Business news from Ukraine

Ukrainian Join UP! has opened agency in Poland

One of Ukraine’s largest tour operators, Join UP! has opened its first franchise agency in Poland, the office will operate in Katowice and become the hundredth in the company’s franchise network, its press service told Interfax-Ukraine.

The Join UP! brand entered the Polish market in 2022 as a tour operator and began cooperating with local travel agents. The opening of a franchise agency was the next step in strengthening the travel brand in the market.

“The interest in cooperating with us on a franchise basis in Poland demonstrates the high trust of our partners, which we have gained over more than a year of work in the new market. We try to support entrepreneurs in all the countries where we operate and give them the opportunity to build a profitable business together with Join UP!”, comments Marina Daineko, Head of Sales Development.

In addition, she noted that the development of the franchise network abroad expands access for Ukrainians to the already familiar travel service created by compatriots.

The development of the franchise network is one of the strategic vectors of the brand. Join UP! started this direction more than 10 years ago, and as of March 2024, the network includes 100 travel agencies, 33 of which opened after the start of the full-scale invasion. The office in Katowice became the second foreign office under the franchise program (since 2017, it has been operating in Moldova).

According to Daineko, the average cost of a lump sum (one-time start-up) fee in Ukraine is UAH 60 thousand (depending on the city and region), the highest is in Kyiv, in small towns – about 40 thousand. Royalties (monthly payment) range from $50 to $125 per month, also depending on the region.

In Poland, the cost of a lump sum payment is EUR2500, and royalties are 0.5% of the sales of Join UP! tours and 1% of the sales of tours of other tour operators.

In addition to full franchise support provided by the brand, new cooperation formats are also being introduced to attract new partners.

According to Deineko, with the outbreak of a full-scale war, several dozen franchise agencies in the country closed due to occupation and destruction. In addition, the logistics of traveling in Ukraine have changed dramatically.

“To preserve the Ukrainian tourism sector in such difficult conditions, it is extremely important to support and unite the market. To this end, we have launched the Join UP! program with simplified conditions for joining the Join UP! network for agents with experience,” she said.

Today, the Join UP! brand is represented in eight markets. In 2022, the brand’s companies appeared in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Poland and Romania, and its position in the Moldovan market, where the tour operator has been represented for several years, was strengthened. This year, the company plans to enter the Czech Republic and Slovakia as a tour operator.

Join UP! LLC was established in 2013, with an authorized capital of UAH 72 million 671 thousand. In 2023, revenue increased to UAH 16 million 639 thousand, which is 2.3 times higher than in 2022. At the same time, the company incurred a 1.8-fold higher net loss of UAH 234 million 120 thousand, compared to UAH 129 million 486 thousand a year earlier.

The strategic partner of the tour operators operating under the Join UP! brand is SkyUp, and together they are part of the UPfamily group of businesses, the ultimate beneficiaries of which are Yuriy and Alexander Alba.

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Ukraine plans to create Investment Attraction Agency

Ukraine intends to create an Investment Attraction Agency as a single entry point for investors in the Ukrainian private sector, First Deputy Prime Minister Yuliya Sviridenko said on Facebook.
“To ensure that all investors wishing to invest in the private sector in Ukraine have a single point of entry, we are working on the launch of a single institution – the Investment Attraction Agency,” she wrote following a visit to London, where she discussed its creation, including with the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
According to her, during the meeting, LSE specialists assured that they are ready to provide their expertise and help build this institution.
Sviridenko said she also met with British International Investment, which last summer at a conference on Ukraine’s reconstruction in London said it was ready to allocate GBP250 million to finance the private sector in Ukraine, mainly for post-war reconstruction.
“These funds will be available from April through the Co-investment platform. What can we do together with the private sector already now to get this funding? Prepare quality projects. For this purpose we also attract partners to jointly do feasibility study, “- First Deputy Prime Minister said.
She added that attracting investment and financing to Ukraine was also the main topic of negotiations with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the London Stock Exchange and TheCityUK, UK Export Finance (UKEF).
“We are working with UKEF to attract investments in the defense sector. We have also opened a GBP3.5bn limit for Ukraine. Several companies have already received insurance, one of them yesterday during our visit to London. We plan to expand cooperation, in particular, we discussed the possibility of insuring suppliers of equipment in the field of military demining,” Sviridenko wrote, in particular.

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Italian export credit agency to allocate EUR1.5 bln to support trade with Ukraine

Italian export credit agency SACE will allocate EUR1.5bn to support trade and financial operations, particularly in the health care and infrastructure sectors.

According to the website of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, this was discussed during the meeting between the First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yulia Sviridenko and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Italian Republic to Ukraine Pier Francesco Dzadzo, where the Ukrainian side urged SACE to strengthen cooperation with Ukraine and expand the types of covered risks.

In addition, the export credit agency intends to support investments of Italian companies in Ukraine and provide export credits, soft loans and direct investments.

First Deputy Prime Minister noted the importance of supporting Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which is the backbone of the national economy. She stressed that the Government also expects to intensify cooperation with the Italian Agency for Cooperation Development (AICS) to promote local economic development, job creation and support SMEs.

In addition, the sides discussed the return of Ukrainians. The provision of housing for Ukrainians remains important.

SACE is an Italian export credit agency and an active participant of the largest international organizations in the field of export credit. SACE’s activities are regulated by European Union legislation and the OECD Agreement on Officially Supported Export Credits.

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The State Agency of Ukraine on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving intends to submit for approval by the government a program to support energy efficiency for 2022-2026 with the volume of UAH 10 billion, acting chairman of the agency Kostiantyn Hura has said.
“Since the insulation credit program is coming to an end this year, we have developed the concept of a new target program for 2022-2026 to support energy efficient measures in the amount of UAH 10 billion, which would include not only “warm loans” for individuals, but also apply to industry, the budgetary sector, transport and individual projects for the development of bioenergy,” he said in a comment to the Energy Reform portal at the all-Ukrainian forum Ukraine 30. Ecology.
He said the mechanism of the proposed program for loans to legal entities will differ from the program of “warm loans,” which consists in compensation for their part.
“We are now considering the possibility of launching such a mechanism as lowering the loan rate, in this case – at the double refinancing rate of the NBU, which is currently 6.5%. That is, the bank’s standard rate minus 13% if an entrepreneur takes out a loan for energy efficiency. The banks’ expenses will be compensated from the budget,” he explained.
According to the expert, the agency has coordinated the program with all interested bodies and is now awaiting approval from the Ministry of Energy.
“After that, we will send it to the government. I hope for its support,” Hura said, adding that such a program to stimulate energy efficiency will provide an opportunity not only to modernize housing, budgetary sectors, enterprises, but also have a positive effect on the economy, creating projects, jobs, increasing budget revenues.
As reported, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine extended until 2021 the state target program for energy efficiency and development of the sphere of energy production from renewable energy sources and alternative fuels, being in effect from 2010 to 2020.

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As of Tuesday, June 23, road construction is carried out on 3,000 kilometers of Ukrainian roads, namely, some 224 objects in 23 regions of Ukraine.
The State Automobile Roads Agency of Ukraine (Ukravtodor) said on its Telegram channel on Tuesday that more than 500 kilometers of roads are currently being commissioned.
Ukravtodor said that in 2020, under the Big Construction project, it is planned to repair 4,200 kilometers of public roads. The total budget is UAH 90.2 billion.
“Currently, construction works are being carried out on 2,816 kilometers of roads through financing from the Road Fund, the national budget and loans. Construction works on 189 kilometers are being continued at the expense of international financial institutions. In addition, tender procedures have been announced for repairing 1,413 kilometers of roads, we are awaiting the conclusion of the main number of contracts in the coming weeks,” the agency said.

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Deputy Head of the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine Volodymyr Bondar has proposed that the Forestries and Wood Industry Ministry is created, the press service of the agency has reported.
“Having a separate ministry, we will be able to bring the forest industry to a high level,” Bondar said at the fourth congress of foresters of Ukraine.
He added that the State Forest Resources Agency does not have the right to initiate legislation to speed up the resolution of a number of issues, in particular, the separation of economic and control functions, the fight against illegal logging, the drying up of forests, and the creation of a timber market.
According to the deputy head of the agency, the creation of the ministry will make it possible to develop a national forest policy, conduct a forest inventory and properly finance all work in forestries.
As reported, enterprises of the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine in 2018 saw UAH 466.1 million in net profit, and their net revenue rose by 23%, to UAH 16.8 billion. Enterprises of the agency logged 16.5 million cubic meters of wood and produced goods made of wood for UAH 3.139 billion.
According to the national budget for 2019, UAH 614.7 million will be provided to the State Forest Resources Agency, including UAH 462 million for forestries and hunting, protection of forests in the forest fund.
The total space of forest areas of Ukraine is almost 10.4 million hectares. The forest cover of Ukraine is 15.9%. The State Forest Resources Agency manages 7.6 million hectares of forests (73% of the forest fund of Ukraine).

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