Posts Tagged ‘India’


Ukraine 13th July Investment Conference – USA

June 13, 2015

For those who are unaware – which is almost everybody – there is to be an investment conference relating to opportunities within Ukraine – to privatisation, energy, etc., not to mention the promulgation and reiteration of just how far financial reforms have gone, and have yet to go, in order to boost confidence for those investors attending – on 13th July in the USA.

The amount of the information from the International Support for Ukraine Conference of April 2015 that can be reused is probably rather limited.  A different audience entirely.

Thus detailed and fevered preparation is on-going within the relevant Ukrainian ministries to collate information and generate terribly interesting and attractive opportunities to tempt the US corporate (and perhaps affluent entrepreneurial and philanthropic) community – or not.

Though risk aversion is the current en vogue meme within the “West” politically and economically, that is perhaps not so within the world of big business.  Opportunity is opportunity when all is said and done, and US Embassy Kyiv would be rather pleased to see US interests – outside of the geopolitical – arrive and flourish whilst it holds significant sway with the current Government of Ukraine.

There will be far fewer hurdles to negotiate now than ever before for any US entrant/investor considering the current government composition and considerable US diplomatic effort (and corresponding influence) in Kyiv.

It is logical therefore to have an easily accessible, short investors conference in the US for CEOs and politicians who are otherwise far too busy to fly off to Kyiv to attend what may be a hit or miss event from their perspective.  A few hours can perhaps be found to attend.  A few days, probably not.

Yet investment and partnership deals there are aplenty.  Whether it be Motor Sich and South Africa’s Paramount Group signing contracts to develop the Superhind Mi 24 helicopter, or Dutch companies owning and operating industrial parks in Ukraine, opportunity there certainly is.   China continues with its $10 billion investment plan undaunted.

Opportunity presents itself particularly so when there is a Ukrainian government looking for genuinely foreign investment, rather than recycled and laundered money buying up assets through the facade of Latvian, UK or Cypriot front companies and also seeking to avoid Russian strategic purchases.

A nation as large and with such a well educated populous does not rebuff its internal oligarchical interests and throw itself prostrate before the alter of large foreign corporation investment every day.  Neither is such a nation often as dependent upon the goodwill of the Europeans and US either.  The Donbas aside, a more accommodating Ukraine there has never been for foreign corporate/business entry.

Indeed, if it hadn’t been for Kremlin interference within Ukraine by force, the desire and need for genuine foreign investment would possibly have been far more muted, and certainly held hostage  oligarchical control to a far greater degree.  It is now though, a case of needs must.  And when needs must, those that can meet those needs negotiate from a position of strength – as every large corporation/investor knows.

What many in Ukraine will find most interesting in the short term however, is which State owned/controlled entities will be on the list for privatisation submitted for the US audience consumption?  A cherry-picked list?  A full list (if it has been completed)?  A list designed to lead US corporations/investors down a certain sectoral path?

Will there be a similar conference for the Europeans?  (It is to be hoped so with the DCFTA coming into force in less than 6 months.)

What about the Asians?

Should separate conferences for China and India to be held in those nations, thus giving the perception they are held in equal potential investment esteem?

If so, when?

The bigger the foreign corporation/investor, the more they have access to, and the ear of, their national governments.  Thus the more diverse the significant foreign investment interests, the more relevant Ukraine remains in more far flung corridors of power.

The attraction toward US corporations and investors is fair enough, and the reasons why clear enough – indeed it is right to pursue it with vigor – but diversity of investment source is the key to confronting internal oligarchical and Russian strategic purchases by diluting concentrations of power – it reclaims economic sovereignty in the long term whilst simultaneously throwing open Ukraine for global business.


TMS Cricket and difficult explanations‏

July 26, 2011

For the last 5 days, religiously the computer has been locked onto the TMS (Test Match Special) BBC coverage of the first Test between world ranked number 1’s India against world ranked number 2’s England. A series that should England win will reverse those rankings as far as Test Cricket is concerned.

All incredibly important stuff for hundreds of thousands, in fact probably millions of English and Indian people scattered around the globe, yours truly included. Life or death it is not. When looked at from the viewpoint of recent ghastly events in Norway or the untimely death of Amy Winehouse, who in my opinion was the best British female artist since Kate Bush, then cricket is and always will be only a game.

Nonetheless it matters, and never more so when the game is played at Lords, a pitch which almost always guarantees a result (rather than a draw) if the rain stays away. I have to admit to having spent many days being corporately entertained at Lords, Headingley, The Oval, Edgbastion and Old Trafford. It may yet be that I will see a test match, although probably no longer whilst being corporately entertained, at The Rose Bowl, home of cricket to my very own county, as it graced its very first Test Match early in the year when England played Sri Lanka.

I also admit that all the corporate entertainment at Test cricket matches through the years has led to a rather large, if not somewhat garish on occasion, collection of commemorative ties.

Anyway, during the past five days, it has been particularly difficult to explain even the most fundamentals of the game to those Ukrainians around me. Before even getting to dividing up to pitch and explaining why silly mid-off, gully, third man and all other orthodox fielding positions are and then having to try and explain the names and why they are called what they are called, there are even more basic elements to explain.

Why is there eleven people against only two all the time? That is not fair.

Why on such a big pitch do the play in the dirty bit and not a nice green bit?

Why are the two with bats dressed like riot police?

Why is one person allowed to have big gloves to catch the ball and all the others not?

This of course before attempts to explain the nuances about lbw which even if the ball does hit the legs is not necessarily lbw.

Why does one game take 5 days? Why do they play so many games in a series, it is almost a month when all the days are added together?

The list of questions, as you can imagine, goes on and on and on.

In a clear lack of commitment on my part with regard to explanation over the period of a few days, eventually it has come to a point that when I almost choke on a half eaten sandwich, and then try to avoid spluttering the contents over the computer screen, it is a cue for those in my presence to await the angst of disbelief or the unbounded joy over any particular incident. I almost feel like a conductor with an orchestra.

It is unfortunate an acquaintance of mine, Sundeep, lives in Kyiv and is not here to assist me in delivering the finer points of a wonderfully tactical game. It would be particularly beneficial given he is Indian and hails from West Bengal thus providing a more neutral, or at least equally as biased (but the other way) commentary.

Anyway, if some of the posts have been lacking in quality and more vigorous comment over the past 5 days, it is due to the distractions provided by the TMS team at the BBC, some outstanding cricket, and the need to explain matters cricket related to those around me.

Hopefully normal service will resume for a few days before the next Test starts at Trent Bridge.

Still, click here and enjoy!

One small thing to note. I didn’t take the good woman long to realise the symbolism of the Umpire’s digit of doom for any batsman. I have been on the receiving end of a number of exceptionally dodgy Umpire-esque dismissals since!

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