Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Agnitio est prosperitas

Agnitio est prosperitas

A long blog post on Ukraine's international economic relations and the WTO.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Bankova Street

The temporary closing of Bankova St. caused a minor scandal. The city authorities (or was it the presidential authorities?) had closed the street last spring to some repairs. It was closed for all of the summer and most of this fall. Bankova is a short street where the presidential administrative offices sit. During the Orange Revolution it was a chief site of protests. It was a bad sign, when soon after the revolution, the authorities closed the street. While it has always been a site of protests, it is also an important cross street for pedestrians in the Lippy neighborhood.

In remonting the street, the authorities put up a large, iron fence and raised the street level up to the level of the sidewalk, effectively creating a large plaza. It is very nice and fairly well done. Unfortunately, the government kept the gates closed and the new plaza was barred from the general public. The public relations downside of this was tremendous. There have been protests against the closure for the past few weeks. A protest led by people living in the neighborhood was ignored, but a smaller, later, one by the Pora folks apparently got enough attention. It gates were open Tuesday evening and have been opened since. One fun fact, the Kyiv Post focused its lead editorial this week on the subject. Of course it was a bit late. Even prior to publication, even prior to the final edit of the paper, the gates have been opened and people were free to walk down Bankova.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Freedom Day for Ukraine and Russia - COMMENTARY - MOSNEWS.COM

Freedom Day for Ukraine and Russia - COMMENTARY - MOSNEWS.COM

A very good commentary by Stanislav Belkovski. I found it through the http://room12a.com/ blog.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Software Marketing Today and Yesterday

Today I attended a software presentation put on by the Robertson and Blums Company. They presented the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne business system. The presentation was co-sponsored by Oracle and IBM. It was fine presentation that showed a high degree of marketing skill and actually provided some useful information. The presentation reminded me of one of the first professional activities I was involved in Kyiv in 1995. I was working for Arthur Anderson at the time, and Arthur Anderson was cooperating with Robertson and Blums to market and implement the Sun Systems accounting package. I was head of the new business systems practice and it came down to me to present how the Sun System accounting system could deal with both Ukrainian and International Accounting Standards. Kyiv at the time did not really have appropriate presentation spaces, so we used a meeting room in the Ukrainian House, where Arthur Anderson leased offices. The presentation went fairly well expect that the room was hot and too full of sun light. We had looked into the space a few days before but we did not notice that the curtains did not fully cover the windows. The first part of the presentation was by a team of Arthur Anderson accountants on Ukrainian accounting issues. Their use of Powerpoint was hampered by an inability to actually see much of the presentation due to too much sunlight hitting the screen. During the coffee break, I rushed to find a Powerpoint background with extreme contrast and change our presentation. Somehow I got it done and was able to present a reasonable talk on Sun Systems. I remember the most of the questions were from international business people just starting to get their feet wet in Ukraine.

The facilities that Robertson and Blums used today, at the Radisson SAS hotel were far superior to what we had available. They did have problems moving from one portable computer to another which is something that rarely goes well in presentations.

Ukrainian software marketing is really grown in quality in the last ten years but it still is always seems like a bit of snake-oil salesmanship. Promises on the utility of the software are always made and sometimes these promises have little to back them up. Robertson and Blums is a good company which has been active in Ukraine for over ten years.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Room 12A

A great blog by Ethan Wallison. His understanding of the Harfouch brothers is great.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Is this a lifting of the shadows?

There was a fine article in the Kyiv Post last week. “New policies give tax boost”, by Roman Olearchyk. It covered the variance between the 2004 and 2005 profits made by certain large corporations. In many cases, the 2005 profits and sales were notably higherthan 2004, even with the slowdown in the Ukrainian economy and the slowdown in the international metals market. The reason given for this increase in sales is the need to report more realistic earnings in order to attract international respect and interest. This might be a move by Ukrainian industrialists to clear up their holdings in order to sell some of them off. Greater pressure by the tax authorities also paid a part.

One question that comes to mind, it would be great to see these calculations split out by backers of former regime and supporters of the current one. This article is available online to Kyiv Post subscribers. Once again, the Post is building a subscription wall between itself and it readers, but only online.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Interview: Kyiv Post editor Andrey Slivka

Interview: Kyiv Post editor Andrey Slivka

By Peter Lavelle

This is a fine, nuanced, interview with Andriy Slivka, editor of the Kyiv Post written by Peter Lavelle. It shows an understanding of the political dynamics of Ukraine. It is the type of material that could appear regularly in the Post, but is often missing.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A world becoming more peaceful?

by Paul Rogers, www.opendemocracy

The world is becoming more peaceful. Imagine that.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Gorenje comes to Kharkiv

Major appliance manufacturer to set up plant in Kharkiv oblast. This is a step to utiltize Ukraine's skills and its geographic position. That a Slovenia manufacturer is doing this points to the growing wage variance between Western, Central, and Eastern Europe

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