In recent years, Turkey has drastically increased its business presence in Ukraine. There are now about 700 Turkish companies operating in Ukraine. Furthermore, Turkish investors are among the top three players in the Ukrainian market in at least 10 sectors. This tendency proves that the chosen vector of bilateral cooperation is gaining momentum and will soon bring fruitful results.
Sergiy Oberkovych, Senior Partner, Attorney at law at GOLAW law firm, in his interview to International Turkish Ukrainian Business Association (TUID) has highlighted potential business opportunities for Turkish businessmen in Ukraine.
What is Ukraine’s economic outlook right now?
In the past few years, Ukraine has experienced significant economic shift. Particularly, it concerns reforms that have tangibly improved current state of affairs. The government has carried out significant fiscal consolidation, moving closer to a flexible exchange rate, reforming energy tariffs, enhancing the transparency of public procurement sector, simplifying business regulations, stabilizing and restructuring the banking sector, moving forward in health and pension reforms, as well as establishing anti-corruption agencies. At the same time, Ukraine continues to bear severe economic damages cased by COVID-19 pandemic with multiple lockdowns and limitations.
Nevertheless, Ukraine’s economy is set to grow by 3.5% in 2021-2022, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says in its latest Regional Economic Prospects report.
Progressive economic revival will be even steadier with the investment opportunities coming to Ukraine.
What are potential investment opportunities for Turkey in cooperation with Ukraine?
Turkish businessmen have so far invested USD 3.6 billion in Ukrainian economy. It is also worth mentioning that despite pandemic the volume of trade relations between the two countries has not decreased. More importantly, the signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and Turkey will allow achieving the common goal and increasing trade volumes up to USD 10 billion. The negotiation process doesn’t happen overnight. Still, I have high hopes that the negotiations are on its finish line and in the near future the Free Trade Agreement will be signed.
As far as Turkey is concerned, the county mainly sees opportunities for investment in infrastructure. However, I would not limit the sphere of interests in this question, because Turkish companies are not clustered in only one sector; they exist in almost every sector of Ukraine.
Though, as far as my personality is concerned, I would mark infrastructure as of the outmost importance for investment opportunities in Ukraine. Here, I would dwell on the following:
Potential investors should definitely be aware about “Big Construction project”, initiated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which is set to increase Ukraine’s GDP by 2.2% in the next five years. The purpose of the project is to build the necessary infrastructure facilities throughout Ukraine, including roads, airports and sea ports. Implementation of the project will enhance export capacity, tourist attractiveness of regions, freight traffic transit, as well as settle international transport corridor between Ukraine and European neighbors.
Ukraine’s Railway network
Ukraine’s Railway network is considered to be one of the most extensive in Europe. On the annual basis, it handles over 80% of the nation’s freight and 50% of the passenger traffic crossing the country. As for the figures, the Ukrainian rail network is the 14TH largest in the world. Ukraine’s rail network is tightly integrated with a wide range of European counties – Belarus, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, as well as Russian Federation. Still, it suffers from underinvestment, overstaffing, aging locomotives, as well as badly depreciated infrastructure. In order to guarantee growing export volumes and increase trade flow, Ukraine’s Railway network needs a new breeze of investment projects. That would definitely improve competitiveness, as well as strengthen Ukraine’s links to Europe’s logistics network.
Ukraine’s aviation is dynamic, vigorous and constantly developing industry which generates economic growth, creates jobs, facilitates tourism and international trade. Given the ongoing harmonization of legislation, the government is already taking actions developing regional programs of reconstruction of airports.
However, taking the size and the population of the country, the air transport sector of Ukraine continues to remain underdeveloped and a great opportunity for investment.
Given the fact that “Turkish Airlines” is the largest foreign airline in Ukraine, Turkey can undoubtedly be named the greatest “donor” in the sphere. Construction of new terminal complexes, customs warehouses, cargo terminals, hotel groups in the surrounding areas and runways seems rather lucrative and profitable decision for potential investment.
Ukraine’s maritime has become even more attractive after the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Concession Law, which regulates conditions for the transfer of state and municipal property for business use. Now, Ukraine allows clear and non-ambiguous procedures for initiating concession with subsequent transfer of state and municipal ownership for commercial exploitation.
The investments in the development of infrastructure in Kherson, Odesa and Mykolaiv regions are potentially lucrative for both countries, as the geographic location makes Ukraine an important “transit corridor” for trade and travel between Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Sea ports serve as of the most potent and dependable “harbors” for investment opportunities providing year-round access to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.
However, the infrastructure supporting this capacity has aged, which provides a significant opportunity for investment and upgrading.
What are available and most widespread business forms for doing business in Ukraine?
The most widespread forms of doing business in Ukraine are Joint Stock Companies and Limited Liability Companies. The biggest advantage of the Limited Liability Company (LCC) in comparison to Joint Stock Company (JSC) is that the procedure for creation and exploitation of LCC is less difficult and does not take much time.
The absence of shares in Limited Liability Companies makes this form of legal entity more mobile and flexible. The founder can be an individual or a legal entity, as well as a group of founders; there are no limitations to the maximum number of founders.
The main decisions at a joint stock company in its turn are taken by the general meeting which is formed by all the company’s members. The general meeting must choose the executive body and a supervisory body (which will supervise the executive’s body actions).
What is the procedure for company registration in Ukraine?
For state registration, one needs to prepare resolution on creating a company, charter, power of attorney for the representative party (if necessary), as well as registration letter of the particular form.
For application, you would need to indicate the address of the office where the company will be located, description of key types of entrepreneurial activity (according to the state classification of economic activities), bank details of the executive body, etc.
The registration process completion depends on a big number of factors, such as corporate and tax structure, founders and beneficiaries.
Despite seemingly easy way of starting up business in Ukraine, there are rather many traps and pitfalls on choosing the optimal structure and form of business, its corporate rights, etc.
We, on our part, can prepare all the documents required, organize communication with state authorities, as well as give legal advice on other issues related to ensuring confident and successful business start in Ukraine.