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You're reading: Ukraine: Inches from greatness

As I was
listening to the presentations and discussions by several large corporate
players focused on investments into the Ukrainian oil & gas and agricultural
sectors, I could not help but think that, as the government of Ukraine is
making a massive effort to attract U.S. direct investment from Fortune 500
companies and restart the IMF financing, it is leaving on the table billions of
dollars readily available debt and equity financing, as well as investment by
smaller strategic players.

There is an
entire medium-size business and project development sector in Ukraine that is
begging to be funded and there are funds readily available in the U.S. to fund
tens, even hundreds. of companies and projects in sectors ranging from
hospitality, food security and information communications technology to
agriculture and alternative energy.

Injecting
significant funding into this slice of Ukraine’s economy will generate
thousands of new jobs, increase corporate efficiency and productivity by
introducing latest Western technologies and production tools. It will also
create a multiplier economic effect which will reverberate throughout the
country’s business and consumer sectors.  Yet, for the last couple of
years, only a tiny sliver of the entire American originated debt and equity
financings that could have been done in Ukraine has been completed.  In
2011, the U.S. was in 10th place of all the countries that had foreign
direct investment into Ukraine, with only $1 billion invested.

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