Burisma Holdings, an independent oil & gas company with assets in Ukraine, became a main sponsor of the Adam Smith Ukrainian Investment Summit 2015. The topic of the 10th anniversary of the Summit in London held at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel was the “first wave of reforms as a platform for the economic development”.
“For Burisma Holdings, it was especially important to support a unique platform for meetings for the Ukrainian and international investment communities with respect to the business environment and attracting investments in the Ukrainian economy. In recent years, the Summit has become a discussion platform where investors can obtain up-to-date firsthand information on state policies and industrial development, providing a real opportunity for a frank and direct dialogue between business, government and investors, which is sometimes difficult in Ukraine,” says Chairman of the Board of Directors at Burisma Holdings Alan Apter.
This year, the Forum attracted numerous politicians from the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The main focus was on tax and other reforms. Both the government, represented by the Deputy Minister of Finance Artem Shevalev, Chris Wales, an adviser on tax reform at the Ministry of Finance and a former adviser to Gordon Brown, and the head of the State Fiscal Service Roman Nasirov, as well as the Parliament, represented by the head of the Verkhovna Rada committee on tax policy Nina Yuzhanina, presented an overview of adopted and proposed reforms.
Burisma Holdings also moderated a panel including Mihail Bno-Airiyan, Head of the European Integration Department at the Ministry of Energy and Coal, on the energy outlook for Ukraine, including the restructuring of the gas industry, the stimulation of domestic gas production in Ukraine and the issues facing the electricity sector, including the role of coal.
“Ukraine is very badly in need of reform of the gas market and attracting foreign investment in the gas sector. This is possible only with a radical change of fiscal policy and the complete abandonment of promoting monopoly position of some state-owned companies by the authorities. Today, at the current rates of extraction taxation, Ukraine cannot compete for investors’ funds with the neighboring countries, where they are as much as two times lower and where governments stimulate the investment climate for energy security of national economies. Only a clear and predictable long-term tax strategy in the gas industry will help regain the trust of investors and attract new investments, as well as contribute to the strengthening of Ukraine’s position as one of the largest gas-producing countries in Eastern Europe and will implement its energy potential”, adds Alan Apter.
At the same time, Mr Apter noted that despite an unfavorable macro-economic situation, political instability and onerous fiscal policy of the Ukrainian government, which made Burisma Holdings cut its investment program for 2015 by a third as compared the year before, the company managed to increase production performance and achieve production volumes of 1.2 bln. cubic meters of hydrocarbons on an annualized basis.
“In the last year, while the political situation in Ukraine has remained uncertain and unsteady, Burisma has remained as certain as we are steadfast: we are committed to a democratic Ukraine with free markets and enduring energy security and independence. We are part of Ukraine’s future not its past, part of the solution not part of the problem. Every single day, Burisma and its leaders are focused on energy independence for Ukraine and strong, modern corporate governance. We believe you cannot have one without the other. Part of this means having a best-in-class board of directors and we are proud to have assembled such an impressive group of people whose record in business and in positions of reform and leadership point clearly towards the kind of company Burisma always strives to be and the kind of Ukraine we hope to see”, sums up Alan Apter.
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