How do you assess the dynamics of interest of Western investors in Ukrainian enterprises?
P.D.: Investor interest is growing but the key stumbling block remains rule of law. In terms of emerging markets, Ukraine now has quite strong economic fundamentals, while the rise of Zelenskyy has created a majhor buzz among investors. However, property rights and seen to be protected by an independent judiciary, investment will remain relatively modest.
The rate of return or transparency of corporate governance? What is the real priority for the investor?
P.D.: The key priority is security of investment, and this depends on the rule of law. Ukraine offers attractive returns but as long as the risk of losing everything remains, there will be no major waves of international investment.
Ukrainian tax legislation is extremely controversial, and allows for different interpretations. How important are tax risks to an investor?
P.D.: Instability in tax legislation creates huge headaches for potential investors and creates uncertainty. This is a major distraction and puts many investors off as they do not know what to expect in one or two years from now, making future planning very difficult. Ukraine needs a period of prolonged stability in terms of tax policy to create a more attractive investment environment.
What role do enterprise ESG indicators play?
P.D.: This is an increasingly important factor for international companies and investors looking at Ukraine. Global branding means that nobody can afford to be associated with non-compliant companies or interests, regardless of where they are located. However, it is far less significant than the more fundamental issues of rule of law and legislative stability.
How do Western investors respond about the professional level of Ukrainian accountants?
P.D.: International investors rely heavily on Ukrainian accountants to navigate the unfamiliar and rapidly evolving Ukrainian business environment. This makes a high level of trust inevitable and places huge responsibility on the accountants. There is no single verdict on levels of professionalism, but clearly this relationship is crucial for any successful investment and can make or break international ventures in Ukraine.