U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) hosted a meeting with Francis Malige, EBRD, Managing Director, Eastern Europe and Caucasus, on the Topic “Ukraine: Investors have a choice – Ukraine VS the World”. This session took place in Kyiv on April 13, 2017. 

Mr. Malige discussed  investment opportunities in Ukraine vs international investment options for business, emphasizing that it was critical for the government of Ukraine to focus on creating favorable business environment. He also commented on the low level of FDI in Ukraine (less than 3% of GDP in 2016) and talked about attractiveness factors for investors in Ukraine (location, large local markets, skilled and motivated workforce, black soil, skilled IT sector) versus hurdle factors – including lack of dividend repatriation and currency convertibility freedom, issues with protection of property rights, rule of law, prospects of geopolitical stability.

                                                                                                                                                He also commented on the progress of Ukrainian reforms comparing various sectors of economy, including energy sector reforms, central bank and commercial banking sector reforms and the need for the new strategy for the state-owned banks in Ukraine that constituted over 55% of the banking sector.

Mr. Malige mentioned reforms in the other sectors that in his opinion contributed to the improvement of the investment climate in Ukraine – establishment of the Office of Business Ombudsman, Prozorro government procurement system that EBRD supported and that both demonstrated good performance indicators since their implementation.

Mr. Malige emphasized that EBRD was the largest investor in Ukraine with over 12 billion Euros of investment over 25 years, diversified through 377 projects and current investment portfolio of 4,164 million Euro. He also mentioned EBRD’s current priorities and major projects in Ukraine – in the area of infrastructure development, energy efficiency, agriculture, improvement of municipal transportation systems in large Ukrainian cities.

 The presentation was followed by open discussion and Q&A session.  Francis Malige recently spoke to a meeting of USUBC members in Washington, D.C.
Francis Malige is the Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus for EBRD. He has been based in Kyiv since his appointment in 2014 and is responsible for leading the Bank’s operations and policy initiatives in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. A French national, Mr. Malige joined the EBRD in February 2010 as a Director in the Financial Institutions Team, where he successfully developed the Bank’s business in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, Turkey and most recently in the southern and eastern Mediterranean.

Before joining EBRD, he was Managing Director for Corporate Development at BNP Paribas, focusing on bank acquisitions. His earlier career was in accounting and consulting, at Arthur Andersen and McKinsey & Company, where he served clients in industry, high tech and construction, as well as financial services. Mr. Malige is a graduate of ESCP Europe, a French business school. In addition to his native French, he is fluent in German, Italian and English. 

USUBC would like to thank KPMG Ukraine for hosting the event at their headquarters. 

More pictures of the event: http://www.usubc.org/site/gallery/UKRAINE--INVESTORS-HAVE-A-CHOICE---UKRAINE-VS-THE-WORLD-quot---USUBC-WORKING-LUNCHEON-WITH-FRANCIS-MALIGE