The interview is on CEE Legal Matters.
Comprehensive legislative overhaul, thriving business sectors, and new opportunities for foreign investors – these are the hot topics in Ukraine right now, according to INTEGRITES Partner Illya Tkachuk.
“A lot of attention is currently focused on the border situation, but we’re used to that by now,” begins Tkachuk. “Of course, while it might not be that stressful to us – it is impacting the market and is making international financing a bit harder to acquire.” Tkachuk believes that the ongoing elevated status of friction on the border with Russia will pass in the next few months, but admits that it is difficult to predict for sure.
“Apart from that, we have seen some good trends in 2021 which are continuing over into 2022,” he says. Tkachuk reports that M&A transactions are on the up and up and that there are more investment and infrastructure projects in development. “There has been a substantial overhaul of the legal framework, which caters to M&A deals, especially so to investments from abroad,” he says. “New rules that govern the way deals are structured, corporate governance, shareholder agreements – these are all now available for foreign investors.” He reports that investor confidence has increased as a result and that there is more activity in Ukraine because of it.
“There is an ongoing wave of concessions, privatizations, and PPP deals right now,” Tkachuk says. “This is a direct result of the regulatory and legal overhaul. Just recently, following a number of successful seaport concession projects, another one was announced as in preparation,” he says. And, on top of that, the privatization framework is now “more efficient and there is strong activity in this area as well.”
Tkachuk shares that he is feeling quite positive about ongoing movements on the market, throughout a number of business sectors. “The most active sectors are IT, agriculture, mineral resources, telecommunications, infrastructure, and real estate – especially commercial,” he says. “These are, despite everything, very exciting times.”
Finally, commenting on other legislative developments, Tkachuk mentions a new regime for IT companies called Diia City. “In December 2021 a new regime was devised by the parliament which aims at improving the legal framework for the operation of IT companies,” he reports. “We have already seen a lot of interest from our clients in exploring these possibilities.”
In conclusion, Tkachuk says there is still much to be done in terms of legislative updates. “Ukraine’s obligations undertaken as part of the EU accession process are, essentially, those of legislative harmonization. This is the leitmotif of all changes and updates,” he says. “There is still much to be done, especially in terms of the outdated labor legislation.”