At the moment the total amount of the investments to Ukraine from the EU countries equals to almost USD 43 billions. Considerable investments to Ukraine have been made by businessmen from Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and France. Although it is now clear that this amount of investments is small when taking into consideration Ukraine’s economic potential and investment possibilities.
The supporters of the Association Agreement signature often point out that this will allow a significant increase in the volumes of foreign investment from the EU countries and other countries as well, as the Association will allow solving one of Ukraine’s most difficult problems of attracting investment, improving conditions for doing business in Ukraine. Foreign investors very often complain that the reason hindering the flow of investments to Ukraine is the bureaucratic obstacles which impede quick setting up business, obtaining all necessary permits and the unproblematic withdrawal of the gained profit.
The content of the EU Association Agreement draft includes a number of principal requirements to Ukraine’s leadership as for the reformation of the licensing system, decreasing bureaucratic inhibitions and the duplication of the inspecting functions of state authorities. At the same time, within the Association framework the Ukrainian government assumes a commitment to protect foreign investment and make fair and intelligible rules for doing business without any artificial restraints.
In fact Ukraine could attract considerable investments to the reconstruction of its gas transportation system which supplies gas to the EU countries. It is a mutual desire for Ukraine and the EU countries because it will allow securing reliable gas supply to the EU countries and also laying other gas pipelines bypassing Russia – to enable receiving gas from other countries, except Russia. Thus, this will secure a reliable gas supply to the EU countries through Ukraine’s territory, at the same time there will not be any risk of black mail on the part of Russia concerning the “gas issue”.
Except the gas consortium, Ukraine’s leadership is interested in attracting foreign investments to the construction of the transport infrastructure in Ukraine under the conditions of concession. It will allow increasing the flow of transit cargo moving from Asia to Europe and also expand the geography of international shipping.
And, of course, Ukraine is ready to attract foreign investments to agriculture and the production of foodstuff. Ukraine’s natural resources allow increasing the production of foodstuff several times. All estimates show that Ukraine’s agriculture is capable of feeding a population five times bigger than that living on the territory of Ukraine. The potential for developing the production of foodstuff is of a long-sighted importance and can be beneficial for both the country’s economy and foreign investors as well.
It is likely that on the way to the fulfillment of all the ideas set down in the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine not everything will be simple. It is impossible to avoid current problems. But in the present situation even the commencement of the process of increasing Ukraine’s investment attractiveness in the eyes of foreign investors will look like a correct step which many investors should respect.