Ukrainian business — partner or resource colony of Europe?




By the end of the year 2019, everyone tries to sum up year’s results, to recall the ups and downs, because they determine the further development of the person, company, government… APK-Inform Agency asked the Head of the Ukrainian holding VEKTOR Company Group, Alexander Alexandrov, about the results of the company work.


Alexander, in 2019 Your company took active part in many Ukrainian and international agrarian conferences, and also sponsored many of them. Please, would You share the company’s results in 2019?

The year 2019 was indeed intense and full of new emotions and impressions. I would like to thank the team of APK-Inform Agency for the support in the development of the agroindustrial complex of Ukraine because your informational events grant the chance for many to switch off from the everyday routine and to look differently at the current realias. We worked hard not only in Ukraine, but in the near foreign countries, including Kazakhstan where we currently perform the construction of two new oil extraction plants. We actively work on the pre-project solutions for many companies, which heard about us on the events and are ready to change the stereotypes. In my opinion, VEKTOR Сompany Group being awarded the status of the independent international expert of development of the fat and oil industry in Kazakhstan was the main achievement of 2019.

After all, the prospects of the Ukrainian-Kazakh collaboration in fat and oil industry and agoindustrial complex are rather high. We have got a lot to learn from one another, in particular, about the realization of the high level of the governmental support of the industry and together with APK-Inform Agency and the Department of the industry policy of the Ministry of Economic Development of Ukraine we actively work on the creation of the “Program of National Food Security”.


In Your opinion, how the agroindustrial complex of Ukraine will develop considering the change of government?

As for the issue, I share the opinion of one expert who has already said: everything would depend on the course of the development of our country. If the current model, which provides more or less stable national currency course, absence of the political crises and the stabilization of the situation on the East of Ukraine, is going to preserve, the national business will be developing slowly. It will be a slowly growth which will continue to preserve Ukraine in a status of the raw-material appendage of the global market players. Herewith, if the new government will be able to carry out reforms which will allow Ukraine to attract significant investments and to realize the strategy of the energy independence, then the economy of the country will be growing fast. There will be new plants, the infrastructure will develop, the transit will increase which also will create the related services and the working places.

Ukraine stage-by-stage will develop the production of the products, which will be sold all over the world. And this will provide our country with totally new geopolitical global status.


We know that Your company does a lot for this. Recently, VEKTOR Сompany Group and Bulgarian company Elica announced about the joint construction of the plant for production of high-tech equipment for agricultural processing plants in Ukraine. How this project is developing?

Unfortunately, I don’t have good news for you. Once again the trust and the hospitability of our holding was used by so-called partners. For many years VEKTOR Сompany Group was working on the development of the Ukrainian machinery manufacturing via implementing the innovative technologies with the capacity to produce the hi-tech machinery for the fat & oil and grain industries, including the deep processing. We did not want the Ukrainian market to drawn in the produce of the foreign companies which lately have got more advantages: they have the possibility to import European machinery tax-free for 5 years, thus destroying Ukrainian machine engineering factories.

Our aim was to offer Ukrainian companies the competitive energy-efficient machinery with the perfect balance of “price and quality”. This is why we decided not to launch the Elica company office in Ukraine but to jointly build the plant for the production of the machinery in our country thus providing the spur to fully reboot the engineering industry. But apparently this goal was not mutual.

After signing the memorandum in 2019 we put a lot of energy and fulfilled all our obligations. Even more – we managed to receive an approval and support for this project from the Ministry of the Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine and the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. So, we are waiting for the next step on behalf of Elica, which during the recent months do not react on our requests. We do not understand whether the further development and the realization of the project is possible or not.

It seems that the main aim of Elica company was not the construction of the plant in Ukraine as we offered, but simply the widening of its distribution market by using the black PR. Because recently the information about the Bulgarian investors entering the country was confirmed. At first I was amused but then shocked. Just imagine: instead of realizing the project announced about the construction of the plant they invite some insight company and even mislead the head of the trade-economic mission of the Bulgarian embassy in Ukraine.

I like the phrase “Ukraine is a country of the ever-increasing potential” more and more. But, how long can we increase the potential and avoid increasing the economy?


So much for the international investments. And this is despite the fact that You put so much efforts in promoting Elica machinery on the Ukrainian market. What are You going to do next?

First of all, I’d like to focus your attention on the fact that we do not promote someone’s machinery and we are not the agency of the “unusual personal situations” which can simply promote the foreign produce on the market of Ukraine. Our goal is to introduce the innovative technologies, to provide the possibility to produce quality goods with less energy-use and contamination to the atmosphere. That is why while constructing the plant our holding does not impose to the client one or another producer but lets to choose the producer of the equipment, which will be able to achieve the tasks. Of course, the reliability of the equipment supplier as a partner is an important factor for the client. So, I can say confidently that there is always another way. Moreover, I hope that many specialized engineering plants of Ukraine have already perked up and are ready to offer similar equipment soon, and we will be glad to help them.


It’s nice to see You being positive despite the situation in general. I’d like also to recollect Your program “Shift of the priorities is the new stage in development of the fat and oil industry”, which as we can see has been heard, and one of the Ukrainian companies is ready for changes.

Yes, it’s true. Many Ukrainian companies following my speech on the conference “Fat & Oil Indystry-2019” are seriously considering the changes. And indeed I’m very happy that at last many managers of the large companies came up with opinion that it is impossible to remain at the top without introducing new technologies in production process. Melitopol Oil Extraction Plant has been first to respond and the management of the plant said that they want to be the modern and competitive enterprise. Now we are preparing, agreeing and receiving the approval documents from the local authorities in order to start formulating the project documentation and the construction. However, the owner of the plant is the Honorary Consul of Bulgaria, Sergey Zhelev, who also supported us during the implementation of the project of the construction of the plant for the production of the hi-tech equipment for the processing plants in Ukraine. Ironically, he was first one ready to install the equipment of Elica on his plant.


Alexander, in conclusion, we’d like to wish You to have reliable and serious partners. Maybe You can wish something to our readers?

I want to wish everyone who lives and works in Ukraine to believe in yourself and in your work, to invest and do everything possible for our country to develop. And be careful while choosing the partners! Despite many believe that the foreign investors are afraid to invest in Ukraine and do not trust, we can see that sometimes it is vice versa.


Interviewed by Julia Shevchenko, APK-Inform Agency