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City news, 29.02.2008 09:37

City Targets Private Investors

St. Petersburg’s government plans to attract private investors to help overhaul parts of the city’s economy that range from health care to utilities, municipal officials said Wednesday.

The municipality expects to present “more such projects” by the middle of this year, said Maxim Sokolov, the head of the committee on investments and strategic projects, at a roundtable discussion in St. Petersburg.

The authorities will look for partnerships to improve the infrastructure and energy supply in city districts undergoing extensive development, Sokolov said. Private investors will also be allowed to own and operate hospitals and pharmaceutical factories.

St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, is already pursuing four public-private initiatives in an effort to increase financing for the city’s aging road and transport network.

The municipality will hold a tender next month on a planned 30 billion-ruble ($1.2 billion) expansion of the city-owned Pulkovo airport and will offer a concession to run Pulkovo’s operations for as long as 30 years.

The Russian government transferred ownership of Pulkovo to the city last October after the municipality committed to attracting 30 billion rubles of outside financing for the airport’s overhaul.

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