rail network, state-run Russian Railways announced Friday.

Russian Railways, which operate the world’s biggest passenger rail network, has created a subsidiary to handle the project, High-Speed Rail Lines, which will present potential bidders in March 2011, and reveal an international tender for the Moscow – St. Petersburg route in December this year. Continue reading…

Russia’s Economic Recovery Prompts Salary Renewal and New Jobs

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Apr. 28 – St. Petersburg’s private sector is showing some signs of recovery from the Global Economic Crisis. Companies have gradually started to renew revision of salaries with the average increase estimated at 10 percent, reports the Vedomosti newspaper.

This month a British-American tobacco giant in St. Petersburg factory raised the salaries of 95 percent of its employees, the director for corporate relations for the company, Alexander Ljutyj said to the paper.

Brewing concern Heineken Group also intends to reconsider salaries in the May, planning to increase it up to 12 percent on average. Continue reading…

Investments Aid ‘Boom Time’ in St. Petersburg Region

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Mar. 12 – Foreign investments into the St. Petersburg region have grown almost 30 percent in 2009 compared to 2008 and have so far totaled US$1.3 billion.

These indicators have allowed the region to remain one of leaders on rates of increase in foreign investments in Russia. The main investors are United States (45.4 percent of all foreign investment), Netherlands (18.2 percent), Finland (11.1 percent) and Austria (8.1 percent).

Despite the crisis, the volume of investments into fixed capital in 2009 in Leningrad region has generated 193.25 billion roubles, showing a gain of 7.1 percent from the previous year. Continue reading…

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