The volume of direct investments in industrial enterprises of the Leningrad region, without taking into consideration credit resources, will reach $400m by the end of this year. Deputy chief of the economy and investments committee of the Leningrad regional administration Alexander Meshcherekov reported this in an interview with journalists today. This is 15% more compared to the previous year. 120 investment applications were submitted to the administration over the first nine months of 2001. The official was quoted as saying that the regional government had signed 20 investment agreements this year. They were concluded mostly with Russian investors. Specialists are now working on investment projects worth over $1.5bn. These projects mainly concern transport, machine-building, car producing, woodworking industries and non-ferrous metal works. At the same time, Meshcherekov stressed that there is no major investment project in the telecommunications sphere.