UARU
“We Are Under-Invested and Underloved”: Ukraine’s Zelenskyy at Davos Forum
23 January, 2020
D15d0bbaded233afa
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, speaks during a plenary session during the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. EPA-EFE/GIAN EHRENZELLER

While speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged to invest in Ukraine "not to miss [the] chance". During the panel discussion, Zelenskyy stated that those who invest more than $100 million in Ukraine will be provided with a personal manager, and Ukraine will also provide tax breaks to investors who will invest over 10 million in privatization.

Threats to the World

The modern world is changing fast – what seemed a fantasy yesterday has become a reality today. But not everything in the new era is positive – trade wars, redistribution of territories, the rapid growth of military budgets, separatist movements, countries’ withdrawal from international agreements.

It undermines humanity's faith and leads one to think: Is this world falling into the abyss? Cataclysms have become commonplace, and shocks are sometimes just a habit.

War in Ukraine

Like no other, I know what I'm talking about right now (about the shocks and cataclysms – ed.), because a war has been ongoing in my country for six years. It’s been six years since Russia annexed part of our territory – despite thousands of pages of international law and hundreds of organizations designed to protect it.

The world has rallied around resolving these issues, but is an international concern and worry enough for those Ukrainians dead and who have lost their homes?

This is not enough. This is one of the indications that the current world order is vulnerable. The world needs updating rules, especially on international security.

Ambitious Tasks

What do you think is the challenge for a country that has lost part of its territory and is by far not the richest in Europe? To become a leader of Eastern and Central Europe. These are ambitious plans.

Do you think this is impossible? Many of the world's “unicorns” started with crazy ideas, a few workers and offices in their own garage. So, nothing is impossible.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, speaks during a plenary session during the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Photo: EPA-EFE/GIAN EHRENZELLER

Economic Breakthrough

In recent years, Ukraine has taken a few steps back. But it did not back down but took the distance for a run and an economic leap. The new Ukrainian government builds equal rules for everyone, cleanses the judiciary, digitizes the process, implements vital reforms and approves important laws.

In order to become a successful country, Ukraine has everything you need: favorable climate, very favorable geographical location, unexhausted agrarian, and industrial potential and the most valuable Ukrainian resource – incredibly creative and very talented people.

Ukraine Needs Investments

We are still lacking two things: first, another option than being successful. And [second] there is not enough investment. We invite everyone to become shareholders of the success of the new Ukraine.

We are one of the few countries that now allow earning such a high income and investment capital. Nowadays we are under-invested and unloved. But despite global trends, Ukraine is accelerating climate change. I intentionally made such a scandalous statement to focus your attention and to be heard by everyone. Of course, I'm talking only about the positive changes in the business climate.