How can a foreigner invest in Ukraine?

“The biggest financial risk nowadays is not investing in Ukraine right now” – this is how the Advantage Ukraine investment platform was presented at the New York Stock Exchange.

According to Ukrainian legislation, foreign investments are defined as assets invested by foreign investors in investment objects to make a profit or achieve a social effect. Such assets may include property rights, securities, targeted cash deposits, scientific and technical products, intellectual property, intangible assets, cash, or any other property.

Foreign investments can be made in various forms, namely:

  • in the form of partial participation in companies established jointly with Ukrainian legal entities and individuals, or by acquiring shares in existing companies;
  • incorporation of companies wholly owned by foreign investors, establishing branches and other separate subdivisions of foreign legal entities, or acquisition of existing enterprises in their entirety;
  • acquisition of immovable or movable property, including houses, apartments, premises, equipment, vehicles, and other property, by way of direct acquisition of property and complexes or by acquiring corporate rights, shares, bonds, and other securities;
  • acquisition, independently or with the participation of Ukrainian legal entities or individuals, of rights of use of land and natural resources in Ukraine;
  • acquisition of other property rights;
  • in other forms not prohibited by the laws of Ukraine, including the creation of joint ventures, etc.

Therefore foreign investors have a wide range of instruments to invest in Ukraine’s economy. At the same time, Ukraine can offer foreign investors a variety of sectors that create high-added value and whose products can be competitive in global markets. We have identified the top 10 sectors of the Ukrainian economy to invest in 2023:

  • Energy ($177 billion of investment potential). Ukraine has the potential to generate dozens of electricity and green hydrogen facilities and has already begun to cooperate with various countries and attract funding from international organizations. The EU’s Hydrogen Strategy, which makes promoting the use of renewable hydrogen a top priority, has recognized Ukraine as a priority partner.
  • Logistics and infrastructure ($123 billion of investment potential). Ukraine’s geographical location makes it an important transit corridor for trade. Logistics is one of the most important sectors that is currently in need of large investments due to the outcomes of war.
  • The defense industry ($43 billion of investment potential) is the defense of the state and a guarantee of security in the future.
  • The agricultural sector ($34 billion of investment potential). Ukraine is considered to be the “breadbasket of Europe”, as its black soil is one of the most fertile in the world. Investors can invest in both production (by leasing agricultural land, etc.) and processing agricultural products.
  • Metallurgy and metal processing ($26 billion of investment potential). Ukraine has experience in highly technical metallurgical processes and the full cycle of titanium and titanium-containing products. Ukrainian industry can maintain leadership in the direct reduced iron market and green metallurgy. However, as a result of the hostilities, the Ukrainian steel industry has lost a number of important facilities, such as Alchevsk Iron and Steel Works, Yenakiieve Iron and Steel Works, Donetskstal, and Khartsyzsk Pipe Plant. In 2022, as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Azovstal and Mariupol Iron and Steel Works were destroyed, which significantly accelerated the decline in Ukraine’s GDP.
  • Industrial production ($16 billion in investment potential). One of the most important industries, including the design, manufacture, and operation of machines and tools. The most important and developed production links are heavy, transport, and agricultural machinery, machine tools, instrumentation, radio and electrical engineering, and equipment for other industries, especially chemical and food processing.
  • Innovative technologies ($11 billion of investment potential). Ukrainians were the first to create a unified system of official and government documents in an electronic form called Diia and are selling their concept on the global stage. Also, Ukraine has a unique Diia City regime – a favorable economic environment and legal framework within the country in which IT businesses can fully unlock their potential and be competitive on the international stage. Ukraine ranks 4th in the world in terms of the volume of financial transactions via mobile devices and is the fourth largest cryptocurrency user in the world. Ukrainian IT is the most sought-after sector for international companies to attract employees and cooperate with.
  • Natural resources ($5.6 billion of investment potential). Ukraine is rich in minerals and mineral resources, such as hard coal, iron and manganese ores, graphite, kaolin, uranium, titanium, zirconium ores, germanium, non-metallic metallurgical raw materials, raw materials for the production of construction materials, and others.

Ukraine expects an inflow of large investments after the end of the war. At the same time, we already see an increase in the activity of foreign investors, as investments in Ukraine are not only opportunities but also a contribution to the victory over the aggressor.

How can GOLAW help?

  • structure investments in Ukraine and advise on taxation issues;
  • provide support for the incorporation or acquisition of businesses or assets, conduct due diligence of a business or assets;
  • advise on the regulatory environment;
  • provide legal support in obtaining the necessary licenses and permits;
  • provide legal support in privatization procedures, public-private partnerships (PPP), concessions, and public procurement.

Oleksandr Melnyk

Oleksandr Melnyk

Partner, Head of Corporate Law and M&A practice, Attorney at law

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