Business news from Ukraine

Results of the joint research of Active Group and Experts Club on the attitude of Ukrainians to the countries of East Asia and the Middle East

In the Southeast Asian region, Ukrainians have the most positive attitude toward Japan and South Korea. This is evidenced by the results of a joint study by the Experts Club think tank and the Active Group research company, presented at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.

“Our research has shown that in East Asia, Ukrainians are most supportive of Japan and South Korea. Attitudes toward these countries largely depend on their support for Ukraine after the war began. In the Caucasus region, a positive attitude toward Georgia remains. Also, more than 50% of Ukrainians have a positive attitude towards Kazakhstan. The lowest level of support was recorded for such countries as the DPRK, Syria, and Iraq,” said Oleksandr Poznyi, director of the Active Group research company.

According to the expert, the negative attitude of Ukrainians toward China is also quite eloquent.

“Only 4% of citizens have a positive attitude toward China, 16.7% have a mostly positive attitude, 58.8% have a negative attitude, and 20% have not decided. Currently, China’s position is not entirely unambiguous in relation to Ukraine, which is reflected in the attitude of Ukrainians,” Mr. Poznyi emphasized.

In his turn, Maksym Urakin, founder of the Experts Club think tank and deputy director of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, presented an analysis of Ukraine’s foreign trade with a number of Asian countries based on data from the State Customs Service for 2023.

“The largest market for Ukrainian goods in Asia is China – more than $2 billion. India ranks second, followed by Kazakhstan, Georgia, Iraq, and Indonesia. As for imports, China is also the largest importer to Ukraine, with more than $10 billion. It is followed by India, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. In terms of total trade between Ukraine and these countries, China is also the leader, with almost $13 billion. India ranks second – 2.5 billion, followed by Japan – almost a billion,” said Urakin.

According to him, the analysis of economic data shows that Ukraine has significant trade ties with the countries of the Middle East and East Asia. At the same time, China remains one of our country’s largest trading partners in terms of both exports and imports.
“The problem of trade deficit remains, as Ukraine spends a lot of money on imports, while earning little on exports. This is a real problem. In 2023, Ukraine’s trade deficit with all countries is over $27 billion. The deficit with China is $8 billion. Among the countries represented today, we have a positive balance only with Iraq – almost $200 million in favor of Ukraine, Georgia – $100 million, and Armenia – $54 million,” Urakin added.

Chairman of the Ukrainian-Arab Business Council, member of the Council of National Communities of Ukraine Dr. Emad Abu Alrub emphasized that the importance of Ukraine’s relations with the countries of Asia and the Arab world cannot be overestimated, and Ukraine is currently taking important steps to develop these relations.

“Ukraine has significant opportunities in the markets of Arab countries, which have a total population of over 550 million. Arab countries are a permanent market for our goods. After 2014, new markets opened up for our country, especially in Asia. The Ukrainian Arab Business Council is actively working to develop these relations. We need to create a strategic plan to improve relations at the level of economy, politics, and culture. We have significant chances for success, but we need better communication and marketing,” emphasized Dr. Abu Alrub.

He also added that Saudi Arabia is interested in cooperating with Ukraine by investing not only in trade, but also in agriculture, technology, and other projects. Other interesting countries are the UAE, Qatar, and Egypt. All of them also have great potential for investment in Ukraine.

In conclusion, Maksym Urakin called on foreign embassies to be more active in establishing communication with Ukrainian society.

“If you can, please provide information to journalists about what you are doing here, how you are helping in the humanitarian sphere. Through these ties, we will deepen our cooperation, because the way Ukrainian citizens view your countries also depends on your work,” he concluded.

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Challenges of Ukrainian economy are related to lack of insurance – Penny Pritzker

The challenges of the Ukrainian economy are related to the lack of insurance and it is already obvious that this hinders the attraction of investors, who first of all think about the protection of their capital.

This opinion was expressed by the US Special Representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery Penny Pritzker at the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC2024) in Berlin on Wednesday.

“We all understand: in order for private investors to come in, insurance is needed. This is the first thing an investor thinks about,” she said.

According to Pritzker, she and her team took this as a call to action It was seconded by the US-based Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and global reinsurance broker Aon, which found practical innovative solutions to the issue. DFC already provides an insurance product designed for SMEs.

“We have purposely built an insurance model that is scalable. However, for this sector to flourish in Ukraine, many players are needed. I will encourage other insurance organizations, international institutions to think how they can join this model. I am confident: this mechanism will bring to Ukraine the necessary capital for its economic growth both when there is a war and when there is peace and reconstruction begins,” she emphasized.

According to DFC Executive Director Scott Nathan, before the war the corporation had a large portfolio in Ukraine, including risk insurance. Currently, to support the private sector and the country’s economy, one of the important toolkits in its portfolio is political risk insurance, which has closed $350 million worth of arrangements for three contracts in agriculture, manufacturing and education over the past year.

“Together with our partner ARCS, we as DFC can provide $50 million in war risk insurance, air raid risk, etc. to different clients. These can be small policies that can go to larger policies,” he noted.

At the same time, Nathan said that projects are being developed with Aon that can be scaled. One such project will be announced soon.

“Practically, we are helping local insurance companies build capacity for the country. Insurance is a mechanism to mobilize capital in the country and we hope to offer such an innovative tool. This is just the beginning, just part of our joint efforts to invest in Ukraine’s future, to lay the foundation for future investments when its recovery and reconstruction begins. It is important for the economy to work every day already now, during the war, and for this we need to build capacity in the insurance market. This is the key to success,” he said.

According to Aon President Erik Andersen, it is very important to provide protection by Ukrainian insurance companies, as well as to have a mechanism of pooled resources to provide insurance in the health care system, for small businesses, etc.,” he said.

“What we are saying is that we wanted to participate and invest our capital through the DFC, through local insurers. We have been working in Ukraine for a long time, it’s a big insurance program, and we want this capital to go to companies that operate in the country,” he said.

 

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Macroeconomic trends in the first quarter of 2024: analysis of the situation by Experts Club

In a new video on its YouTube channel, Kyiv-based think tank Experts Club has presented an analysis of economic trends in the first quarter of 2024 in Ukraine and globally based on official data from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, the NBU, the UN, the World Bank, and expert forecasts.

Macroeconomic indicators of Ukraine

According to the Center’s founder, Maksym Urakin, in the first quarter of 2024, Ukraine’s GDP grew by 4.1% to 5.3% compared to the same period last year.

“The main growth factors were an increase in agricultural exports and production activity in certain industries. However, the negative balance of foreign trade in goods in the first quarter amounted to almost $6 billion, which is 10% more than last year. This is due to an increase in energy imports after the strikes on the Ukrainian energy sector in March,” Urakin said.

According to the founder of the Experts Club, Ukraine’s national debt has reached a new historical high of $151 billion, which is almost 6 trillion hryvnia in hryvnia equivalent. Inflation in Ukraine in the first quarter was 1% year-on-year, which is in line with the NBU’s target range.

Global economy

Maksym Urakin noted that analysts forecast that the global economy will grow by 2% in 2024, which is lower than expected at the end of last year. The main reasons for the slowdown are high interest rates in developed countries and global geopolitical uncertainty.

“The US economy grew by 1.6% in the first quarter of 2024, which is lower than the growth rate observed in previous quarters, but still at an acceptable level for the development of the country’s economy. China’s economy grew by 5% due to a partial recovery from the crisis and government injections into the technology cluster,” the expert summarized.

He also reminded that the European Commission expects the eurozone economy to grow by only 0.8% in 2024, even less than 1%.

“High inflation and weak domestic demand remain the main problems of the EU countries. However, the British economy showed a modest growth of 0.6%, which indicates a weak recovery after the pandemic and Brexit,” Urakin said.

The economic situation in the world remains tense and depends on many factors, including geopolitical risks and changes in the global economic and political landscape. Experts Club will continue to monitor the situation and provide up-to-date and balanced news.

You can learn more about the macroeconomics of Ukraine and the world in the video by following the link:

Subscribe to the Experts Club channel:

https://www.youtube.com/@ExpertsClub

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Key economic indicators of first quarter of 2024 in Ukraine and world from Experts Club

The article summarizes and analyzes the main macroeconomic indicators of Ukraine. In connection with the entry into force of the Law of Ukraine “On Protection of the Interests of Business Entities during Martial Law or a State of War”, the State Statistics Service of Ukraine suspends the publication of statistical information for the period of martial law, as well as for three months after its termination. The exception is the publication of information on the consumer price index, separate information on statistical indicators for 2021 and for the period January-February 2022. The article analyzes open data from the State Statistics Service, the National Bank, and think tanks.

Maksim Urakin, PhD in Economics, founder of the Experts Club think tank, presented an analysis of macroeconomic trends in Ukraine and the world based on official data from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, the NBU, the UN, the IMF, and the World Bank.

Macroeconomic indicators of Ukraine
Maksim Urakin cited the National Bank of Ukraine’s data on the improvement of the financial situation in 2023 compared to 2022 and the forecast for 2024.
“Optimistic forecasts for international financing, recovery of supply chains, seasonal business revival and growth in domestic demand, as well as slowing inflation, have contributed to positive expectations for economic stabilization in the near future. However, damaged energy infrastructure, rising logistics and labor costs, and a shortage of qualified personnel due to demographic factors remain constraining factors,” Urakin emphasized.
The expert noted that the risks to the economy also include a possible intensification of military operations in the summer and instability of international assistance.
“The baseline scenario for the macroeconomic situation in the country envisages further implementation of prudent monetary and fiscal policies with a focus on maintaining financial stability. Ukraine must consistently fulfill its obligations under cooperation programs with international partners, which will lead to an increase in the public debt to GDP ratio,” the economist said.

Global Economic Outlook
Maksim Urakin also analyzed the global economy, noting a slight improvement in the situation compared to the previous forecast.
“Global economic growth in 2024 may slightly exceed last year’s level, as countries such as India, China and the United States have picked up in recent months. However, the global economic recovery is still constrained by geopolitical conflicts, protectionist policies of major powers and persistent inflation,” the expert explained.
According to the expert, global GDP growth is likely to remain at 2.9% to 3.2% this year and will only slightly accelerate to 3.4% in 2025.
For Ukraine, the main challenges in the coming years will be the need to restore Ukraine after the war and manage the public debt.

 

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Germany’s central bank expects country’s economy to grow

Germany’s central bank expects the country’s economy to grow in April-June for the second consecutive quarter after falling at the end of 2023.

According to preliminary calculations of the statutory office of the Federal Republic of Germany, in January-March GDP increased by 0.2% compared to the previous three months. It fell 0.5% in October-December 2023.

“The economy is likely to expand slightly again in the second quarter,” the Bundesbank said in a statement on Wednesday.

Activity in the services sector was likely to have continued to strengthen on the back of rising household income and consumer spending.

“Growth in household disposable income is likely to take the upper hand from consumer uncertainty,” Central Bank analysts suggested.

However, they noted that the construction sector remains very weak.

The German labor market is expected to remain resilient and wages look set to continue to rise rapidly. This could be a risk to cooling inflation, which the Bundesbank estimates will accelerate slightly again in May.

The final data on Germany’s first-quarter GDP dynamics will be released on May 24, while preliminary information for the second quarter will be presented on July 30.
Earlier Experts Club analytical center and Maxim Urakin released a video analysis of how the GDP of the world’s countries has changed over the past years, more detailed video analysis is available here – https://youtu.be/w5fF_GYyrIc?si=BsZmIUERHSBJrO_3.

Subscribe to Experts Club YouTube channel here – https://www.youtube.com/@ExpertsClub

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Japan’s economy posted contraction in first quarter

Japan’s economy contracted 0.5% in the first quarter relative to the previous three months, according to preliminary government data. Analysts, whose average estimates are quoted by Trading Economics, had expected a 0.4% decline in GDP.

According to the revised data, the economy was unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2023, while previously reported growth of 0.1%.

On an annualized basis, Japanese GDP contracted 2% last quarter after a revised zero change a quarter earlier. The consensus forecast called for a 1.5% drop in January-March.

Consumer spending in the first quarter decreased by 0.7% relative to the previous three months, business investment – by 0.8%. Government spending rose by 0.2%.

Exports decreased by 5% after growth of 2.8% quarter earlier, imports – by 3.4% (+1.8% in October-December).
Earlier Experts Club analytical center and Maxim Urakin released a video analysis of how the GDP of the world’s countries has changed in recent years, more detailed video analysis is available here – https://youtu.be/w5fF_GYyrIc?si=BsZmIUERHSBJrO_3.

Subscribe to Experts Club YouTube channel here – https://www.youtube.com/@ExpertsClub

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