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Austria kuues koht Ukraina investeeringute struktuuris on hea näide sellest, kuidas meie äri saab pärast sõja lõppu koostööd teha

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Intervjuu Ukraina ärimehe ja kontserni Ukrdoninvest omaniku Vitali Kropatšoviga.

Ajakirjanik: Tänan teid selle intervjuu jaoks aja leidmise eest. Meie teema vestlus on Ukraina sõjajärgne ülesehitustöö. Kuidas Ukraina äri täna tundub? Eriti äri, mis ei piirdu ühe ettevõtte või ühe tegevusalaga.

Vitali Kropatšov: Sõja ja sellega kaasnevate protsesside tõttu näeme selgelt majandusarengu tempo langust. Arenguplaanide tegemine, mida tavaliselt teeb iga äri, on muutunud praktiliselt võimatuks. Suur hulk suuri tööstusettevõtteid on seiskunud. Ettevõtetel pole piisavalt elektrit, gaasi ega vett. Sellele lisandub probleem inimeste väljavooluga, mis on eriti terav piirkondades, kus toimub aktiivne lahingutegevus või mis piirnevad selliste aladega. Paljud Ukraina ettevõtted kardavad investeerida oma ettevõtete rekonstrueerimisse ja arendamisse. Kuid kui kaua see trend kestab, sõltub ainult sõja kestusest. Kui sõda läbi saab, on ettevõtetel võimalus oma arenguplaanid üle vaadata ja algab majanduskasv.

– What happens to your enterprises today? Do they remain idle?

Mõned ettevõtted seisavad, mõned asuvad okupeeritud territooriumil. Näiteks Kreminnas arendasime gaasitootmisettevõtet, kuid täna on Kreminna aktiivses võitlustsoonis.

– To what extent can you today, as an entrepreneur, plan the operation of your enterprises after the war?

Theoretically it is possible. Knowing our assets, the degree of destruction of our enterprises and general trends in our industry, we understand how much additional investment we need to make in order to bring them to the pre-war level. I still see a more serious problem, which many companies are facing today, not in investments, but in the labor outflow. A lot of people have left Ukraine, and the government will have a serious task to stimulate their return. And in general, in terms of investment, we have not stopped for a minute, because the industries in which we work require constant development – if we stop today, then in a year we will not start.

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– Are you talking about coal mining now?

Söetööstus on üks neist. Meil on projekte, mida me tehniliselt peatada ei saa. Kuigi nad on aktiivse lahingutsooni lähedal. Kuid igal juhul on investeerimine pikk protsess.

– If we talk about the Ukrainian economy as a whole, where should we start its recovery?

Kui rääkida majandusest tervikuna, siis esimese asjana on vaja alustada odava finantsressursiga. Odav Euroopa ressurss. Selle all pean silmas praegu Euroopa riikides kehtivaid reegleid, diskontomäärasid ja laenuintresse. Seejärel on vaja infrastruktuuri taastada. Alustades energeetika infrastruktuurist, mida ähvardab iga päev hävimine. Isegi praegu, kui me räägime, on kogu Ukrainas välja kuulutatud õhuhoiatus. Ja rünnaku sihtmärkideks võib taas olla infrastruktuur. Energiaressurssidest on tänapäeval suur puudus. Ja Ukrainas on vaja luua uus vorm, uus jaotus- ja energiatootmise süsteem. See on ühemõtteline. Ja järgmiseks sammuks on kodumaise gaasi ja nafta tootmise suurendamine. See on vajadus uue valitsuse lähenemisviisi järele tariifimäärade, krediidivõimaluste reeglite muutmiseks. Ukrainas on suured tõestatud gaasivarud ja Ukraina majandus suudab end nendega täies mahus varustada. Samuti on suured välja arendamata või, ütleme nii, mitte päris korralikult välja arendatud naftavarud.

 Ehk siis üks majanduse elavdamise ülesandeid on sõltumatus energiaimpordist, eriti gaasiturul, kus Venemaa on seni olnud oluline tarnija?

Jah, teil on õigus ja me näeme sama olukorda naftatoodete turul. Eelmisel aastal oli meil puudus bensiinist ja diislikütusest. Seal olid suured järjekorrad. Kuid siis õnnestus meil suurendada naftatoodete pakkumist teistest riikidest ja olukord normaliseerus mõnevõrra. Austriast saime isegi naftasaadusi, mida varem polnud juhtunud. Ja paljud teised Euroopa riigid andsid meile oma transiidivõimsuse ja alustasid esimest korda naftatoodete tarnimist Ukrainasse.

Which sectors of Ukraine’s economy have the best chances for modernization? And I do not speak about restoration or identical recreation of what was before, but about the possibility of modernization.

Moderniseerimisest rääkides peaksime alustama välisettevõtete investeeringute käsitluse muutmisest. Ajalooliselt on olnud olukord, kus Ukrainas on prioriteetseteks investeeringuteks olnud toorainetööstus. Ehk siis madala lisandväärtusega ja süvatöötlemise puudumisega tööstused. Ukrainal on suured toorainevarud, kuid selliste tööstusharude arendamine ei aita eriti tugevdada tema konkurentsivõimet. Pidage meeles näiteks, kui suures koguses puitu Ukrainast eksporditi ja see oli tooraine, saematerjali, mitte lõpptoote kujul. Peame arendama mittetooraine eksporti. Tehnoloogiaparkide loomine võib kujuneda tööstuse arendamise skeemiks, millest võib saada kõrge lisandväärtusega toode. Näiteks kaalusime mõni aeg tagasi koos Itaalia partneritega võimalust kaasajastada Zaporožje alumiiniumitehas. Ja kõige tõhusamaks projektiks selle moderniseerimiseks osutus variant, kui tehast täiendati tehnopargiga. Tehas hakkaks sel juhul tootma primaaralumiiniumi ning tehnopargi raames valmistataks sellest kõrge lisandväärtusega detaile. Meie puhul oleks tegemist autoosadega. Austrias on selliseid näiteid palju. Toodad näiteks käigukaste tervele maailmale.

– What role can foreign entrepreneurs who invest in Ukraine’s economy play in its recovery?

Igal juhul on Ukraina ajalooliselt alati stabiilselt välisinvesteeringuid ligi meelitanud. Pärast sõja algust oli nende mahus arusaadav langus, kuid rahandusministeeriumi hinnangul asendus see langus juba eelmise aasta teises kvartalis kasvuga. Ja aasta lõpus oli meil positiivne investeeringubilanss. Muide, tahan märkida, et Austria on investeerimisprojektide poolest suuruselt kuues riik. Huvitav on see, et isegi sellised riigid nagu Poola, mis on sõja algusest saati Ukrainat tohutult abistanud, on madalamal (10. koht). Meie suhted Austria ettevõtetega on hea näide sellest, kuidas äri saab pärast sõja lõppu koostööd teha.

– Does Ukraine need additional foreign investments to restore economic growth faster after the war? The example of Greece shows that there are pros and cons to foreign investments. Experts have noted that after the financial crisis in Greece, a large part of the local economy ended up in the hands of foreign investors. If they gain too much control over the country’s economy, it can slow down its economic growth.

The situation in Ukraine is somewhat different. The arrival of European investors definitely means stability inside the country. If there is European money in Ukraine, it is already a guarantee of support, including war and peace issues. The model “we give you our money, deal with your problems yourselves” does not suit us. Ukraine seeks membership in the EU, it wants to integrate into it. EU is a big family where everybody is united and interconnected. That’s why we need your technologies, we need joint ventures with European companies. To reach a completely different economic level and ensure both Ukraine’s security from the military point of view and its competitiveness at the level of Europe and the whole world. I am impressed by the approach of European companies. It is a partner relationship, and many European and Austrian companies have partner companies all over the world. We also have this experience. We established a joint venture with Sany Group of China and I know that this company also works with Palfinger of Austria.

– You mentioned a Chinese company called Sany Group. In what areas are you cooperating?

Koostöö Sany Groupiga on koostöö kaevandusseadmete tootmises. See ettevõte toodab ka ehitus- ja tuuleenergia tootmise seadmeid.

– You mentioned wind generation. Are you interested in investments in alternative energy sources?

Jah, oleme sellistest investeeringutest huvitatud ja aja jooksul see piirkond Ukrainas aktiivselt areneb. Kuid kahjuks on praegu Ukrainas alternatiivenergiaga tegelemine tegelikult võimatu. Enamik tootjaid isegi ei kaalu selliste seadmete tootmiseks taotlusi, eriti tuuleenergia kasutamiseks ja selle tarnimiseks meie riiki. Lisaks on negatiivne mõju võimetus täielikult ära kasutada Musta mere sadamate võimalusi. Sama võib öelda päikeseenergia kohta, elektriliinide kahjustuste tõttu. Tuul ja päike võivad kindlasti saada 100% alternatiiviks traditsioonilistele energiaallikatele, kuid sellise tehase rajamine Ukrainasse on täna problemaatiline. Ja isegi kui meil õnnestub see ehitada, on probleemiks ka energia tarnimine tarbijateni. Kuigi Ukraina energiasüsteemis napib energiat.

– But do you plan to invest in them in the future?

Ukrainas on täna mitu tuulepargi projekti, mida võiks rajada. Rahulikumates läänepiirkondades käib hetkel töö info kogumisel, võimaluste analüüsimisel, projektide väljatöötamisel. Kuid peate mõistma, et isegi kõige arenenumates Euroopa riikides kulub tuuleparkide rajamiseks vähemalt kaks aastat. Olen kindel, et see sektor hakkab pärast sõja lõppu aktiivselt arenema, kuid praegu on selline ehitus lihtsa tarnelogistika tõttu ebatõenäoline. Keeruline tarnimine tähendab toodetud energia märkimisväärset kallinemist, eriti võrreldes sellega, mida EL-is saab ehitada. Samas, kui rääkida oma ettevõtete grupist, siis meil on tuulepargi projekt, mida hakkame ehitama kohe pärast sõda. Ostsime ka elektrilaadimisjaamade võrgu. Need varustatakse Euroopa võimsaimate 350-kilovatiste sõidukite laadimisseadmetega. Esimesed jaamad plaanime paigaldada juba sel kuul. See projekt algab Kiievis.

– Let’s return to questions about politics. If you compare state policy before and after the war, what has to change at the state level for the economy to develop?

We can paraphrase Churchill’s golden words: “In a country at war, I will never comment on my government. There are some things that are not up for discussion. Whether someone likes it or not. Zelensky is the president of a country at war. Who is doing everything in his power to bring victory closer. I don’t know when the war will be over, but we will all support the policies the government is pursuing today.

– And if we talk about the Ukrainian economy in more general terms? Just compare Ukraine’s economy before the war and after it started? After all, Ukraine has already gone through a lot of reforms related to the desire to enter the EU. What is needed for its further development?

First of all, for the economy to develop, the war must end; without that, Ukraine’s economy will not begin to work. Secondly, Ukraine must fulfill the requirements set forth in the EU Association Agreement as soon as possible. It is about those seven points that we all know and talk about so much. And finally, after or on its way to the EU, Ukraine must have fair access to the European market. This is especially important because on a global scale, everyone has already seen Ukraine’s crucial role in supplying grain and food. In this connection, the example of Austria, which provides itself with 91% of its own food, is very interesting. And yet even in pre-war times there were supplies of agricultural products from Ukraine to such a country.

– How to control the funds that will be allocated to Ukraine? Are traditional methods of control sufficient for this purpose? Several options have been considered within the EU, including the creation by Ukraine of a new agency, reinforced by a supervisory board, which would include representatives of the EU.

This question has a certain background. Is Ukraine today a member of NATO? De jure no, de facto yes. According to the number of armaments we get, according to the standards our army switches to, we are in fact already a member of NATO. And we cannot imagine further development of Ukraine without NATO. But there are strict procedures for such accession. There are rules and they must be observed. Is Ukraine a member of the EU now? Not yet, but we will be there anyway, it’s only a matter of time. Can Ukraine recover on its own today? Definitely not. It needs assistance, including from the EU. So why should we be afraid of EU control if we want to be part of it ourselves? Control over the use of funds is as much assistance from your side as military, financial or humanitarian aid. And as for the technical aspects, in my opinion, such control should be exercised within a single body. In this matter, the EU countries should go as a block, not separately. Just as they help us to fight, help us with weapons, in the same way they should make decisions on finance and control.

– Traditionally, when the EU allocates funds, it demands fulfillment of reforms at the same time. Is this option suitable for Ukraine?

For all the last years Ukraine has been declaring its desire to become a part of the EU. That is why the creation of state body, which will control the use of means, tell what mechanisms are necessary in judicial system, law enforcement, media – it is a great advantage for Ukraine. We will get away from internal corruption scandals. We will have a model in which we will become Europe faster. And Europe, not in geographical sense, but in mental sense. It will definitely speed up our integration process. Moreover, the creation of a single body will enable us to exercise control more effectively and not to get bogged down in details. When everyone is responsible for something, there will be no order. We want to overcome the path to the EU as quickly as possible, and mentality is the main factor to speed up this process.

– You mentioned that the problem for economic growth is the large number of people who have left Ukraine. What should be done to encourage people to return home?

The sociological data on what percentage of people who have left Ukraine are willing to return home is quite unreliable. These people can be divided into many different groups – people from areas where there is active fighting. People from calmer areas who wanted to keep their children and families safe. People who have lost their homes and have nowhere to live. What can be done to bring them back? First, provide such people with housing. Secondly, provide them with jobs. For our part, for example, we have already begun to develop such solutions. Our idea is to create residential complexes with production cycles. Not just to bring people back, but to provide them with jobs. Our pilot project will be launched in Kyiv region, but such complexes can be launched all over the country. The country can’t wait and its economy has to develop. So it’s time to do something today in areas where there are no active military operations.

– And a separate question about your television channel. When does it begin broadcasting?

The channel begins broadcasting on February 1. While our application is under consideration by the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council, the channel will broadcast the all-Ukrainian news marathon ” United News” only in a digital format. And after the reissuance of the license, the channel will start under the logo of Ukraine World News and expand its broadcasting to satellite.

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