The integral indicator of Ukraine’s Investment Attractiveness Index slightly decreased in 2023 to 2.44 points out of 5 possible (2.48 points in the second half of 2022). These are the results of a new wave of research conducted by the European Business Association with the analytical support of Gradus Research.
Despite the fact that the EBA member companies’ CEOs’ assessment of the current investment climate in 2023 remains mostly negative, the number of top managers who believe that new investments in Ukraine will be profitable has almost doubled.
Currently, the majority, namely 84% of the surveyed directors of EBA member companies, consider the investment climate unfavourable. However, the number of respondents who consider it extremely unfavourable has decreased from 37% to 24%. The current investment climate is neutral for 7% of top managers, and another 9% consider it rather favourable.
Despite the war, 32% believe that it will be profitable for new investors to enter Ukraine (17% of respondents thought so a year ago). At the same time, 57% of companies already present in the Ukrainian market are going to invest in Ukraine during the war, and 79% are ready to join the reconstruction process.
The assessment of the investment climate over the previous year remains restrained. Almost half of the respondents, namely 48%, indicate a decline in the investment climate, 39% believe that there have been no significant changes, and 13% believe that the investment climate has improved. Over the next six months, 38% expect the situation to decline further, while 48% believe that the investment climate will not change significantly. At the same time, 14% of top managers predict an improvement in the first half of 2024.
Russia’s full-scale military aggression against Ukraine continues to top the list of factors that negatively affect the investment climate, followed by corruption and a weak judiciary. Among the positive changes, business leaders rated Ukraine’s EU candidate status, deregulatory initiatives, and the digitalization of public services the highest.
Anna Derevyanko, Executive Director of the European Business Association "The assessment of CEOs is often emotionally coloured and depends on many factors, including the situation at the frontline. Despite the rather restrained current assessment and forecasts of the investment climate, we see positive signals, such as the number of companies willing to invest during the war. We also see a significant increase in the number of companies that consider new investments in Ukraine to be profitable. Undoubtedly, our European integration movement and clear signals from our European allies that Ukraine′s future lies in the EU are contributing to the spread of such opinions. To strengthen this confidence, we at the EBA plan to intensify our work in the European integration direction."
HOW WE MEASURE THE INDEX
The European Business Association has been conducting the Ukraine Investment Attractiveness Index research since 2008. Throughout its history, the Index has never reached the positive zone – above 4 points. The current wave of the survey involved 85 CEOs of the largest international and Ukrainian companies. Research partner – Gradus Research