Owner of one of Ukraine’s largest agricultural producers, UkrLandFarming AgroHolding, Oleg Bakhmatyuk says the government should represent Ukrainian businesses on foreign markets and promote the Ukrainian products.
He made the comment during an interview with the Ukrainian Tyzhden (“The Ukrainian Week”) news outlet, as reported by the Ukrainian News Agency on April 26.
When asked about the effective model of the businesses-state cooperation, Bakhmatyuk said he did not believe in partnerships between businesses and the state, but the representation of businesses on foreign markets is in the interests of the latter.
“Businesses pay taxes, while the state on its part provides them with everything they need to function, and also represents them on foreign markets. The role of the state in foreign policy matters, its function of representation to promote domestic goods and services is very important. Ukraine lags behind here. I can assert this based on my experience,” he said.
“Take Georgia, for example. Shortly after Russia’s military aggression, they raised about US$4.5 billion in grants from the European Union. Their emissaries were in Europe, Asia, Japan, and Korea. This gave impetus to the development of that small territory. There should be people who represent businesses’ interests abroad and help major world players enter our markets. I deem it to be the main task of the government,” he added.
Bakhmatyuk says first of all, the executive branch of power should prepare an economic development strategy. “It [the government] must understand what our place in the world is like, where we want to move forward, and whether we are interesting for the world. Secondly, this is the mechanism for boosting households’ income. The government must use the two mechanisms to stimulate the economy, without provoking a surge in inflation, while adjusting transition [periods], and realizing where innovative approaches could be used. Another task of the government is foreign policy: we cannot exist separately from the global economic system. There must be a policy of communication with the world through economic interests, which means that we need to think about how to make the world get interested in us,” he said.
Bakhmatyuk believes that firstly, Ukraine may be interesting for countries of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Asian countries and Oceania. “It is the latter [two said regions], huge in volume, that will become the drivers of the global economy for the next 20-30 years. We can receive significant financial resources from them to develop our territories. Therefore, at this stage, we need people who will promote our products,” he summed up.
UkrLandFarming is one of the largest agro-industrial holdings in the country, which is engaged in growing grain and oil crops, seeds, animal husbandry, and the production of eggs and egg products (Avangardco IPL). The enterprises of the group of companies operate in 600 villages and towns in 22 Ukrainian regions. The owner of the holding is businessman Oleg Bakhmatyuk.