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Ukrainian investment opportunities

Interview about the investment climate in Ukraine and the work of BBCU with British business club manager Richard BRADY.  Question: Mr. Brady, how do you estimate an investment climate in Ukraine?  Answer : The investment climate is very buoyant for certain types of investments, such as property and banking, but although Ukraine has signed to join the World Trade Organisation there will be problems for many investors due to the failure to comply with the Rule of Law in almost every economic sphere in Ukraine. The problem this causes is that potential investors will not feel it is safe to invest their money into projects in Ukraine as there is no guarantee that the court system will protect them from fraud and breaches of contract. There are many truly attractive investment opportunities for foreign capital in Ukraine but until the Judiciary can eliminate the suspicion of corruption then investors will sometimes be reluctant to invest in Ukrainian projects. Q: What are the most perspective industries, in your opinion, in the economy of Ukraine?   A: By this I take it you mean, which are the industries with the biggest and brightest potential? - Property, both residential developments and commercial projects of every type, from shopping centres to hotels and office blocks are, and will remain, very attractive opportunities for investment for the next 5 years as Ukraine struggles to modernize itself and prepare for 2012. Tourism should grow both before, and immediately after, 2012 as the rest of Europe wakes up to this undiscovered jewel on its Eastern border. Possibly the greatest asset which Ukraine possess is its rich farmland. The World food supply is shrinking and Ukraine can step in to become a major food exporter. The present problems which prevent the investment needed in the farming industry are caused by the failure to allow sales of farmland. This is preventing investment which is direly needed to increase the current yield per Hectare (at present farms in other parts of the World produce three and four times the same amount of yield per Hectare). Q: What are the basic types of activity provided by the BBCU? What is the aim of the BBCU?  A: The basic activity of the BBCU is to foster, encourage, facilitate and maintain social and business contacts between the British and Ukrainian business communities. Both here in Ukraine and in Britain. To achieve this we hold regular structured monthly networking meetings, each on a specific business theme. We have presentations during these meetings from speakers who work in, and are knowledgeable about, their area of business and the presentations are usually followed by a social event. We are also organising business delegations for Ukrainian businesses to visit the U K and for U K businesses to send representatives to Ukraine. We use our contacts in U K and Ukraine to facilitate meetings between the delegations with the companies and individuals that they may find useful in their future business dealings - Basically we open doors to introduce companies and individuals to other companies and individuals they can do business with. Apart from this we have social events such as next week's one day trip to Chernobyl and we are currently trying to arrange a golf tour in Egypt (In association with the British business club in Russia) for our members to both socialize and talk business on the golf course. A western business tradition. We have two aims. Both myself and Gerald Bowers, General Director of BBCU, consider Ukraine to be our home. We are determined to assist this Country to fulfill its potential. We are able to use our experience and our contacts to assist and advise our members and to use our British contacts to fulfill our second aim: To let the U K know something about the possibilities for business here. Q: How does the BBCU help to organize business сontacts between the Ukrainian and British businessmen?  A: Our sister organization in the U K, The British Ukrainian Society, assists us greatly with arranging meetings and opening doors at the highest levels of business and government for our members visiting U K. Q: Which are the most meaningful achievements you can mark in work of the BBCU? What are the further prospects of the BBCU?  A: We do not receive any government funding and, apart from the Ambassador's best wishes, very little assistance from the British Embassy, so just being in existence with a growing membership and increasing influence is an achievement on its own. I suppose the biggest success which we have had so far is the event held on 28th February. Our guests included two senior British M P's and guests from major international corporations and global professional companies. The event was a fringe event to the E U/Ukrainian Political Forum being held for 3 days at the end of February in Kiev, and took the form of a debate on how British business could assist Ukraine with regard to the E U. Richard Spring M P, the Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party in UK and Nichlas Soames M P, a former Government Minister, who has been a Conservative Party M P for over 24 years, both addressed the meeting and invited questions and debate. Mr Soames is also the grandson of Winston Churchill and both he and Mr Spring were able to give insights into the current attitudes of the British Government relating to Ukraine. The debate itself was vigorous as there were many present, myself included, who feel that full membership of the E U would be a mistake for Ukraine, just as some feel it has been for the U K. Our future prospects are to continue to increase in size, influence and the scope of business and social areas where we can assist Ukraine and Britain to co-operate. Our goal is to be recognized as a first stop for Ukrainian and U K companies that wish to make contact with each other and to explore the possibility of doing business together. Both our Countries are on the edge of Europe, but both have played a major part in the defence of Europe against both outside and internal aggression. I feel it is important that as the economic centre of Europe moves east, to include some former USSR Countries, Ukraine is not excluded from the economic benefits of this. Britain is still the financial capital of Europe and there are tremendous opportunities for our two countries to cooperate and mutually support each other in trade, culture and politics. Although I personally am opposed to the E U, I am for a resurgent and dynamic Ukrainian economy. By working with the assistance and experience of the City of London and British businesses Ukraine's business community can re-invigorate itself and establish Ukraine as the economic powerhouse it could become if it makes the most of its assets. I don't think that the majority of Ukrainians realize the outstanding potential of their Country. They should ask themselves 'Why are all these foreign business people arriving here?' The answer is simple. We see the potential of this Country because we are not blinded by the cultural and economic straightjacket of Ukraine's recent past.













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