The problem of interaction of Ukrainian authorities with external partners and investors from different countries of the world is urgent and quite old. It dates back to the nineties of the twentieth century, immediately after the formation of the independent state of Ukraine.
Almost all the governments of Ukraine, which have been replacing each other quite often, one of their priorities in the work almost always identified the creation of a favorable investment climate and conditions for attracting foreign investment.
However, as practice has shown, these statements most often did not go beyond mere empty promises, and by now we can see an absolutely identical picture, which has been in Ukraine for the last thirty years. On the one hand, government officials at various domestic and international platforms are trying to convey to their partners the reliability and investment attractiveness of Ukraine, and at the same time, the practice that is carried out in the state says quite the opposite.
There are numerous examples of how the Ukrainian government, despite its assurances and promises, actually made hostages from companies that came from abroad and tried to use them as “milk cows” for the illegal appropriation of their capital and their property.
At the moment, there are several areas on which the most serious problems related to the attraction of external investors and interaction with external partners can be identified. Firstly, it is an entrenched political system in which a foreign partner is perceived not as a self-sufficient object that works and acts for the benefit of Ukraine and especially the people of Ukraine, but as an opportunity for officials to get rich through corruption schemes.
A very important problem for Ukraine is also the dependence of the judicial system on representatives of the authorities. Within this aspect, policies can very often have a direct impact on the judicial system in making decisions that benefit them and this fact very much limits the ability of the state to attract external partners.
In Ukraine, it has not been understood that for any investor the stability of the system and the rules by which it can work, rather than democratic slogans and closeness to Western countries, is of paramount importance.
Even under current conditions, after Zelenskyi and his team came to power, we could already see a whole range of problems related to both political and economic corruption. Here we can recall a number of resonance problems. In particular, the investigation of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine regarding the fuel and lubricants market, which was initiated by Alliance Holding, a company affiliated with Royal Dutch Shell. As a result, the company lost the courts of all instances and millions of dollars were recovered from this company to the Ukrainian budget. At the same time, any expert in Ukraine interested in the problem of this segment of the market is well aware of its corrupt and closed nature.
A similar story concerns the French company Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine, which was obliged by the Ukrainian courts to pay 46 million hryvnias to its counterparty (“Bainer Group”, which actually belongs to one of the Ukrainian deputies) on completely far-fetched charges.
For several years the Ukrainian authorities have been putting pressure on Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal in order to impose obligations, which, when carefully studied look like nothing more than tools to pressure the officials overseeing the process to take bribes.
A year ago, the Canadian company Black Iron Inc received permission to mine iron ore and set up a mining and processing plant in Kryvyi Rig, but later the government repossessed the land that was allocated for this development, and thus, in fact, the Canadian counterparty was thrown out of the Ukrainian market.
Also, the Canadian company TUI Ukraine, which had been opening solar power plants in Ukraine for several years, has been accused of misappropriation of public funds and is under investigation.
One may recall an American project concerning cooperation between Ukraine and Sea Launch Boeing Corporation. Within the framework of this project, the American side invested about 200 million dollars, but at the moment the project is actually frozen based on the fact that the money was stolen by the Ukrainian side.
Separately worth mentioning is the story related to the acquisition of Motor Sich shares by Chinese partners and the decision of Ukraine to freeze the deal through the Antimonopoly Committee. However, the deal was completely transparent and profitable for Ukraine.
Western partners, for such behavior of the Ukrainian states are paid, the same coin. A whole range of goods from Ukraine are subject to additional tariffs and taxes from the United States of America. The tariffs for steel of Ukrainian manufacture imported into the United States and the partial exclusion of Ukraine from the General System of Preferences of the United States of America should be specified here. Certification of Ukrainian chicken for export to the American market, restriction of access of Ukrainian producers of organic products to the US market through the application of anti-dumping measures by the American party to them.It is impossible not to remember the recent problems between Ukraine and its foreign partners, which are on the humanitarian plane. Thus, Ukraine promised to hand over to the German side the complex of buildings in Kiev, on Lutheranska Street, but suddenly by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers the limits of their newly created CCU.As it follows from the above, the Ukrainian side is not first of all a reliable partner for its external partners who would like to do business in Ukraine and, as a result, to say that there may be some investment boom in the country, or the arrival of large corporations that could really revive the economy of Ukraine.Until the whole system of state power in Ukraine is changed and the entire financial and economic sector is reformed, we cannot expect any positive trends in terms of expanding cooperation with external partners. And Ukraine will continue to be perceived as an unreliable partner and the state, which can not provide security of investment even to its own, as if strategic partners.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.