I do often think about what happened in nearly 30 years of Ukraine's independence. And what could have been done better to approach the anniversary with more weighty and optimistic results.
Of course, history has no subjunctive mood, and what is done cannot be undone. I am convinced that our main problem has been and remains the habit of talking about good intentions instead of taking actions during all these three decades.
Presidents and governments are replaced, concepts, programs, and strategies are written and gather dust. There are some modernisation and digitalisation processes in medicine, education, public administration that allow citizens to use the state's services as a service institution quickly and easily. But this does not make it much easier for the Ukrainian people, especially if we consider the pandemic factor that has hit the world.
Therefore, it is time to move beyond chatter to the real economy as it is the only way to enter the upward trajectory of economic improvement. There is no more time to spout rhetoric. It had run out a long ago. I have repeatedly talked about it publicly to the whole country and personally to our top leadership.
I am a businessman. I am proud of it. I am not interested in political intrigues. I have no control over the media. I essentially do not interfere in the parliamentary and other administrative processes of the authorities. At the same time, DCH's experience shows that you can work efficiently and profit the country without wasting time on cheap talk, useless pretentious forums, showy projects, and empty discussions. Furthermore, the globalisation of the economy and the support of Ukraine by our western partners give us such opportunities that we could not even think of before.
I want to point out that DCH's investment business in Ukraine is based on a solid foundation that our team has created ourselves. Like all other serious holdings, we made portfolio investments in Ukrainian companies, bought and sold blocks of shares. But the projects of our pride, which made it possible to ensure the flow of real money into the Ukrainian economy, are projects for the development and capitalisation of enterprises with the subsequent attraction of foreign investors.
First of all, we are talking about UkrSibbank. It had a banking licence only at the time of the acquisition. From this starting point, we have gone all the way to a modern banking institution, which has attracted the interest of the international financial group BNP Paribas. The deal on the sale of UkrSibbank made it possible to attract almost $1 billion of REAL (not "Cyprus" or "Virgin") direct foreign investments to Ukraine. It is not a process of redistribution of property within the country; it is a creation process. And the financial outcome was not spent on some islands and palaces in far distant lands. It was reinvested in the Ukrainian economy!
The same, only with a smaller transaction amount, concerns the Merefian Glass Factory, which we developed and sold to Turkish investors. And there was also Kyivstar, Azot in Cherkasy etc.
Thanks to this hard work, it was possible
- To invest $300 million to build the entire infrastructure for EURO 2012 in Kharkiv (stadium, airport, first luxury hotel, etc.). In fact, to win the right to host the tournament in the city and thereby open it to the world.
- To drive out the FC Metalist from the first league and give Ukraine a new star of the national championship, a source of pride for all Kharkiv citizens and a bright participant in the UEFA Champions League.
- To develop the legendary Kharkiv Tractor Plant, which is known worldwide, and restore its production.
- To catch up and keep the Dnipro Metallurgical Plant and Sukha Balka afloat. Even in the face of very unfavourable market conditions.
- To save the best Ukrainian rugby club Olimp and fund it as the backbone of the national team.
- After the successful project of creating a modern airport in Kharkiv, to become a private investor in the construction of a new airport in Dnipro to return the region to regular air communication with the world.
And much more…
The building is my and the DCH team philosophy of doing business.
We realise that millions of KhTZ tractors are no longer in need in modern Ukraine with current agricultural technologies and global competition. Therefore, we are building Ecopolis HTZ, the Ukrainian Silicon Valley in Kharkiv, which President Zelenskyy instructed to create in the region. There is a clear strategy, clear terms and working modes, first famous residents from among the world's largest corporations, and even a schedule for the production of the first Kharkiv tram.
We are confident that aircraft construction and another mechanical engineering in Ukraine can be saved not by multi-page industry lobbyism programs but by actual financial investments. Therefore, DCH will use its capabilities and resources to preserve and modernise Motor Sich, Kharkiv Aviation Plant, and Electrotyazhmash.
We have not just announced our intention to return honourable and heroic FC Metalist to Kharkiv and Ukraine, but we are already doing this in practice.
We have great plans for various investment projects in Ukraine, from creative businesses to road construction. And in each specific case, both our money and the money of foreign partners will be invested, and the cash flows due to DCH will be reinvested in the economy of our country again.
There is nothing to divide and redivide in Ukraine. A bygone era's legacy is no longer left, and our economy is like The Wild Ass's Skin – less money and more debt every day.
Now is the time to constitute, to raise from knees, to create. That is, to BUILD.
We are open to dialogue with everyone close to such a picture of the world. There are real investment projects, an effective team, and a will to win. We invite everyone to work together on Ecopolis HTZ, mechanical engineering, and aircraft construction. Join us! Of course, the eternal gratitude of the Kharkiv residents and all Ukrainian fans awaits those who will help return the name and then the former sporting glory to Metalist by virtue of their power or just an ardent desire!
The less chatter and more work we do, the better we, Ukrainians, our children, and grandchildren, will live. And the more respected Ukraine will be on the world map.