Business news from Ukraine

The number of companies in the U.S. and Canada hit by cyber extortion has reached a new record high

The number of companies in the U.S. and Canada hit by cyber extortion has reached a record high in 2023, with unprecedented ransom demands, according to the report “Ransomware: a persistent problem in cyber insurance claims” by global insurance broker Marsh, according to its website.

It notes that nevertheless, as cybercriminals become bolder in their requests, more companies are refusing to pay.

Overall, 21% of Marsh’s clients reported cyber events in 2023, the vast majority of which were privacy claims and system attacks leading to unauthorized access and potentially exposed data.

According to Marsh , this rate has remained fairly stable over the past five years – between 16% and 21% – suggesting in part that companies’ cyber controls are keeping pace with the increasing sophistication and frequency of cyberattacks.

However, a record 282 ransomware incidents were reported to Marsh in 2023, a 64% increase from 2022. Although ransomware accounts for only 17% of all filed cybercrimes, ransomware remains a major concern for organizations given its increased frequency, sophistication, and potential severity.

Indeed, the average ransom demand rose to $20 million in 2023 from $1.4 million, while the average payment made was $6.5 million, reflecting the effectiveness of ransomware negotiations, Marsh notes in the report.

Only 23% of its clients affected by cyber extortion in 2023 paid ransom. Most (77%) refused, reflecting a growing trend. In 2021, only 37% of Marsh’s clients rejected cybercriminals’ demands.


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Canada opens market for export of Ukrainian egg products

The State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine have agreed on veterinary certificates with the competent authorities of Canada, so that Ukrainian egg producers will be able to export their products to Canada, the ministry’s press service reports.

“The systematic work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine together with the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection allows us to continue to open up new opportunities for Ukrainian products in the world. We realize how important it is to support Ukrainian exporters, especially during the war. That is why we are in constant negotiations with foreign partners in this regard and step by step we are opening new markets for Ukrainian companies,” said Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

“The new market means economic stability for the national producer, preservation of jobs, especially during the war, and strengthening Ukraine’s competitiveness on the global trade arena.
Together with Ukrainian diplomats, we continue to work in this direction,” said Serhiy Tkachuk, Head of the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection.

The agency informed that the certificate forms have already been published on its official web portal in the “Export Certificates from Ukraine” section of the “International Cooperation” section. Explanations of the requirements of Canadian legislation are available in the section “Requirements of the countries of the world”.

“Exports of egg products to Canada are possible only if you cooperate with licensed importers in Canada,” the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection warned.

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Canada extends duty-free import of goods from Ukraine until June 9, 2025

Canada has extended for another year – until June 9, 2025 – the exemption of Ukrainian goods from customs duties, the relevant customs notice is published on the website of the Canadian government.
“We are sincerely grateful to our Canadian partners for supporting the Ukrainian economy by increasing exports and temporarily eliminating customs duties and trade fees on imports from Ukraine. This is an invaluable contribution to our resilience,” First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko commented on the decision in a tweet.
This decision ensures the continuation of duty-free imports of Ukrainian products to Canada, which began on June 9, 2022.
According to the State Statistics Service, exports of goods from Ukraine to Canada in the first quarter of 2024 increased by almost 2.7 times to $47.43 million, while imports decreased by 43.9% to $45.42 million.
Overall, exports of goods from Ukraine in the first quarter of this year decreased by 2.8% to $10 billion 60.85 million, while imports increased by 1.7% to $15 billion 751.91 million.

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Ukraine receives CAD2 bln loan from Canada

Ukraine has received a CAD2 billion loan from Canada, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on social media site X on Wednesday evening.

“Ukraine has received CAD2 billion from Canada. Vital funds for our resilience… This is a significant investment in global security and peace,” the head of the Ukrainian government said.

“Canada is a reliable partner of Ukraine that supports us in difficult times. Today we have received USD 1.5 billion from Canada. Since February 2022, budgetary assistance has reached USD $5.1 billion,” wrote Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko.

Shmyhal and Marchenko thanked the people and government of Canada for their support of Ukraine.

The Ministry of Finance clarified that the financial assistance was received under the third supplemental agreement, which is a continuation of the original agreement signed on August 8, 2022. The additional loan is provided for a period of 10 years, with an interest rate of 1.5% per annum. The grace period is 4.5 years from the date of disbursement.

As reported, on Wednesday, the state budget of Ukraine received the first tranche of EUR 4.5 billion from the EU under the Ukraine Facility program, while before that, all external revenues amounted to only $1.2 billion since the beginning of the year.

According to the National Bank’s forecasts, Ukraine may receive external financing worth $10 billion or even more between mid-March and the end of April, against the $37.3 billion required in the state budget for the whole year.


Canada to provide Ukraine with 129 mln Canadian dollars and more than $40 mln in aid

Canada will provide additional assistance to Ukraine to ensure “resilience and recovery” in the amount of 129 million Canadian dollars and more than $40 million, the press service of the Canadian government reported.

This was reportedly announced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is in Kyiv to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is visiting Ukraine today with international partners to reaffirm our continued and unwavering support for Ukraine,” the Canadian government said in a statement on its official website on Saturday.

“The Prime Minister of Canada has announced new support for Ukraine’s efforts to build resilience and recovery,” the statement said. It provides for the allocation of 75 million Canadian dollars for demining, cyber support and intelligence support, 15 million Canadian dollars to help create the National Museum of the Holodomor Genocide of 1932 and 1933 in Kyiv, up to 39 million Canadian dollars for mental health assistance, food support and for the reconstruction and restoration of local communities.

It is also reported that more than $22 million will be allocated “in humanitarian assistance to support United Nations and Red Cross partners in providing critical assistance, including emergency medical interventions, protection services, shelter, water, sanitation and nutrition, and promoting compliance with international humanitarian law.” More than $18 million will be allocated to support various projects: “from demining to reducing threats from nuclear or radiological materials and chemical weapons, as well as combating disinformation.”

Earlier, it was reported that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau signed a Security Agreement in Kyiv, which provides for the allocation of Canadian assistance in the amount of 3 billion Canadian dollars in 2024.


Canada to provide expert support for restoration of 19 tergromads

Canada will provide expert support on social and economic recovery to 19 Ukrainian communities under the Community-Led Inclusive Recovery (CLIR) initiative, the press service of the Ministry of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure said.

“The assistance of the CLIR initiative will allow communities to better understand the priorities of recovery, get the necessary knowledge and tools to develop effective inclusive recovery projects taking into account the needs of all groups of residents,” the press release quoted Deputy Prime Minister for Recovery – Minister of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov as saying.

Communities in Kyiv region (Baryshevka, Glevakha, Boyarka, Velyka Dymyrka), as well as in Dnipropetrovsk region (Sofiyivska, Pershotravenska, Apostolivska, Zelenodolska) have been selected to participate in the program, Nikolaev (Bashtanka, Berezneguvatoe), Odessa (Shabovka, Belgorod-Dnestrovska), Chernigov (Kholmska, Korpska, Menska), Donetsk and Kharkiv (Bliznyukivska, Saventsy, Balakleya) oblasts.

The experts will provide the selected communities with support in strategic management and planning, building partnerships with international organizations and attracting external investments, developing social services, implementing sustainable development principles, and developing recovery plans and strategies.

The CLIR initiative is implemented by the SURGe Project, an international technical assistance project “Supporting Government Reforms in Ukraine” funded by the Government of Canada.

SURGe is a project on inclusive governance in Ukraine, implemented by Alinea International and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada.

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