Oleksii Vadaturskyi, CEO of LLC Nibulon, explained why foreign investors should come to the Ukraine, exclusively for Lawyers Daily.
Diversified company Nibulon haven’t lost its leading position in Ukraine for the past 25 years. It has achieved success as an exporter, agricultural, industrial, shipping, shipbuilding, and investment company. Oleksii Vadaturskyi, permanent CEO of the company, is sure it is the honesty in business that helped them achieve such results. On the other hand, the lack of interest of the state in the economy negatively affects business in Ukraine. This makes domestic companies vulnerable in terms of the international trade market, having strong competition.
Oleksii Vadaturskyi dwells upon which agricultural companies are able to survive in the Ukrainian realities, and what goals predetermine the work of potential investors.
Lawyers Daily: Oleksii, in 2016, most of the Ukrainian businessmen noted the beginning of stabilization of the Ukrainian economy. Accordingly, it can be assumed that this positively affected the business in our country. Please tell us, what showings did the company Nibulon demonstrate as of the end of 2016?
Vadaturskyi: I would like to point out that our agricultural company strikes the balance not for the calendar year, but a marketing year. One marketing year runs from 1st July to 30th June. Now half a year of work has passed. Thus, as of 1 January of 2016-2017 marketing year, I can say that in financial terms we worked out better than in the same half of 2015-2016.
Lawyers Daily: So, can you confirm the improvement of economic situation in the country?
Vadaturskyi: Today we have a situation where a business determines by itself how it should develop in difficult conditions. And this development depends on the capacity of the company and the will of its head.
Therefore, in Ukraine develops only those businesses whose heads want this. Unfortunately, such companies do not get any incentive from the state: no one tries to create a favourable financial environment for business development. Enterprises are completely on their own.
But we are very pleased when Nibulon as a successful company is invited by regional leaders, we’re pleased to see when a reasonable governor and his team really create an attractive investment climate in the region. Therefore, we are grateful to Andrii Hordieiev, the governor of Kherson Oblast, Kostiantyn Bryl, governor of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and their teams for inviting us to invest in infrastructure projects and successfully utilize credit funds as part of our cooperation with the European Investment Bank.
Lawyers Daily: Nibulon is a unique company. After all, you manage to work in various fields. Based on personal experience, tell us, which industry is the most difficult to set up an effective work?
Vadaturskyi: I can assure you that each sphere of the company’s activities is highly complex. However, I would like to dwell on industrial production. We actively invest in shipbuilding and repair facility of Nibulon in Mykolaiv now operating successfully. Except for our plant, unfortunately, other similar industrial facilities there are out of action. We are the only company constructing its own fleet of Ukrainian metal, fleet wearing the flag colours of Ukraine going throughout our inland waterways.
But we have to develop at your own risk. Because neither the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine nor Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority makes the necessary reforms for the development of these industries. The reason for this is the lack of professional management of the industry.
Lawyers Daily: You head the company Nibulon for 25 years. What changes may you point out in the agricultural market of Ukraine for this time?
Vadaturskyi:Ukraine had always had the best economic indicators among the Soviet Union republics. It took 20 years for the state to achieve these results again. Only now, during the last 5 years, I see a gradual stabilization of the agricultural sector. However, the government does not support the development at the legislative level that would help the country to become more civilized. So today in the agricultural market for the companies, whose representatives in power actively lobby their interests, it is the easiest to survive.
These companies are so insolent that they are not afraid of anything or anyone and allow themselves to set rules in the market at its sole discretion.
Lawyers Daily: Does your company often face such phenomenon as raiding?
Vadaturskyi: I remember last illegal takeover attempts back in 1992-1993. Now we have to deal with new ones – information attacks. Too bad that sponsors of false publications do not realize that this way they humiliate, first of all, the image of Ukraine, discrediting the investment climate within the country. I always express my state position openly and publicly, and therefore, from time to time, our company is facing information attacks, for which, unfortunately, no one is charged.
Lawyers Daily: How do you protect your assets?
Vadaturskyi:We’re a successful company which is held in respect among business people and government. We have a long experience in protecting businesses. This is a complex thing, depending on the rules of business. A strong and united team of professionals, transparent and legitimate methods of economic activity, openness and transparency, in general, are our main protection. For example, each of our 25 thousand landowners, renting their land to us, always know who could they contact to obtain reliable information about the company, get the necessary help and so on.
Lawyers Daily: You have an experience of work with many business partners. In your opinion, with whom is doing business easier, Ukrainian partners or foreigners?
Vadaturskyi:Today in Ukraine, business rules are very similar to those in the West. In frames of the Ukrainian market, we have to contend with a difficult economic situation, and abroad to compete with multinational companies protecting the most developed countries of the world. In general, to succeed in any business, you must learn to respect Ukrainian business and be able to establish business relations with Ukrainian partners. Working with Western partners is not so easy as well. They are willing to engage in dialogue only with those companies they can profit off of. And if you do not fulfil the conditions of the contract, they won’t forgive you a cent. You must be able to defend the interests of Ukrainian business, this will help us to become more competitive in the global market.
Lawyers Daily: What would you advise a foreign investor who plans to enter the agricultural market of Ukraine?
Vadaturskyi: I have always advised them not to wait until we put things in order in the country or create an attractive investment climate. Come, let us fight together against corruption, and do all for the future of Ukraine. Do not wait until we do everything for you. Take chances!