VAZQUEZ LAWYERS MALAGA MARBELLA SPAIN Businesses on the Costa del Sol welcome Russian investment. The ‘Russian Meeting Point’ trade fair in Marbella helps to shift seaside residences to a buoyant Russian market

Activity in the function rooms of the Hotel Padierna in Marbella, has been frenetic. There’s barely a pause between handshakes and the handing over of credit cards, during the two days of the ‘Russian Meeting Point’ property fair.

The 42 estate agents trying to sell some of the 40,000 empty residences on the Costa del Sol have left nothing to chance. While most negotiations take place in the language of business, English, there are Russian interpreters standing by to deal with buyers over the age of 40 who, according to Tatiana Odintsova, a Russian estate agent here especially for the event, only speak their own language.
The opportunity that the Russian market represents for the Costa del Sol was reiterated during the opening of the event, which was attended by the President of the provincial government, Elías Bendodo, the mayors of Estepona and Benahavís, José María Garcia Urbano and José Antonio Mena respectively, and the Russian economic and social delegate to Spain, Alexei Rubinchik.
María José García  claims that she and her colleagues in the business were very keen to hold such an event because it is the Russians who are spending money at the moment. She explains that “thanks to the boom of Spanish in Russia, many families are sending their children to study the language here and are interested in buying rather than renting somewhere to stay”.
Alexei Rubinchick confirms that commerce between Russia and Spain grew by 30 per cent last year, in spite of the economic crisis, and represented a figure of 11 billion euros in 2011.
Agnieszka Lech, in charge of sales for an estate of luxury dwellings in Estepona says that the area is popular among Russians because prices have dropped in recent years and that Marbella’s Golden Mile, above all, has a widespread reputation.
Another estate agent present, Yann Acosta, adds that the visitors are all looking for “somewhere right on the seafront. If waves crash into the house itself, then all the better!”