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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Brick by Brick: Construction Market Making Its Comeback

I firmly believe that after the presidential elections, the government will announce reform programs, and investor confidence will return. The economy will then start booming.

With its highly educated work force, its rich resources, its unchallengeable culture and history, Russia is one of the biggest powers in the world. And with the right moves, Russia certainly will again take its deserved place as one of the biggest economic powers.

The real estate market in Russia, particularly in Moscow, definitely will continue to develop in a positive way, giving various opportunities to foreign investors. As a natural result, the construction industry will return to its glory days of the mid-1990s.

This is especially important to my firm, Alarko, which concentrates mainly in construction and development. Our activities range from construction to tourism and from industrial production to land development. We also have completed projects in both the food and energy sectors. We have built factories; business and shopping centers; embassy and housing complexes; hospitals and airports.

Even on the eve of the presidential elections, it is impossible not to feel the growing interest of foreign companies in concluding lease agreements for high-quality office space in Moscow.

Before the State Duma elections, the number of visitors interested in our Mosalarko Plaza One was an average of three a day. Today the average has reached eight to nine companies per day. This interest is not only for viewing the premises; people are signing more quickly now than two months ago.

The companies interested are mostly Western European and American firms operating in a range of fields, including finance, trading, transportation, computers and oil. These companies are making lease commitments for two to three years, with prepayments for six to 12 months. This kind of interest indicates that the Moscow market for commercial space is improving.

We see the real estate market growing in many directions in the near future. We expect a surge in medium- and high-quality housing; three- and four-star hotel developments; entertainment complexes and multiplex cinema centers; shopping and business center developments.

Since we are developers and contractors in this market, we can feel the growing interest of various groups in preparing for the construction of various, different-sized projects. We are being asked to bid for such projects much more frequently now than last year.

Most of these projects do not have full financing secured yet, but hopes are getting higher.

Although Russia has gone through some rough times, I must say that I have been enriched immensely from my six years here. I have enjoyed warm relations with many Russians and have appreciated a great variety of cultural, especially musical, activities. I have made wonderful acquaintances from musical circles and have organized musical exchange programs between Russia and Turkey.

I also have learned a great deal from my Russian friends about how to manage business and human relations in accord with one another, as well as how to make long-lasting friendships and develop trust, despite differences in status, age and religion. To be able to stay calm and plan strategically in high-pressure situations is among the qualities I admire most in my Russian friends.

For these reasons, I believe there is everything to be optimistic about for the future of Russia.

Engin Colpan is regional director of Turkish construction firm Alarko and general director of the Mosalarko joint venture.