Ukraine has so few foreign investors because the country is seen abroad as a place where they will get scammed. That’s according to the former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, who now heads Kiev’s National Reform Committee.
“[Official] foreign investment in Ukrainian GDP is less than two percent,” Saakashvili said, speaking to TV channel Ukraine 24 on Tuesday. He went on to explain that, in reality, it is even smaller than that, at less than 0.2%.
According to the politician, this is money that should be coming in to “create jobs for Ukrainians” and help the country improve its economy, but investors are put off by the prospect of losing their cash.
“Why not? Because no one likes scams. Ukraine, Ukrainian officials, and the state all have a clear reputation for scamming. They screw everybody,” he said.
According to the former Georgian president, investors who are “stupid enough” to invest in Ukraine are “robbed of their money.”
“Even if you take back some of what you put in, you’re a very lucky man,” he said.
This is not the first time Saakashvili has attacked Ukrainian officials, having previously claimed that the country is a “non-existent state.” In June last year, he claimed that those in power each have their own bosses and don’t work for the betterment of the country.
“Because a state is one that is for everyone, that provides justice for everyone, that protects everyone. Where does this exist in Ukraine?” he asked.
Saakashvili was president of Georgia for nine years between 2004 and 2013, before leaving the country to become governor of Ukraine’s Odessa Oblast in 2015. Appointed by then-president Petro Poroshenko, he was also granted a Ukrainian passport. This led to him being stripped of his Georgian nationality, as the country forbids dual citizenship.
A year later, he resigned from the post and moved to the US, living in New York. In 2020, he was invited back to Ukraine by President Volodymyr Zelensky to head the country’s National Reform Committee.
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