Ukraine drew in $221 million of direct foreign investment in the first 10 months of 2020 — 20 times less than during the same period of 2019 when the country attracted $4.5 billion from foreign investors, the National Bank of Ukraine announced on Dec. 2.
From January to October, $639 million were reinvested in Ukraine, while in 2019 foreigners reinvested $2.9 billion in the country.
The equity investment inflow in 2020 has dwindled too — from $1.1 billion in 2019 to $834 million in 2020, according to the NBU.
Foreign loans to the country decreased from $640 million in January-October 2019 to $219 during the same period of 2020.
These numbers are not surprising because foreign investment inflow has been dwindling worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Pavlo Kukhta, a political expert from the Kyiv School of Economics.
However, the situation is worse in Ukraine because the country attracted far less investment than developed European economies even before the global crisis.
According to Kukhta, the lack of reforms, flourishing corruption, and a failing judicial system is to blame for the unattractive investment climate in the country.
“Compared to many other Eastern European countries, Ukraine couldn’t attract big investment and build a strong economy,” Kukhta told the Kyiv Post.
A smart investor doesn’t want to open his business in the country because reforms have stalled, he added.
Many international investors started to withdraw money from the country in the first quarter of this year, Ukrainian investment fund Dragon Capital told the Kyiv Post earlier in November.
For example, in the first quarter, investors from the U.S. withdrew $28 million, from Luxemburg — $25 million, from Japan — $16 million and from Singapore — $11 million.
Nearly half of 117 international investors said that the Ukrainian investment climate has become less attractive in 2020 as the judiciary eroded the country’s anti-corruption accomplishments and graft continued to flourish, according to a survey by Dragon Capital published on Nov. 9.
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