Vladivostok undergoes $25b makeover for Apec summit
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AFP) - Russia's Far Eastern port of Vladivostok, once closed to foreigners and notorious for mafia crime, has undergone a US$20 billion (S$25 billion) makeover to host an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit and become a glitzy Asian investment hub.
After the Apec forum summit is over, Russia is hoping that Vladivostok will become its window to Asia and open new markets just as Peter the Great founded Saint Petersburg to be a window on Europe.
Russia has spared no expense in hosting the event on a scale incomparable to previous Apec summits, defying the current global belt-tightening at a time of economic crisis.
The massive construction drive for the summit has seen the building of what is reputed to be the world's highest suspension bridge to connect Vladivostok with the summit venue on Russky Island at a height of 1,872m.