US investors are interested in cooperation with Ukraine
Despite the difficult situation in Ukraine, on November 12-14, 2014 the IV International Conference «Invest in Ukraine» was held in New York, USA, which became the first event after the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, organized by A7 CONFERENCES on the investment issues.
Conference participants discussed political and economic issues of reforming the most promising sectors of the economy, as well as legislative changes, anti-crisis measures to improve the investment climate in Ukraine, ways to attract investment, both positive and negative nuances of cooperation with Ukrainian business and other relevant issues of the US-Ukrainian trade relations. This event was the third in a series of events this year, after London and Frankfurt.
Dmytro Shymkiv, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, on a Skype call noted that the reform agenda for Ukraine is a comprehensive set of reforms, which consists of three courses: 1) the strategic one with perspective of up to 6 years; 2) operating one with perspective of up to 3 years; and 3) the tactical one until the end of this year and for the next year as well. We know that the foreign investors complain mostly about the judicial system and law enforcement, as well as the level of corruption.
Yuriy Sergeyev, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations, said that the holding of such a forum is very important for Ukraine. The complex of political, diplomatic and military measures is able to restrain the provoked conflict in the Eastern Ukraine. At the same time, it is necessary to take economic measures. The most important thing on these matters is the economic success of Ukraine and Ukraine’s aspirations to development. To achieve this the soft power is required, as well as investments in certain industries.
Maria Barabash, Managing Partner, A7 CAPITAL, mentioned that there is a great interest of investors to investment opportunities in Ukraine. We understand that the situation is very complicated, but it is very important to emphasize the need for investment. Most foreign investors are interested in agriculture, IT sector, consumer goods market and as of 2014 there was a great interest in the energy sector, in particular, due to the exchange rate, the gas issue and the situation in the East of Ukraine. For example, we received a request from the US energy company that is very interested in the sector of alternative energy, namely solar power, and plans to purchase such stations in Ukraine.
Alexander Smirnov, CEO, Portinvest Holding, noted that Ukraine is still an area of risk for investors, primarily due to the high level of corruption, inadequate legislation and yet unrealized reforms. Business has investment projects that will contribute to the development of the leading sectors of the economy. Whether tomorrow investments reach Ukraine or not, depends on the state. The conference once again stated that investments are primarily provided to the states that have created transparent and legally secure conditions. Only this serves as a signal to investors that they are welcome there and their projects are really needed by the state.
Myron Rabiy, Partner ILF Dentons, noted that Ukraine has never required significant investment from the West to maintain stability as it does now. The main goals pursued by the Euromaidan have been achieved by the presidential and parliamentary elections that have just taken place. The market expects a new government plan and hopes to see key reforms for a period of 100 days. A number of significant reforms have already taken place (the level of corruption has decreased significantly, corrupt politicians were excluded from power, mechanisms of doing business are being simplified). With this in mind, the new Ukrainian government should take prompt action to transition from the current «anti-crisis» approach, based on the most pressing current problems and ensuring financial performance (particularly given the very recent negative developments in the energy sector), to a full-scale Reforms Program that is required by the country and the market.
Among the companies that attended the event are: JPMorgan, Barclays, Nomura, Lazard Asset Management, Karpatygaz, USoft HTI, Willis Insurance Brokers, AIM Group, AIAC Investment Group, Forbes USA, Planet Money, Institutional Investor, National Public Radio and others.
Institutional Partner is European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, General Legal Partner is Dentons, Official Partner is PORTINVEST Holding, IT Partner is Miratech, and an Official Carrier is Ukraine International Airlines. Ukrainska Pravda and Economic Pravda – General Media Partners, TV Partner is Espreso.TV, Interfax-Ukraine is the General News Partner. Supported in USA by New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA), CUSUR and USUBC.
Among the media partners are KyivPost, Apostrophe, Fixygen, Commercial Property, Financial Director, Ukrainian Journal of Business Law, Obozrevatel.com, Platfor.ma, Oil&Gas, InVenture. Informational partner is European Business Association in Ukraine. The event was supported by American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, Ukrainian Association of Investment Business, Ukrainian Retail Association, Centre for Transport Strategies, Kyiv-Mohyla Business School, and Kyiv School of Economics.
For those who could not attend the forum by this link you may access to the full online broadcasting of the event (with Ukrainian translation).