EBA Personality: Andreas Jueterbock, Western District Manager, METRO Cash & Carry Ukraine

  • EBA Personality: Andreas Jueterbock, Western District Manager, METRO Cash & Carry Ukraine
Issue 41, December 2011.

This month, we hear from Andreas Jueterbock, Western District Manager, METRO Cash & Carry Ukraine, sharing his opinions about the current business climate in Lviv and Western Ukraine, and his suggestions for what could be done to improve things over the next few years.

How do you assess business sector development in the Lviv region so far in 2011 and what are your business development predictions for 2012?
Overall the general business landscape in Western Ukraine is small and medium enterprises and these are the types of companies that, in the majority, were significantly affected by the financial crisis in 2008-2009. Thus business in Western Ukraine now faces the challenge of adjusting itself to the new realities. At the same time, the gradual economic recovery that started on the national level can already be seen on the regional level as well, and we expect that further improvement will follow by the end of the year.

How do you envisage the medium-term development of the Western Ukrainian investment environment?
The investment appeal of the region will be growing due to the fact that it still has many potential areas to invest in, especially in the infrastructure, services, tourism and retail. The investment environment of the region will as well be influenced by the coming Euro 2012 football championship.

In your opinion what role should Western Ukraine play in the broader Ukrainian economy?
Being close to the EU countries Western Ukraine should promote economic cooperation with the EU and share the best practices and initiatives with the whole country. Western Ukraine historically has closer ties with other Central & Eastern European countries and this is definitely a valuable economic asset that can bring a lot of benefits if properly used, to say nothing of the benefits of cross-border cooperation with the neighbouring countries. As well Western Ukraine is an important transportation gateway – granting access for Eastern European and Asian countries to the EU markets and this position can be further strengthened.

Which business sectors present the most interesting investment opportunities in today’s West Ukrainian market?
Western Ukraine has big potential in terms of retail and services. Since Lviv is going to be one of the cities to host Euro 2012 it is definitely worth investing to retail, HoReCa and entertainment sectors. Another direction is developing the resorts in Western Ukraine – we can already see the successful case of Bukovel and there can be many more. The agricultural sector and forestry are as well good areas to invest in Western Ukraine.

What 5 steps would you advocate to the Ukrainian authorities in order to improve the business climate in Western Ukraine?
To improve the investment climate in the country in general and Western Ukraine in particular there should be more stability and predictability. At the same time one needs to stress that within the last few years the social and political situation in the country has become more stable and this makes the international investors more confident and ready to consider the deployment of new projects. Regarding the five steps these can be: improving the situation regarding customs, reducing limitations for foreign investors in some industries which are currently closed to them, making the privatization processes more transparent, simplifying the foreign currency conversion\ transfer policies, and making the legal system more transparent.

What are the key-obstacles facing companies which seek to run successful business Western Ukraine?
We do not see any particular regional obstacles, the challenges that Ukraine has are more or less common for the whole country. At the same time Metro Group is one of the biggest international promoters of Ukraine as a country that has significant investment potential, as you can judge from the recently announced plans to open 20 more stores by 2013.

Will Ukraine in general and Lviv in particular be ready due in time to host a successful Euro 2012 tournament?
We see that the country is doing its best to be fully ready for hosting Euro 2012 and we have no doubt that Ukraine overall and Western Ukraine in particular will not miss the chance to gain maximum reputational and business advantage from the tournament.

What are the biggest benefits of EBA Membership for your company?
The biggest benefit has been the opportunity to join a community of like-minded businesses and be able to collaborate, exchange views and forge business relationships. In this regard, the EBA has been very useful.

What do you regard as your biggest business success story to date?
The EBA Membership offers great opportunities for networking as well as is an important platform for cooperation with other businesses that share the same agenda. Work within the Association enablesus to exchange ideas and opinions, generate support for certain initiatives and establish the contacts with potential partners and customers.

What do you regard as your biggest business success story to date?
I do believe that it is yet to come. I would not like to stop on what has already been achieved.

What are your personal recommendations for anyone who wants to be successful in business?
Never stop developing yourself – self development and self-education are the basis of success in business.