Representatives of the Finnish companies that work in Ukraine have expressed interest in expanding economic ties with Ukrainian companies. Talks held with the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE) with the participation of the Ambassador of Finland to Ukraine Mr Juha Virtanen resulted in an agreement to arrange a business forum in Helsinki in the near future. With this aim in view, representatives of the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs submitted their proposals in September. These issues were on the agenda of a meeting between the ULIE, Finland’s Embassy and businesses from both countries.
The partners expressed hope that domestic companies working in the chemical sector, information technology, the processing industry are ready for the development of cooperation, as they in many ways complement each other.
At the same time, the Finnish side said it was concerned about the improper development of the business and investment climate in Ukraine, and the high level of corruption, administrative and other obstacles also cause concern.
Unofficial corrupt “taxes” significantly increase the cost of logistics and production, and, consequently, the price of the final product. All this certainly reduces its competitiveness. The fact that a businessman from Zaporizhia finds it more profitable to ship goods from the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda than from the Ukrainian port of Odesa was given as an example at the meeting.
“The business community of Ukraine is well aware of the risks our partners are facing. Therefore, it is actively cooperating with the authorities, urging them to address these issues as soon as possible. Among them are the removal of tax and customs barriers for producers, including importers of necessary equipment, as well as the introduction of personal responsibility of officials for bribes,” ULIE President Anatoliy Kinakh said.
Prior to the meeting, a ULIE delegation visited Helsinki. In that city, the Ukrainian industrialists met with the heads of the Confederation of Finnish Industries, Timo Laukkanen and Petri Vuorio. It was concluded after the visit that shipments of wheat flour, vegetable oil, confectionery and bakery foods to Finland hold prospects.
According to ULIE Vice President, the head of the Center for Export Support Denis Krasnikov, the Finnish food market whose volume of imports is estimated at about EUR 4.3 billion, looks very promising for Ukrainian producers.
“I would like to commend the work of our Embassy in Finland, which cooperates closely with domestic manufacturers. Such work of the diplomatic service is very helpful in the promotion of Ukrainian companies’ goods onto foreign markets,” ULIE Vice President Denis Krasnikov said. “In addition, entrepreneurs expect that Ukrainian authorities will liberalize limitations on the forex market, which put our producers in a disadvantageous situation when entering other countries’ markets.”
The parties agreed to formulate specific proposals and present them at the business forum in Finland. Later, the proposals are expected to be introduced at the practical level, given that the Finnish business has long been working in Ukraine, having partnered with the ULIE, and is ready to cooperate.
The ULIE announced it would continue arranging meetings between Ukrainian producers and potential foreign partners. In particular, the ULIE says new meetings with representatives of the business circles of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Iceland are in the pipeline.
A Ukrainian-Austrian business forum will be held in Vienna in late October to deepen trade and economic relations between Ukraine and EU countries, including Austria, to encourage Ukrainian exports to the West, and to boost the process of attracting investment in our country. Representatives of the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber will take part in the event. ULIE President Anatoliy Kinakh and President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber Christoph Leitl reached such an agreement in Vienna.
“Hopefully, there will be specific arrangements for productive cooperation in the areas of common interest – the processing of agricultural products, where Austria has a very good tradition, as well as the use of new technologies in agriculture, industry, energy conservation and energy efficiency, renewable energy, joint ventures. The Ukrainian side, of course, is very interested in foreign investment, and Austrian businessmen, representatives of the banking sector are ready to think about it, having pledged the support of organizations of business cooperation in Ukraine,” Anatoliy Kinakh said.
While meeting in Vienna, the parties stressed the need to strengthen cooperation between the two structures – the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber – by signing a corresponding agreement during the business forum. The first agreement between the two organizations was adopted ten years ago, when preparations for the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union were under way and there was no free trade zone. New circumstances require new action plans, new quality of work, based on Ukraine’s tasks to move more efficiently through integration into the European, global economy.
“Certainly, any deepening of contacts, providing them with practical content will facilitate the adaptation of the Ukrainian economy to the conditions of the EU, expanding its markets here, in Europe. From our side, interest in Ukraine’s markets, investment opportunities, joint ventures remains very high, despite some risks. We are committed to work more actively,” President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber Christoph Leitl said.
The parties agreed that the ULIE would take Austrian companies operating in the Ukrainian market under wing and, if necessary, will help them.
Deepening the interaction of Ukrainian industrialists and entrepreneurs with European companies, the search for new opportunities for cooperation amid oversaturation in the Western market and firmly established rules and regulations were also on the agenda of a conversation between the ULIE President and Ukraine’s Ambassador to Austria Oleksandr Shcherba.
KYIV. Sept. 30 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has announced that an investment support office will start working in Ukraine from next week.
“The United States has inspired us to establish an office for support of investment, which will start working next week,” he said during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
The office will be engaged in business support and provision of analytical information on the state of affairs in the business environment, he said. Groysman added that Ukraine has great potential for deepening cooperation with the U.S. in terms of investment. Creating a normal business climate is one of the government’s priorities, he said.
Groysman mentioned another large-scale project for the reform of the Ukrainian customs, which was developed jointly with the U.S., saying it is also much awaited.
In turn, Pritzker said that she welcomed the arrival of a new tranche disbursed by the International Monetary Fund and the U.S. financial support worth $1 billion in loan guarantees. She expressed hope that the Ukrainian government would continue efforts to improve the business climate in the country.
KYIV. Sept 30 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has expressed appreciation to the United States for the decision on loan guarantees and invited U.S. companies to join the National Investment Council.
“The last decision on granting loan guarantees from the U.S. government is the recognition of our achievements, as well as the decision of the International Monetary Fund to issue the next tranche to us,” Poroshenko said at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. business representatives in Kyiv.
He also welcomes the plans of the leading U.S. Corporations such as Cargill, Bunge, General Electric to increase their investment in Ukraine and invited the U.S. companies to join the National Investment Council.
Pritzker, in turn, speaking about the third visit to Ukraine over two years, noted the great efforts and potential of Ukraine in carrying out reforms.
“Having started key economic reforms two years ago, your country has continued the implementation of the crucial IMF program for securing financial aid not only from the IMF, but also from the United States. You have created institutions to ensure the rule of law and struggle against corruption. You have improved public procurement and ensured transparent asset declaration of civil servants,” she said.