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Recycling Odessa? OHB Holdings

July 2, 2016

A few weeks ago an entry appeared relating to Odessa City Council’s new 5T municipal investment strategy – The 5 T’s being Transport, Trade, Tourism, Technology and Trust.

The entry questioned which definition of “Trust” was referred to – “Trust per the dictionary definition “belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.”?  Odessa City Hall?  A City Hall that currently is seeing all of its long term organised criminality associates consolidate and indeed grow under its patronage?

Trust per the dictionary definition “an arrangement in which someone’s property or money is legally held or managed by someone else or by an organization (such as a bank) for usually a set period of time” – or perhaps better defined as “an arrangement in which someone’s property or money is illegally held or subjected to hostile/very hostile take over by someone else or by an organization (such as organised criminality closely associated with City Hall) usually after a set period of time”

Trust per the dictionary definition “an organisation that results from the creation of a trust“.  Something that those in political power in City Hall do not bother with, for why bother to separate their business interests from their political interests?  Odessa City Hall does not run on the concept of the business of politics – it runs on the concept of the politics of (vested) business (interests).

Trust perhaps per “Trust in Deeds” – the Mayor Trukhanov’s personal pocket political party?  Is it a sinister subliminal message to the would-be investor?

An investor should perhaps clarify, and perhaps even codify contractually, just which definition of “trust” the Odessa municipal  5T investment “strategy” actually refers to.   He who sups with the Devil should have a long spoon – and a very clear eyed view of who and what Devil be Odessa City Hall.”

We are perhaps about to discover which definition of “Trust” it will be – or perhaps it will ultimately be a combination of definitions.

Mayor Trukhanov and Mr Ho Kyong-go-Kim

Mayor Trukhanov and Mr Ho Kyong-go-Kim

Oriental Holdings Berhad (OHB Holdings) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Odessa City Council relating to what could be a $25 million investment to build and operate a waste treatment/recycling plant. OHB Holdings has already carried out a similar investment programme in Rivne, so Ukraine is not new and unknown territory.

(OHB Holdings are very active across Asia and beyond. Indeed it is not unknown to this blog, for the blog datcha is in Thailand where OHB are active.)

Well Bravo!

However it is a MoU – and not yet a signed and sealed contract. Thus it is not a done deal, albeit a very welcome step in the right direction for many reasons, ranging from FDI confidence to more effective environmental management.

Politically it will buy Mayor Trukhanov time as nefarious deals involving the Syrian billionaire owner of Kadar Group (a prominent and busy construction company in Odessa) and the Mayor/City Hall continues to drip into the public realm. Indeed Mayor Trukhanov has more reason to worry over this developing scandal than anything within the Panama Papers, his alleged holding of Russian passports, and his obvious organised crime links.

It remains to be seen what accommodation/collaboration can and/or will be reached with the existing vested interests that have grown very wealthy within the existing city waste contracts, for it remains unclear whether those vested interests have been approached and agreements reached prior to the signing of this MoU, or whether the MoU was signed pending such negotiations whereupon contracts will be signed – or not.

Nevertheless, prima facie this would appear to be positive news for Odessa, the local environment, Ukraine, and perhaps some short term political breathing space for Mayor Trukhanov.

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