Established in mid-2017, UA Direct is a Kyiv-based investment management company seeking to tap into growing investor interest in Ukraine by offering partnership opportunities to investors looking to launch new projects in the country. UA Direct specialties range from tax and regulatory issues to government lobbying and business structuring, with a wealth of experience dealing with state bodies and international financial institutions. In alliance with leading Ukrainian law firm Sayenko Kharenko, the company aims to appeal to both Ukrainian and international investors by creating a one-stop-shop offering unrivalled investment experience in a convenient format.

The UA Direct business model allows investors to enter into partnerships with the company. This creates the possibility for investors to take advantage of UA Direct knowhow in order to guide them towards the most profitable pathway while also sharing the inevitable risks associated with any investment activity «Based on our knowledge of today's Ukrainian realities, we are ready to identity any potential risks and share them with our partners», says UA Direct founder Alexey Starodubov. Additionally, the company offers direct investment management services for those with more tailored and specific investment support needs.

The company's emphasis on partnership certainly makes sense in terms of shared engagement, but it necessitates a rigid selection process on the part of UA Direct. Luckily, Mr Starodubov says the company is not short on potential candidates in its priority sectors of the Ukrainian economy. «Ukraine has huge investment potential and this is becoming increasingly apparent to the international community. Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in the number of international investors looking to enter the Ukrainian market» , he shares. «This potential is not limited to traditional areas like agriculture and energy, but also includes emerging sectors of the economy such as defence, infrastructure, renewables and IT."

Mr Starodubov believes that now is the right time to be creating a more favourable investment climate and says UA Direct can contribute to this process He argues that awareness of Ukraine's investor appeal is on the rise partly because business leaders are looking beyond the banner headlines and increasingly identifying Ukraine's structural appeal. «Unfortunately, corruption scandals and macroeconomic difficulties continue to create the impression that Ukraine is not very attractive for international investments, but it is important to point out that these negative aspects are only part of a much bigger story. There is a lot more happening in Ukraine than the problems that tend to dominate news coverage In reality, the current situation in Ukraine is typical of emerging economies, with a number of risks that require sensible mitigation but are nothing out of the ordinary for such markets. If we look beyond the headlines and actually analyse government decisions in the second half of 2017, we see major reforms in education, healthcare and pensions. In addition to this, we have the announcement of total privatization within a far more transparent framework than previously envisaged. These developments demonstrate that the government is prioritizing an improvement in the investment climate."

Originally published by Panorama Magazine.

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