A group of 16 top business executives and government leaders got together on June 12 to talk about improving Ukraine's investment climate.
Many of the familiar obstacles resurfaced, including excessive regulation and poor enforcement of property rights.
But many of the leaders stressed that Ukraine’s twin crises of Russia’s war and recession present opportunities for new investors, innovation and — once the fighting stops — rebuilding Ukraine’s old or destroyed infrastructure.
Several stressed that Ukraine, given its still-weak enforcement institutions, should not be giving targeted tax breaks or favors to particular industries or sectors. To do so often invites abuse and fraud, as in fake import reports of energy efficient equipment to take advantage of tax breaks in that area.
Some said that government should be more active in communications, particularly in explaining its strategy and in optimistically promoting success stories in the private sector to counter myths and Russian propaganda.
The leaders talked about ways to grow the share of small and medium enterprises in Ukraine’s economy. While figures vary, such businesses make up the vast majority of gross domestic product in Western nations while account for less than 10 percent of GDP in Ukraine.
Discussion also centered on how to promote two of Ukraine’s most promising sectors, agriculture and information technology.
Andriy Bulakh, managing partner of Deloitte Ukraine, moderated the discussion at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kyiv.
Dmytro Shymkiv, deputy head of the Presidential Administration;
Aivaras Abromavicius, economy minister;
Francis Malige, managing director of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development;
Lenna Koszarny, CEO and founding partner, Horizon Capital;
Vadim Sidoruk, CEO of DHL Express Ukraine;
Nataliya Osadcha, partner of Syutkin & Partners law firm;
Nadiia Vasylieva, general manager of Microsoft Ukraine;
Oleg Mistuque, general director of Kyiv Investment Agency;
Tim Kogan, CEO of Nova Poshta International;
Alexander Nosachenko, CEO of Colliers real estate consultancy;
Dina Nemyrovych, CSO of Farmak pharmaceutical company;
John Shmorhun, CEO of Agrogeneration;
Erdal Yayla, CEO of Life:);
Yuriy Golianych, managing editor for Ukraine & Eurasia for Mondelez International;
Morgan Williams, president of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council;
Nataliya Bugayova, CEO, Kyiv Post;
Brian Bonner, chief editor, Kyiv Post;
Elena Pashkovskaya, COO, Kyiv Post; and
Alyona Nevmerzhytska, commercial director, Kyiv Post.