Crimea is proving toxic for private investors. On paper, capital expenditure has shown growth, but the driver of such growth appears to be Kremlin subsidies.
Foreign investors, and even major Russian private companies, are shunning the peninsula, publicly available statistics indicate. Also, outside entrepreneurs are complaining about unfair treatment by local authorities, and are giving up on Crimea.
On paper, investment in the peninsula seems decent enough. The investment web portal of the so-called Republic of Crimea states the total value of existing investment projects is 134.4 billion rubles, or about $2.27 billion USD. (Complete data for Sevastopol, which is not part of the Republic of Crimea, is not available). At an expo in Yalta in 2016, authorities reportedly inked 12 agreements worth 70 billion rubles ($1.18 billion USD), and at a forum in Sochi two more investment deals worth 9.5 billion rubles ($160.6 million USD) were signed.
But all these figures are hypothetical. The documents signed in both Yalta and Sochi were preliminary in nature, and the projects described in them may never be realized.
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Alexander Alikin is an independent journalist based in Crimea.