Hennadii Volodymyrovych Plis. On the economic prospects of the capital. Exclusive

Kyiv is great and young... One of the oldest cities in Europe... Hennadii Volodymyrovych Plis, First Deputy Head of the Kyiv City State Administration (KCSA), talks about the development of the city, the investments and the challenges facing Kyiv.

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How would you estimate investment attractiveness of Kyiv on a scale from one to five?

— 4 or 4+… In spite of difficult times, the city is developing rapidly… We are building, actively building… In addition, Kyiv is the only city in Ukraine with a unique history: yes, by 2014, Kyiv had accumulated debts (up to 25 billion UAH). From 2014 to 2017, we reduced our debt almost twice… Investments are mainly inserted in the development of housing infrastructure and in the banking sector. Construction here is one of the main but not the top priority. In addition, we emphasize the social responsibility of each developer. After all, it is not enough to build a residential building — you must take care of the infrastructure of this building. About a kindergarten. About the road interchange… Of course, there are many problems, but Kyiv still remains attractive despite the difficult situation in our country.

Hennadii Volodymyrovych Plis. On the economic prospects of the capital. Exclusive

In Kyiv, an investment forum is held every year in autumn. How successful was the September investment forum last year and what, in your opinion, were its main achievements for our city?

— Kyiv confidently holds the first place in the number of foreign investments. Now it is almost 60 % of all the country’s level. We are told that you, that is, Kyiv, have so many ministries and departments that no investments are needed. But it is a little not like that — all the ministries and state institutions in Kyiv pay only a hryvnia for rent…

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One hryvnia per year or per month?

— I do not remember exactly, but either it is hryvnia, or twelve hryvnias a year — it is a drop in sea for Kyiv budget, do you agree? Therefore, the attraction of investments into Kyiv infrastructure is a vital issue. The number of people in Kyiv has increased, mainly due to forced migrants from Donbas and the Crimea. It is also a burden on infrastructure. Therefore, at the investment forum of this year, we expect further progress in attracting investment.

Hennadii Volodymyrovych Plis. On the economic prospects of the capital. ExclusiveHow can you comment on the rumors about the construction of Kyiv City?

— Well, I think all the departments of the KSCA are to be situated in the same building. Therefore, our city needs only one administrative center. Just imagine. We have 36 departments that are scattered around the city in 76 different buildings. When I convene my deputies for a meeting, they have to go an hour earlier. Not everyone arrives. Someone surely gets stuck in the traffic jams. Of course, it is much easier when my substitute is separated from my office by a one minute way.

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That is why, I, of course, support the construction of a single building, where all the departments would be assembled. This is not only convenient, it is also the part of what in the modern world is called teambuilding … Of course, this building, where we are communicating with you now, no one is going to sell… You can place either a museum or an administrative service centre for Kyiv residents, ultimately, it can be solved… Moreover, this building needs repair…

How do you think it is possible to suspend illegal building in the historic part of the city?

— You see, we cannot interfere with the processes that one or another developer does in his area… This is a private property… Another thing is that the Ministry of Culture has not yet identified the boundaries of cultural and security zones in our city. However, we are not going to give up. We are working in this direction. One of the components of illegal development is corruption. We have done our level best to reduce corruption in the sphere of building licensing.

Does the construction of the scandalously famous theatre on the Andriyivskyy Descent belong to this list as well?

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— Well, if I were you, I would not be so categorical. Yes, this building has enough of those who criticize it. But remember with what indignation the Parisians took the Eiffel Tower. And what? Now it is one of the symbols of the French capital…

Hennadii Volodymyrovych Plis. On the economic prospects of the capital. Exclusive

What are the main challenges for Kyiv infrastructure?

— As for me, the main challenge is the lack of master plan for the city development… The city must have a clear idea of what it actually wants to be. In addition, the master plan completely removes such an issue as building licensing — that means, it essentially weakens the corruption component. There is no one or another object in the master plan, it is not provided for it, therefore, there cannot be permission. Perhaps because of this anti-corruption, the master plan is still not approved. But believe me, the Head of the KSCA and I are supporters of the implementation of the master plan for the development of Kyiv. And although this issue is highly politicized, we do our best to resolve it.

The conversation was conducted by Ihor Skrypnyk