Odessa company Kommersant in the mid-90's became known for the fact that the former began to engage in commercial and industrial real estate in Ukraine. Its founder and CEO Valery Lokaychuk visited Dubai as part of a delegation of Ukrainian businessmen in June this year. Valery Fedorovich kindly agreed to discuss the results of his visit with the correspondent of the "Business Emirates".
- Valery Fedorovich, what are your impressions of Dubai, meetings held?
- I came to Dubai from Vienna, where the international real estate exhibition Real Vienna was held. There we were just visitors, and here in Dubai, we met with representatives of DP World, a group we have known for many years. For this meeting, we prepared a presentation of the project for the construction of a container terminal in the deepest (16 meters) Black Sea port of Yuzhny.
With DP World we negotiated in 2004, when this project was only being developed. Then the project was done by us, and the American corporation Trans System. And this is the only project in the world where 132 hectares of private land are allocated for a container terminal, and 99 hectares for an oil terminal with a kilometer coast zone for the construction of a berth. I do not know what the negotiations will lead to at DP World, but it was interesting to talk with them again.
Our project was carried out taking into account the most innovative international technologies. In fact, a container terminal requires only 46 hectares of land, we are doing 132 hectares, so that the customs zone, free zone, ship repair, assembly, logistics and warehouses will be located there. In short, this project should become a benchmark in terms of world standards. We came here to find a partner with whom we can cooperate in the future.
- DP World as such a partner is not suitable?
- DP World took the port of Constanta in operational management in 2004, and if today Odessa starts its new container terminal, it will be 5 million containers per year, which is much higher than the turnover of Constanta and many other ports in the world. Therefore, almost every year we meet with DP World to observe their moods and what is happening. We have already received an offer from competitors DP World - the Singapore company ACDC. In addition, we are negotiating with other companies.
We informed DP World that by October we will announce a tender to find the port operator Vera, which will become our strategic partner and exercise overall leadership over the port's activities. We already have applications for loading the port by 300% (!). Such a number of companies have expressed their desire to be loaded with us. I think that the leadership of DP World should take a closer look at this trend.
- Returning to the UAE, what impressed you the most during the visit?
- Yes, a lot. And the scale of construction, including. This, given that the climate in the UAE is still quite heavy. In winter, more or less, and in the summer - very hot, and every tree should be watered constantly.
I was impressed by all the business meetings organized for us during this trip by the Ukrainian Trade Center in the countries of the Persian Gulf. We also discussed the issues of holding an international legal forum in the UAE, and bilateral economic and scientific cooperation, and many others.
It seems to me that an international legal forum, for example, will attract even more attention of the entire world public to the Arab Emirates. When we held such a forum in Beijing and was attended by more than twenty general prosecutors from around the world, it seems to me that China was the first to look at China as a rule-of-law state. The forum was held in two largest cities of the Middle Kingdom: three days in Beijing and three days in Shanghai. I think that China was then able to extract from the international event of this scale the maximum benefit and benefits for itself. The same can happen in the Emirates. This is a young state, rapidly advancing in its development, and status events of such rank will not damage it precisely. It seems to me that representatives of the UAE Foreign Ministry, with whom we met and communicated on this issue, took our proposal with great understanding. And if the forum is held in the capital of Abu Dhabi, and in Dubai, which develops tourism, trade, exchange activities and other spheres of business, this forum will receive a global response.
I know that the Emirates are now on the verge of signing an international agreement on free trade with Western Europe, followed by the signing of the same document with the United States. The legalization of these processes is in the zone of close attention of the World Association of Lawyers, of which I am a member. Of course, this is a non-governmental organization, but a professional club, but if the members of this club say: "Emirates are great, you can work here!", Then foreign investors will go here in incredible numbers and with big capitals. The conditions for investing here are simply gorgeous, thanks to the lack of money