Corruption and distrust in judiciary lead the rating of obstacles for investors for the third year in a row
Corruption and lack of trust in judiciary lead the rating of the main obstacles for foreign investors for the third year in a row. In 2018, investors identified the volatile financial system and the exchange rate of the national currency as the third main obstacle. Changing legislation, repressive actions of law enforcement and restrictions on capital movement and foreign exchange operations were also mentioned.
The results of the traditional survey of foreign investors evidenced about the barriers and obstacles for the attraction of capital to Ukraine. This survey was conducted by Dragon Capital, the European Business Association (EBA) and Centre for Economic Strategy (CES) in August-September 2018.
The instability of the financial system and the exchange rate of the national currency (investors rated it with 5.9 points out of 10 possible) rose up by 2 positions in 2018. This is the consequence of the continued uncertainty about the prospects for further cooperation with the country’s main creditor, the International Monetary Fund, and the significant external debt payments that Ukraine should implement in the nearest future.
At the same time, investors worry less about the military conflict with Russia (5.4 points), because during 2018 there was an extinction of active military operations and information on combat losses reduced its presence in the information agenda.
Now, in the pre-election year, investors have been asked to identify the main steps of the future government, which would positively and negatively influence their decision to invest in Ukraine.
Among the positive decisions, the main positions have been taken by decisive steps in the fight against corruption, relaunch of judiciary and tangible progress in separating politics from business. Default, attacks on independent anti-corruption institutions, rejection of democratic values and political pressure on the NBU will have negative influence on the decision to invest.
“All successful countries in our region are leaders in attracting foreign direct investments. In order for Ukraine to become attractive to investors, it is necessary to ensure the rule of law and justice and to reduce corruption in law enforcement agencies and courts. In September 2017, the country’s leadership at the meeting with business associations promised to create a National Bureau of Financial Investigations. Unfortunately, this has not happened and even our comments to the bill have not been taken into account yet,” – commented Tomas Fiala, CEO of Dragon Capital and President of the European Business Association.
“Effective fight against corruption and a high-quality judicial system are the lighthouse for business which allow to understand that there is freedom of business in the country, free access to various segments of business, transparency and security. We would also like to mention the reform of currency liberalization that has been initiated and must be brought to competent practical implementation. Strategic investors also need this because now, unfortunately, nobody gives money to Ukraine. And the IMF’s mission, which operates in the country, is the lender of the last instance, so we need to be targeted at real reforms in the country. And this will help attracting investments into the country”, – emphasized Anna Derev’yanko, Executive Director of the European Business Association.
“According to the rating of obstacles and the perception of possible steps of the new government we can see that the rule of law, strong democracy and the destruction of the corruption system are prerequisites for investment and economic growth in Ukraine”, – said Hlib Vyshlinsky, Executive Director of Centre for Economic Strategy, while commenting on the results of this year’s survey.
The traditional annual study of international companies (existing and potential investors in Ukraine) showed what parameters of Ukrainian investment climate are uncompetitive and in what direction it is necessary to make efforts at the state level first of all. The survey was conducted among those who know Ukraine well – 92% of the investors in study either invest in Ukraine now or had invested in the past.
The survey was conducted by the investment bank Dragon Capital and the European Business Association (EBA) with the analytical support of Centre for Economic Strategy from 3rd to 10th of September 2018. In total, the survey studied 109 respondents, including portfolio and direct investors who have already invested and who only plan to invest in Ukraine. The survey was conducted by the online interview method. The survey was carried out with technical assistance of GfK Ukraine.
Dragon Capital is a leading Ukrainian group of companies in the field of investment and financial services, offering a comprehensive range of products in equities and fixed income sales, trading and research, investment banking, private equity and asset management to corporate and private clients.
Centre for Economic Strategy (CES) is an independent economic policy think tank, which was founded in May 2015. The purpose of the CES is to support the reforms in Ukraine in order to achieve the sustainable inclusive economic growth in the country. The Centre contributes to the development of Ukraine’s economic growth strategy, conducts an independent analysis of the most important aspects of public policy and builds public support for reforms.
The European Business Association (EBA) is one of the largest business communities, which operates at the Ukrainian market. It was founded with the support of the European Commission in Ukraine in 1999. The purpose of EBA is to give companies-members an opportunity to solve important issues of the investment climate in Ukraine and improve it in favor of the industry, society, economy and the country as a whole.