Business news from Ukraine

Aliyev accuses France, India and Greece of arming Armenia

France, India and Greece are openly arming Armenia, and Baku will take serious measures if the situation poses a threat to Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said.

“We cannot just sit and wait. We have clearly communicated our position to the Armenian government and the parties that are trying to take care of Armenia today. If we see a serious threat to ourselves, we will have to take serious measures,” Aliyev said on Tuesday at a meeting in Baku with participants of the international forum “COP29 and Green Vision for Azerbaijan” organized at the ADA University.

The President noted: “France, India and Greece are openly arming Armenia and are trying to prove something to Azerbaijan in this way.
Earlier, the Experts Club think tank created a video analysis of the post-war situation in the Caucasus –

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Foreign direct investment of France and Spain in China increased 5-7 times in January-February

The volume of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the economy of mainland China in January-February 2024 decreased by 19.9% compared to the same period last year and amounted to 215.1 billion yuan ($30 billion), according to the Ministry of Commerce.

In particular, the inflow of foreign investment in the high-tech sector increased by 10.1% to 28.27 billion yuan.
At the same time, France’s foreign direct investment in China in January-February increased by 6.9 times in annual terms, Spain’s – by 5 times, Germany’s – by 2.4 times.
Over two months, 7.16 thousand new enterprises with foreign capital were registered in the country, which is 34.9% more than in January-February 2023, Xinhua reports.

“The 34.9% growth is the highest in the last five years. This indicates that multinationals are still optimistic about the development opportunities of the Chinese market,” a ministry spokesperson told the agency. – “Despite the decline in the volume of actually utilized FDI in the first two months, this is the third highest figure in the last ten years.

“At present, the favorable factors for attracting foreign investment in China outweigh the unfavorable ones, and the investment prospects are still bright,” the ministry representative added.

As reported, the volume of FDI in 2023 decreased by 8% and amounted to 1.13 trillion yuan.

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France plans to invest in military production in Ukraine – French ambassador

France has increased defense spending, some of which will be invested in production in Ukraine, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to Ukraine Gael Vesierre has said.

During the 16th annual Kyiv Security Forum founded by Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s Open Ukraine Foundation, the Ambassador noted that France’s defense spending exceeded 2% of GDP.

Regarding investments in defense, the diplomat stressed that investments are also needed to produce in Ukraine what the Ukrainian Armed Forces need.

“We say: if we can start such production in Ukraine, we should do it,” Vesier said.

He also called for supporting Ukraine to achieve victory.

“Let’s imagine for a second if Russia wins. It means that Russia can destroy a neighbor and the international community can do nothing in response. It means that many countries will say: we now need to join the nuclear club because our security is at risk. It will be a more risky and unstable situation than today,” the French diplomat emphasized.

The 16th annual Kiev Security Forum, organized to mobilize transatlantic support for Ukraine, is taking place March 21-22.

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France to hand over 100 drones to Ukraine’s Armed Forces

France will hand over 100 drones ordered from drone manufacturer Delair to the Ukrainian Armed Forces this summer, Defense Minister Sebastian Le Coronneu said.

“As part of an innovative program, France has ordered 100 unmanned aerial vehicles from Delair, which will arrive in Ukraine this summer. A total of 2,000 remotely piloted vehicles will be purchased from our defense industry. For the needs of our army and Ukraine,” the minister wrote on social network X on Thursday, February 29.

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Ukraine can raise EUR 200 mln in grants from France for infrastructure reconstruction

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved attracting EUR200 million in grants from France for the reconstruction and restoration of critical infrastructure.

According to Taras Melnychuk, a representative of the Cabinet of Ministers in the Verkhovna Rada, who posted on Telegram, the decision taken at a government meeting on Tuesday approved a draft grant agreement between the governments of Ukraine and France to help restore and maintain critical infrastructure and priority sectors of Ukraine’s economy.

The agreement provides for the attraction of grant funds from the French government in the amount of EUR 200 million. They will be used to reconstruct and restore critical infrastructure in sectors such as healthcare, infrastructure, energy, agriculture, water supply and sanitation, waste management, demining, and digital technologies.

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Number of company bankruptcies in US, Germany, France and other developed countries is growing at double-digit rates – Financial Times

High interest rates and the termination of large-scale government assistance provided to companies during the COVID-19 pandemic have hit businesses in most developed economies hard, resulting in double-digit bankruptcy growth rates, the Financial Times reports.

Thus, the number of corporate bankruptcies in the United States for the fiscal year ended September 30 increased by 30% compared to the same period a year earlier.

In Germany, which is the largest economy in Europe, the number of bankrupt companies increased by 25% in January-September. Since June, double-digit growth rates have been recorded every month, the country’s statistical office said.

According to the EU statistics agency, the number of insolvent companies in the community countries increased by 13% in January-September and reached the highest level in eight years. In France, the Netherlands, and Japan, the number of bankruptcies in October increased by more than 30% year-on-year. In England and Wales, the insolvency rate in January-September reached its highest level since 2009.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently reported that in a number of countries, including the Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden and Finland, the number of corporate bankruptcies has exceeded the levels of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.

The main negative factors are “the cost of debt servicing and the withdrawal of pandemic support, as well as high energy bills, especially in energy-intensive sectors,” according to Capital Economics Chief Economist Neil Shearing.

According to analysts, most bankruptcies were recorded in the transportation and hospitality industries.

Shearing warned that the trend of deteriorating solvency of companies will continue, as many businesses will have to refinance their debt at higher rates in the coming months, even though central banks are expected to have already reached their peak.

The surge in bankruptcies will put pressure on global economic activity and job growth over the next few years, experts say.

The international rating agency Moody’s expects the number of defaults of companies with speculative grade ratings in the world to continue to grow in 2024 after it already exceeded the average for recent years in October.

German insurer Allianz predicts that the global insolvency rate will reach 10% next year, up from 6% in 2023. The hospitality, transportation and retail sectors will be most affected.

“We are seeing an increase in corporate bankruptcies in almost all countries,” said Maxim Lemerl, a leading analyst at Allianz Research.

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