Interview by Ambassador Erdogan Iscan, IMAGE.UA

Erdoğan İşcan 01.03.2008
The IMAGE.UA magazine, March 2008 - Ukraine-Turkey
TWO BIG COUNTRIES OF THE GREATER EUROPE

Interview by IMAGE.UA with Mr Erdogan Iscan, Ambassador of Turkey to Ukraine

How does the image of a country affect the investment attractiveness?

It is obvious that the business community requires long-term assurances for the security of their investments. The image of the country is a crucial determinant in terms of the perception of potential foreign investors. The image is made up of, among others, the durability of political stability, the existence of the supremacy of law and the effective functioning of the independent judiciary as well as the availability of easy procedures in establishing and maintaining business.

The first wave of foreign investors who arrived in early 1990s were encouraged by the enormous business opportunities. Nevertheless, the circumstances of that period had discouraging effects on many of the investors. Later, in view of the improving conditions, foreign investors continued to be attracted, though still with caution.

I am pleased to see improvements in the investment climate in Ukraine, but it is still hard to conclude that it is as favourable as it should be. The signing of the protocol concerning the admittance of Ukraine to the WTO as a member is a very promising development. Once it is ratified and Ukraine becomes a member of the WTO, it will have an accelerating impact on Ukraine’s integration into the world standards which will improve the country’s image.

Turkey is one of most important strategic investors for Ukraine. In which branches have the investment projects been most successfully realized?

Ukraine and Turkey are two sizable countries of wider Europe, sharing the Black Sea. Two states have common objectives and similar concerns regarding the future, especially in terms of the further integration into the European structures. Relations between our countries in all spheres have visibly intensified in the past couple of years. Our economic relations reflect what we may describe as the perfect political dialogue existing between the two states. While the regular exchange of visits at the high level outline the road map strengthening relations between the two countries, effective bilateral mechanisms have also emerged whereby experts maintain dialogue with a view to overcoming difficulties. The Inter-Governmental Turkish-Ukrainian Commission of Trade Economic Cooperation brings together the representatives of both state and private sector to elaborate joint positions. The last meeting of this Commission was held in Kyiv in March 2007.

It is also important to note that the negotiations for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were launched in June 2

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