EBA poll: Ukraine become more attractive for investors, leaves negative area first time since 2011

Collage: agropolit.com

Collage: agropolit.com 

News, Polls, Ukraine

A recent study conducted by the European Business Association (EBA) has shown that Ukraine’s Investment Attractiveness Index has finally left the negative area. Ukraine demonstrates visible signs of growth since 2011. The economy of Ukraine has become more attractive to foreign and domestic investors. However, more than a half of respondents are not satisfied with the current investment climate. EBA has based its analysis on expert evaluations from 142 directors of the biggest international and Ukrainian companies.

In the first half of 2017, the Investment Attractiveness Index of Ukraine reached 3.15 points out of the possible 5, which is the highest result in the last six years. This is progress compared to December 2016, when EBA index for Ukraine was 2.85.

EBA measures the Index in Ukraine since 2008 and it had never reached the positive zone since then. The highest Index rate ever was witnessed in late 2010 (3.4) – early 2011 (3,39):

investors in Ukraine

Despite the rating now being situated in the neutral area, not reaching the positive marks, “tiny, but visible progress” moods prevail among directors of the companies.

The business environment has become more or less predictable for investors. However, more than a half of respondents (54%) are still not satisfied with the current investment climate, it is 13% less than last year (67%).

According to the EBA poll, only 13% of respondents think that the investment climate is favorable in Ukraine (against 9% in the second half of 2016). Among the positive factors, they mentioned:

  • a stable exchange rate;
  • slow, but constant adaptation towards EU regulations;
  • great news about the visa-free regime with the EU which is a huge signal for investors.

Financial stabilization and regulation were mentioned by 27% of poll participants as one of the positive changes. Other positive changes mentioned in respondents’ open comments were:

  • liberalization of currency control;
  • open data from state registers;
  • deregulation;
  • development of online services;
  • the moratorium for audits.

Only 15% of pollees did not notice tangible positive changes. In the end of last year, 39% thought the same (50% in the first 6 months 2016).

“Business did not notice any new negative signs within the previous 6 month, but a lot of unfavourable factors from the past still can be seen. Still the same problems with high rates of credits in the banks. Still no results with the investigations on corruption cases,” the EBA report reads.

Among negative changes in Ukraine, businessmen mentioned the (rather traditional) lack of success and will in fighting corruption, slow pace of reforms, and slow progress in decentralization.

Negative changes as seen by business in Ukraine in the first half of 2017. Data: EBA

Negative changes as seen by business in Ukraine in the first half of 2017. Data: EBA

40% of CEOs are optimistic about the business climate and believe it will improve during next six months (against 35% in 2016). 38% think that Ukraine’s market will be profitable for new investors in the rest of 2017, only 19% oppose this opinion.

Business still wants to see the progress in the anti-corruption activities, thinks that the judicial system should be reformed and that a free land market should be established in Ukraine.

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Established in 1999, the European Business Association (EBA) is the premier organization for foreign business in Ukraine, it brings together over 900 European, Ukrainian and international companies.


 

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