Agenda for Mini-Davos in Kyiv

On June 16 and 17 Kyiv is hosting a high-profile forum with the participation of politicians, business executives, and media representatives. Dubbed a mini-Davos, the forum is an offshoot of the famous Davos World Economic Forum. According to Davos World Economic Forum Director for Europe Felix Howald, the Kyiv forum will draw 250 prominent guests and decision-makers. An apparent goal for the Ukrainian government officials is to demonstrate, even if in an informal setting, the investment attractiveness of Ukraine, which is no simple task, to say the least. The leftist-populist anti-oligarchic campaign unleashed by the government has had a devastating boomerang effect. According to recent opinion polls conducted by the Sociology Institute of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, Ukrainian citizens overwhelmingly take a dim view of privatization, private ownership of land, and the private sector in general. Retroactive amendments to the tax legislation and disorganized operation of the customs service are forcing seasoned businessmen to increasingly resort to shadow practices and newcomers to think twice before plunging into these troubled waters or decide against doing business until things settle down. If anything, Ukrainian businessmen can hardly be reproached for being lazy or unable to take risks over the past 15 years. The mood of domestic investors — from small business owners to steel mill tycoons — is perhaps the main negative signal for foreign investors. Judging by the opinions of Andreas Aslund and James Sherr, which are presented in the materials contained in this insert, foreign business heavyweights are bidding their time when it comes to Ukraine.

The Day has decided to assist potential investors who are attending the June 16-17 forum in making an informed decision about investing in Ukrainian businesses. In our special insert to this issue we present the different sides of economic life in our country, travel industry, and innovation business. In addition, we are publishing the Catalogue of Investment and Innovation Proposals from Kyiv-based Industrial and Scientific Enterprises courtesy of the Kyiv Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The catalogue contains specific proposals for foreign businessmen from their potential Ukrainian partners. Hopefully, it will help them find each other. We also hope that this insert will prove informative to Ukrainian readers.