Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 26, 2008

Ukraine seeks investment boost for Euro 2012

Filed under: Money,Ukraine — Ivan @ 11:36 pm

LONDON (Reuters) – Ukraine needs a large influx of foreign direct investment to meet infrastructure requirements for the Euro 2012 finals, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister said.

Ukraine is hosting the tournament along with Poland, but both countries have come under fire from European football’s governing body UEFA for not working fast enough on preparations.

“Ukraine is lagging behind most of its eastern European and central European neighbours in terms of foreign direct investment in total and FDI per capita,” Hryhory Nemyrya said in an interview with Reuters on Monday.

“There is huge room for improvement, a several times increase between 2008 and 2012,” he said.

Nemyrya estimated $23 billion (12 billion pounds) was needed to put the infrastructure in place, slightly below previous estimates of $25 billion, with the bulk of this money coming from the private sector.

“We have 1,500 kilometres in roads to be built or modernised and almost 100 hotels to build.”

Foreign direct investment in Ukraine rose to $5.2 billion in the first nine months of 2007, from $3.1 billion in the same period in 2006.

Nemyrya is a member of the government of pro-Western Yulia Tymoshenko, voted in as prime minister two months ago.

“One of the systemic issues for the lack of significant FDI in Ukraine was malfunction in the judicial system,” Nemyrya said.

“This is the systemic change the government is committed to achieving, and of course Euro 2012 will benefit.”

A Ukrainian delegation including Nemyrya this week attended a Euro 2012 investment forum for British companies at the headquarters of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

EBRD president Jean Lemierre told reporters the bank had invested 800 million euros ($1.19 billion) in Ukraine last year and was looking to inject more in 2008.

“We plan to invest at least one billion euros a year in the private sector, we are trying to support the competitiveness of the Ukrainian economy,” Lemierre said.

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