ASSOCIATION OF AGRARIANS OF UKRAINE (AAU) supports President Zelensky and believes in his sincere desire to fight for the prosperity of Ukraine and to attract investment as he stated at the 50th Davos Forum: “We really want to fight for every investor, especially investors who are in Ukraine on a regular basis. We are ready to help as much as we can. We want more investment and we are preparing new programs. ”
We fully agree that it is important to keep in mind the existing ones in order to attract new investors. It is much cheaper for Ukraine to support an existing investor, because he does not need to be persuaded, he does not need to create separate sites and send teams of professional “callers”, because he is already here! All that is needed today is, finally, to embody a model in which government words would be consistent with reality.
All you need for an investor who has been working in Ukraine for a long time is predictable, transparent and honest rules of doing business for several years ahead. Foreign businesses do not need to create any special conditions that would put them in a privileged position with respect to local businesses. All this would be a sign of unfair competition, and the conditions should be the same for all. In no way can discrimination be created, like what we are actually observing today and what is desirable for some oligarchs and privileged business groups in their desire to ban foreign investors from access to land. For all farmers, land is the main means of production and investment for the introduction of a new model of agriculture, processing, irrigation, etc., all of which would create value or increase efficiency.
Today, on the example of land reform, our future investors are watching the experience of today’s investors already working in Ukraine very closely, because they and their experience are our best PRs in the international investment arena, both positive and negative. That is why any news about the steps of the authorities spreads very quickly and reaches all investors. Of course, we are talking about long-term and systemic investors, which is the really desirable in terms of long-term development of Ukraine.
On the way to building a transparent and strong economy, we can offer the President the experience of Estonia with transparent taxation of its companies – each company automatically and fairly easily publishes information on taxes paid in the business register. Such an approach would be useful to Ukraine today, as it will allow to increase tax revenues, create a fairer and more transparent market environment, which would be desirable for every investor.
This would help farmers and agricultural companies keep transparent tax history, which would allow them to take advantage of more affordable and cheaper bank loans to fund future land purchases. In such a transparent environment, interest rates on loans will automatically decrease as credit risk is reduced.
Local communities will also feel much better and more confident because social responsibility is of great importance and local communities are major beneficiaries of agriculture. They receive a significant portion of taxes from “their” agricultural companies. Transparent tax registers will increase local community revenues as businesses take pride in contributing to their development.
The transaction costs of the general economy will be reduced, as all parties (landowners, farmers, banks, suppliers, processors) will have a reliable source of public and credible information. Such measures will weaken the priorities of the private interest groups and enhance the cohesion and well-being of the whole Ukraine. This will help honest taxpayers become even more responsible, meaningful and needed for Ukrainian society.
Enclosure: transparent tax account of an Estonian company