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Chinese companies wooed to help build Moscow subways
Publication Date : 21-05-2014
Chinese companies are being wooed to develop urban Moscow after senior officials in Russia's capital backed subway and real estate projects that could be worth US$10 billion.
The Moscow government said on Monday that agreement had been reached between Russian state-owned developer JSC "Mosinzhproekt" and two Chinese companies, China Railway Construction Corp and China International Fund.
Moscow's Mayor Sergei Sobyanin joined Russian President Vladimir Putin's delegation to Shanghai on Tuesday.
The delegation promoted its "New Moscow" project to Chinese companies. It includes construction of a 15km subway and aims to double the size of the city.
It has received $4 billion of investment since approval in 2012 and is expected to attract over $200 billion by 2035.
In an interview with China Daily, Marat Khusnullin, vice-mayor of Moscow and in charge of urban development and construction, said the cost of the subway, built by Chinese companies, will be approximately $2 billion.
Moscow authorities also propose building 2 million sq km of commercial property near subway stations along the line. That could be worth up to $8 billion to Chinese developers.
The subway project starts in 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2017. It can take eight to 10 years for the development of real estate projects, Khusnullin said.
Moscow is extending its 350 km of subway by 150 km. It is the biggest infrastructure program in the country. By comparison, Shanghai has 525 km of subway line, Beijing 465 km. "We need constructors who can build a subway properly," said Khusnullin.
Funding of the project is in discussion. Khusnullin said he is confident in its prospects because Moscow currently ranks seventh in terms of real estate prices and there is enough demand for the properties. "We build, we sell," he said.
This comes at a time when Russia is drawing larger amounts of foreign investment from around the world, Moscow is a key recipient.
"With big Chinese companies working in Moscow, we'll go on to cooperating on constructing roads, highways, and railways, too," Khusnullin said.