29 November 2011

The Future could be bright...but maybe dark times are ahead for Ukraine.

President Viktor Yanukovych will do everything to keep Yulia Tymoshenko in prison.
Statements and tough ultimatums from EU country leaders won’t help.

Even the prospect of becoming an outcast dictator in the world’s eyes doesn’t seem to have much influence on Yanukovych.

According to the European Union’s ambassador to Ukraine, Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira, a free-trade deal due to be signed in December is in doubt – even the Dec. 19 Ukraine-EU summit might not even happen.

If it’s true, Ukraine will be deprived of trade privileges with 500 million potential consumers who have much higher incomes than Ukrainians. It also means that traveling to EU countries without a visa will be a distant dream.

It would appear that Ukraine will miss it's window of opportunity with the EU.

26 November 2011

British Club Meeting 24 November - Thanks

Thanks to all those who attended the club meeting this Thursday at Belgravia BC in Kyiv.
Special thanks to Kasper Ditlevsen who provided a thought provoking presentation on 'Personal Branding, Credibility and Networking'.

Many of us receive invitations on a daily basis to attend some kind of 'networking event' or meeting with business people for serious or fun times. I suppose in the old days all of us just 'went down to the pub'. But these days most of us appear to be using social networking tools to keep in contact with what is happening in our own environment.

I often think, what life was like before we all had mobile phones, laptops and so much instance access to other people instantly.

Kasper Ditlevsen provoked me to think about how I should 're-brand' myself.
More details later.

Farage: What gives you the right to dictate to the Greek and Italian peo...

What a refreshing change. Someone who is brave enough to say it as it is.

20 November 2011

Persecution of The Opposition

I'm just about to complete a business trip to Sri Lanka.
The political situation is somewhat similar to Ukraine.
The former Sri Lankan Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka was
found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison last Friday.
What was the offence he committed?

Maybe it was the fact that he stood as a presidential candidate
running against the sitting president Mahinda Rajapaksa during early 2010.
Fonseka received over 40% of the votes losing to Rajapaksa with 57%.

Shortly after the election, Fonseka was arrested and charged on three counts:
1. That he gave an interview to the English langauge newspaper, The Sunday Leader
where it wqs alleged by the editor that Fonseka made a comment which could
'arose communal feelings directly or indirectly'. In the comment Fonseka
had claimed that the Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (The Presidents brother)
had ordered an army Brigadier 'not to allow any Tamil Tigers (terrorists) to surrender alive.
Its was alleged he had ordered instead to shoot to kill all of them.
(The trial then became know as the 'white flag trial').

2. The statement made to the newspaper could 'incite communal hatred'.

3. An attempt was made to arouse anti-government feelings among the public and or communities.

Clearly another case of political persecution.

11 November 2011

British Legion Poppy appeal 2011

Last week the BBCU and Business Club Belgravia organised a quiz night.
British expats appear to like these quiz nights.

The great news is that UAH 4500 was raised and will be handed over to the British Legion Poppy Appeal via the British Embassy in Kyiv.

A big thanks goes to Bill Bennett for organising the event.
Special thanks also to
Anthony Nichol for organising the quiz and donating the wine.
Svetlana Khmel for assisting Anthony with the Quiz.
Ronny Badendiek (Radisson Hotel) for producing the ‘shepherds pie’.
Benoit Kuborn (Opera Hotel) for donating some prizes.
Chris Jones for 'persuading people' to buy poppies.

01 November 2011

Any good news in Ukraine?

Today we hear that the Investment Bank - BG Capital has closed its office in Ukraine.
The reasons are:

Because of the negative outlook, as investors are averse to risks in the country and companies delay plans for initial public offerings abroad.

BG Capital, the investment arm of Bank of Georgia, became the first major player to leave Ukraine after a number of smaller investment banks already closed earlier this year.
Insiders say some of the remaining big investment banks are downsizing their staff and freezing or cutting salaries amid tough conditions.

Risk-averse investors are pulling their money out of the local market and turmoil on global capital markets is pushing Ukrainian companies to delay plans of IPOs on the stock exchanges in London and Warsaw.

So, Ukraine is looking like a sad case again. If anyone out there has any good news about doing business in Ukraine please feel free to share it.