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Odessa – Chinese FDI

January 29, 2013

It has been quite some time since I last wrote about the ever increasing governmental and private investment in Ukraine by the Chinese.  The last meaningful exclusively China orientated entries being 12th July 2012 and previous to that 8th December 2011.  Blimey!  (That’s not to mention 33% of trade between Ukraine and China now being conducted in Yuan.)

Obviously much has happened since I last wrote anything on the subject.  So much in fact, that I intend to stay local and write a few lines about some of the most noticeable and strategic Chinese investments in Odessa.

The first of note is a $600 million investment in a new business park on the Kyiv-Odessa road in the Ivanivka region of Odessa.  (About 70 kilometers from the city of Odessa.)  Here a 190 hectare agricultural processing centre with silos, grain elevators and vegetable storage facilities is about to commence.  This will be the 4th such Chinese business park investment in the region.  Thus far Chinese firms such as Qitele and Sinomach have taken on the project engineering.

The Odessa regions of Biliaivka and Kominternivske are next for the Chinese investment treatment.

Also, the Chinese have done a deal with Transinvestservice who own land adjacent to Yushni port and are ready to invest a very large sum in developing a business park there focusing on the port facilities – something those within the Odessa Regional Administration tell me will begin sometime this year.

It seems logistical hubs are of particular interest to the Chinese when it comes to Odessa – especially in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing and international transportation – and quite rightly.

Whoever is looking after bilateral trade at the new and very nice Chinese Consulate in Odessa is doing a very good job for China whilst doing a decent job at delivering industrial/commercial infrastructure of Odessa.  The question is, at what eventual cost to Odessa?

As for the UK, well, we don’t have anybody in Odessa in any official capacity – unless you count the Ukrainian lady who runs the British Council on Bolshoy Fontana, 15 minutes walk from where I live – so when it comes to the fairly frequent local diplomatic functions we have no ears in the room – and thus I am forced to get my information from City Hall, the Oblast Administration, or more often than not, those I know who work within them and are happy to tell tales out of school.

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