Ukrainian Investments Expected
02 May, 2013
Ukrainian Investments  Expected
Georgia expects Ukrainian business to take bigger interest in Georgia and invest more in agriculture, high technologies, energy and logistics. Georgian-Ukrainian business forum held on April 26, 2013, which attracted 50 Ukrainian companies, made Georgian authority that hopeful.
Bidzina Ivanishvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, himself opened the Forum and touted Ukrainian business to Georgia. Ministers of economy, finances, infrastructure, and energy as well as top officials of Partnership Fund managing with the state assets and supporting strategic projects participated in
the forum. Georgian government believes Georgia with its favorable business climate is attractive to Ukrainian business. According to economic-profile ministers of Georgian government, Ukrainian businessmen are mainly interested in infrastructure, energy, agriculture, logistics and energy sectors. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Minister of Economic and Sustainable Development of Georgia, hopes Ukrainian businessmen will bring innovations and high technologies in the said sectors that deadly need this kind of help at the moment.
“The technology-oriented businesses are represented in bigger quantity than others at the Georgian-Ukraine business forum. This is one of the most important directions to us as many fields require new technologies and know-how particularly agriculture, energy and transport,” Kvirikashvili said during the Forum event.
“Their [Ukrainian business] interest in Georgia starts in agriculture and never ends in fact...We expect very serious investments from Ukraine,” Nodar Khaduri, Minister of Finances of Georgia, shining of big expectations reported to media. Ukraine been a historical friend to Georgia is number three top trade partner to Georgia taking 7.3% of Georgian foreign trade and following Turkey and Azerbaijan covering 14.3 and 13.8% of Georgian trade respectively by the latest data. However Ukraine’s share in Georgia’s Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) is relatively modest making around USD 41 million totally since 1996 to 2013 unlike Turkey and Azerbaijan whose investments made within the similar period in Georgia exceed 800 million and 600 million respectively.
Irakli Lekvinadze, an economic analyst, explains this by higher interest of Azerbaijan and Turkey been immediate geographic neighbors to Georgia and partners in international energy and infrastructure projects of geopolitical importance. He believes Georgian corruption-free environment and favorable business climate with low tax rates will attract Ukrainian businessmen who suffer from governmental crackdown in Ukraine that aggravated lately. “I expect Ukrainian business to be particularly interested in Free Economic Zones of Georgia so as to take their production from Ukraine to Georgia [to escape the crackdown and corruption of their local business climate] and then export them back to their country or elsewhere as product made in Georgia,” Lekvinadze told Georgian Journal. Ditrikh Muller, a co-founder of Georgian Investment Group, is less optimistic. He doubts that Ukraine facing jeopardous debt problem and deficit of US dollar is able to invest in Georgia in near future. “Ukraine has big financial problems now especially after this Cyprus crisis that deprived Ukrainian investors’ huge financial resources. I would not cherish big investment expectations toward this country now,” Muller said.
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