Business news from Ukraine

Maksim Urakin, Founder of Experts Club, analyzes macroeconomic trends in Ukraine and world at end of 2023

In a new episode of the Experts Club YouTube channel, Maksim Urakin, PhD in Economics, 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 data from Ella Libanova, Director of the Institute for Demography and Social Studies, who estimates that about 50% of citizens will return after the war.
“Demographics is an important factor for economic recovery, but the threat of depopulation and labor shortages cannot be ignored. In the medium term, the decline in the demographic growth potential in Ukraine can only be offset by migration,” Urakin emphasized.
The expert noted that the main risks to the economy remain the duration of the war and the instability of international aid.
“In the third quarter of 2023, Ukraine’s GDP growth slowed to 8.2%. The negative balance of foreign trade increased 3.2 times, which is an alarming signal. The public debt has slightly decreased compared to August figures, but in 2024 it may exceed the country’s GDP for the first time, which poses significant risks to economic stability,” the economist said.

Prospects for the Global Economy
The founder of Experts Club also analyzed the global economy, noting a slowdown in growth in 2024 to 2.2%.
“One of the key reasons for the slowdown in global economic growth is the decline in GDP in developed countries. We are witnessing the lowest GDP growth in developed countries since the 1980s, with the exception of the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. The unprecedented cycle of interest rate hikes by major central banks in recent years has also played a significant role in slowing growth. These rate hikes are driven by the need to control inflation, but at the same time, they limit economic activity,” the expert explains.
According to the expert, the current macroeconomic situation in Ukraine and the world requires further analysis. For Ukraine, the main challenges in the coming years will be the need to restore Ukraine after the war and manage the public debt.

For more information on the situation in the Ukrainian and global economy, please see the video on the YouTube channel “Club of Experts” at the link:

You can subscribe to the channel here:

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Wines, Tastes and Traditions: VIIІ International Forum of Winemakers and Sommeliers

On November 19, 2023, the VIII International Forum of Winemakers and Sommeliers was held in Kyiv, at the InterContinental Kyiv Hotel (2A Velyka Zhytomyrska St.), within the framework of which the following events took place:

– The jubilee XX All-Ukrainian Sommelier Competition “Master Sommelier – 2022-2023”,

– VII All-Ukrainian Cavist Competition “Best Cavist of Ukraine – 2022-2023”,

– Round table of winemakers and sommeliers as part of the Winemakers’ Dinner,

– Open tastings and presentations of wines, spirits, cheeses and other products for all guests of the events.

Organizers of professional events:

– Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers,

– Association of Cavists of Ukraine,

– The first in Ukraine Master Class Sommelier School.

General Partner – TM “Vinos dela Luz”

Partners: TM Big Wines, SV plus, Poli1898, Delamain, AELRED, Eyguebelle, ACHA, Purity, Zinka,, Cigar House Fortuna, Academy of Labor, Social Relations and Tourism, InterContinental Kyiv Hotel.

Ambassadors of several countries, MPs, the Chairman of the Trade Unions of Ukraine, heads of alcoholic beverage importers, restaurant managers, sommeliers, winemakers, heads of wine companies and wine boutiques, representatives of business structures, media and TV, wine connoisseurs and lovers attended the events.

The Forum opened with a minute of silence in honor of the deceased wine industry professionals who had previously participated in the Forum as participants and jury members.

Then, the anthem of Ukraine was performed live by a young singer Severina.

The professional jury was headed by Dr. Ricardo F. Nunez, owner of the international wine holding VINOS DELA LUZ. For the fourth year in a row, Dr. Nunez has been heading the jury and the Forum of Winemakers and Sommeliers of Ukraine.

Members of the professional jury:

– Natalia Blagopoluchna – President of the All-Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers, head of the First Sommelier School in Ukraine “Master Class”
– Oleksandr Sharay – sommelier, commercial director of SV+ company
– Yegor Bilov – sommelier of the InterContinental Kyiv Hotel, winner of the All-Ukrainian Sommelier Competition 2018
– Oleg Kravchenko – co-owner of Winbar, “Best Sommelier of Ukraine – 2011”
– Olga Girman – sommelier, winner of the All-Ukrainian Sommelier Competition 2021
– Dmytro Gurinchyk – national manager of the Cigar House “Fortuna”
– Irina Kovaleva, Director of the Tairov National Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking.
In the Final of the Contest, the participants competed in different rounds:: “Presentation and decanting of wine”, “Enogastronomy” (real serving of dishes from the chef of the restaurant Ruslan Morozyuk), “Cheese and wine”, “Blind tasting”, “Mixology”, “Cigar Tour”, etc.

In some of the tours, the participants communicated exclusively in English.

After the end of the competitions and the final work of the professional jury, the places were determined as follows:

“XX Anniversary Sommelier Competition 2022-2023”:

1st place – Svyatoslav Klymchuk (Kyiv, Bigoli restaurant)

2nd place – Igor Postoyankin (Kyiv, Catch restaurant)

3rd place – Natalia Sokolovska (Kyiv, DDS company)

“VII All-Ukrainian Cavist Competition 2022-2023”:

1st place – Vasyl Chuchman (Ivano-Frankivsk, Winetime wine boutique)

2nd place – Yevhen Boyko (Kyiv, Winetime wine boutique)

3rd place – Yevhen Brodyuk (Kyiv, Winetime wine boutique)

All finalists received Diplomas and gifts from the Partners, and the Winners received personalized cups.

The Chairman of the Jury Dr. Ricardo F. Nunez congratulated the Organizers and Finalists, thanked the Armed Forces of Ukraine and wished to hold the next Winemakers and Sommeliers Forum in peaceful Ukraine.

The General Information Partner is Interfax Ukraine News Agency.

Media Partners – Club of Experts, OPEN for BUSINESS, Kyiv Diplomatic magazine

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Key macroeconomic indicators of Ukraine from Experts club in August-September 2023

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 and 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.

Demographic indicators of Ukraine

According to Ella Libanova, Director of the Ptukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies. Ella Libanova, depopulation is an inevitable scenario for Ukraine. A labor shortage is absolutely inevitable.

According to the estimates she presented at the Regional Economic Forum, as of the beginning of this year, the population in the government-controlled areas was 31.6 million people, and now it has slightly increased.

Libanova pointed out that the population forecast for the beginning of 2033 within the borders of 1991 Ukraine ranges from 26-35 million people.

According to her, the potential for demographic growth has been exhausted, and this is compensated for by migration.According to her, the potential for demographic growth has been exhausted, and this can be compensated for by migration.

Economic recovery

Ukraine’s gross domestic product (GDP), after declining by 10.5% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022, started growing in the second and third quarters.

“At the same time, the World Bank forecasts Ukraine’s GDP to grow by 3.5% in 2023 and 4.0% in 2024, which is 1.5 percentage points (p.p.) and 0.5 p.p. higher than the June estimates, respectively,” said Maksim Urakin.

The key risk for our economy remains a longer duration and intensity of the war, as well as a decrease in the volume or loss of rhythm of international assistance, the resumption of a significant electricity shortage due to further destruction of the energy infrastructure and other risks.

Analysis of Ukraine’s foreign trade

Maksim Urakin also drew attention to the factor of the growing negative foreign trade balance, which has been observed since the beginning of the war.

“The negative balance of Ukraine’s foreign trade in goods in January-September 2023 increased by 3.2 times compared to the same period in 2022 – to $19.402 billion from $6.026 billion. This means that the cost of purchasing the goods Ukraine needs is almost $19 billion higher than the income from exporting Ukrainian goods to other countries. “, emphasized Urakin, PhD in Economics.

Ukraine’s financial situation in 2023

According to the expert, the main factors that characterize the state of the Ukrainian economy are public debt, international reserves and inflation.

“According to the calculations made during the preparation of the draft state budget, the projected amount of public debt calculated in national currency will amount to UAH 8,183,862.1 million and will be 104.6% of GDP. The state-guaranteed debt will amount to UAH 476,671.9 million and will be 6.1% of GDP,” said Maksim Urakin.

According to the expert, the main source of funding for Ukraine’s budget is still related to foreign aid.

“Half of the budget is financed through taxes and fees, while the other half is financed through international grants and loans,” he emphasized.

“Ukraine’s international reserves as of October 1, 2023, according to preliminary data, amounted to $39 billion 708.2 million,” the analyst added.

As for inflation, it continues to decline.

“Consumer prices in Ukraine increased by 0.5% in September 2023 after a decline of 1.4% in August and 0.6% in July, according to the State Statistics Service. At the same time, inflation was recorded at 1.9% in September 2022, so in annual terms in September 2023 it decreased to 7.1% from 8.6% in August and 11.3% in July,” Urakin said.

Thus, the economic situation in Ukraine, according to the founder of the Club of Experts, continues to require close monitoring and adaptation of strategies in response to changing conditions.

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State Customs Service warns of transition to NCTS electronic transit system from December 1

The electronic transit system NCTS (New Computerized Transit System) Phase 5 will be applied from December 1, 2023, the State Customs Service of Ukraine reported on Telegram on Monday.
“Ukraine continues to confidently prove its ability to fulfill the obligations undertaken when joining the Convention on the Common Transit Procedure: from December 1, 2023, we plan to switch to the use of NCTS Phase 5,” the agency quoted Deputy Head of Customs Vladislav Suvorov as saying.
Earlier, on August 17, the State Customs Service announced the postponement of the start of NCTS Phase 5 for two months (until November 1) to give businesses more time to prepare for the new system and requirements for filling out transit declarations.
At the time, the agency indicated that the transition to NCTS Phase 6 is scheduled for June 2025.
“Despite the military actions, we not only met the deadline, but will also help other countries to pass international testing (Mode 3),” Suvorov said.
According to the National Coordinator for Common Transit, Alina Brendak, the new system is currently being tested with brokerage software developers. She emphasized that NCTS Phase 5 will interact with companies through brokerage software, and the current “Trader’s Portal” will no longer be used.
The State Customs Service noted that in Phase 5, companies will have the opportunity to detail information about goods at the level of house consignment notes (the so-called House Consignment level), which is relevant for consolidated cargo.
In addition, it is noted that the agency will develop new guidelines for companies on entering information in transit declarations, taking into account the specifics of NCTS Phase 5. At the same time, all the rules and principles of common transit and transit simplifications remain relevant and in force.
The State Customs Service is also working on the possibility of providing businesses with an alternative tool for filling out and submitting transit declarations and interacting with the national electronic transit system NCTS Phase 5 – an IT solution similar to the current “Trader’s Portal”, the release said.
As reported, in January 2023, the State Customs Service published specifications for software updates by brokerage software developers ( In August, national developers were granted access to the ARI to test messaging with NCTS Phase 5. The State Customs Service says it is actively working with the relevant teams to ensure the readiness of brokerage IT solutions.
NCTS is one of the 17 customs IT systems that Ukraine has to implement to join the EU, and so far the only one implemented by Ukraine. The implementation of the IT system involves not only its installation but also its synchronized development together with other countries party to the Convention. The draft law was developed to fulfill Ukraine’s European integration commitments in the customs area, the Ministry of Finance said.
Earlier, roundtables were devoted to customs reform, where the event’s organizer and moderator Maksim Urakin stated that the State Customs Service provides 35-40% of state budget revenues, and these figures have remained stable in recent years. That is why customs reforms are so important for the country.

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Festival “Winemaker’s Day of Ukraine” was held in Kiev

This weekend, the first festival dedicated to the Ukrainian Winemaker’s Day was held at the River Mall in Kyiv. This event became a vivid symbol of the revival and popularization of Ukrainian winemaking. Visitors had the opportunity to enjoy wine products from all over the country, as well as learn about traditional and modern winemaking methods.

Maksim Urakin, founder of Experts Club, a Kyiv-based think tank, noted that the production and sale of wine products in Ukraine today is complicated primarily by significant competition from foreign wines.

“Experts Club’s information and analytical project systematically supports all producers in the country, and winemakers are no exception. According to Experts Club, imported wine already accounts for more than 70% of total sales on the Ukrainian market, while the share of Ukrainian wine is below 30%. Holding thematic festivals dedicated to winemaking could open up unique varieties of Ukrainian wine to consumers, which are in no way inferior to French or Italian wines. That is why we all need to show consumer patriotism and buy Ukrainian wine,” added Maksim Urakin.

According to Volodymyr Pechko, CEO of UKRSADVINPROM, recent years have been difficult for Ukrainian winemaking, primarily due to the war. However, thanks to the efforts of craft producers, the industry continues to develop.

“I am confident that our festival will become an annual event, as we must support Ukrainian producers and promote Ukrainian quality both in Ukraine and internationally. I sincerely congratulate all winemakers on their professional holiday and thank them for the incredible work they continue to do. I also express my gratitude to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine for its assistance in organizing this year’s event,” he said.

Natalia Blagopoluchna, Head of the Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers, emphasized the uniqueness of Ukrainian craft wines.
“The diversity of our wines is the result of unique local climatic conditions and the peculiarities of the grape varieties we use. They are striking in their originality and are admirable,” said Natalia Blagopoluchna.

The festival took place on November 11-12 on the Dnipro embankment at the RIVER MALL shopping center. The organizers of the festival, the Public Union “Association of Gardeners, Winegrowers and Winemakers of Ukraine” (UKRSADVINPROM), the All-Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers, and the analytical center “Club of Experts”, presented the best winemakers of Ukraine with certificates from the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food.

One of the highlights of the festival was a charity auction that not only raised funds to support an important cause but also demonstrated the social responsibility of the organizers and participants. The auction was hosted by TV presenter and Help for Ukraine ambassador Yevhen Koshovoy. The unique Ukrainian-made wine lots on display were the subject of competition among collectors and wine lovers. All the proceeds from the auction were donated to the Reconstruction and Development Fund of Ukraine. These funds will be used to finance the purchase of a mobile hospital to rescue the wounded. In total, the auction raised about UAH 100,000.

“I am pleased that today I had the opportunity to present these unique wines to true connoisseurs of winemaking. Also, each of those who received a collector’s bottle today can be sure that the money spent will go to a really necessary and good cause – rescuing the wounded and war-affected,” said Koshovoy.

The festival ended with an award ceremony where the winners of the Best Winery of the Festival competition were announced. It was a moment of pride for the winemakers, who were recognized for their efforts and skills. Voting for the best wine took place both with the help of a QR code and by filling out ballots. Each guest had the opportunity to express their opinion.

Three wineries became the winners based on the choice of festival visitors: Zelenytsy winery, Gigineishvili Wine House and the Institute of Horticulture of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine. All of them received the same number of votes.

– Overall, the festival will feature the following Ukrainian wine brands:
– Zelenytsy winery;
– Gigineishvili Wine House;
– Dnipro hills (Stoic Ukrainian winery);
– Tiras Vaineri LLC (My Wine, Eduard Gorodetsky);
– 46 Parallel;
– Uman Winery of Igor Maksymenko;
– Father’s wine VB;
– Villa Tinta;
– Institute of Horticulture of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine;
– Kulinichenko winery;
– Wines of the Silver Land;
– National Research Center “Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking named after

Gastronomic wine pairings were provided by such producers as Tsar Khlib, TM Zinka, TM Karapyshivski sausages, and others.

Festival partner

Thus, the Winemaker’s Day festival in Kyiv has not only become a significant event in the cultural calendar of the capital, but also made a significant contribution to the development of Ukrainian winemaking. It brought together winemakers, sommeliers, and wine lovers, facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experience, and drew attention to the Ukrainian wine industry. The organizers of the festival announced plans to hold similar events in the future, giving a new impetus to the development of this sector in our country.

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Yevhen Koshevoy to hold charity auction at Winemaker’s Day festival at River Mall

A charity auction will be held as part of the first all-Ukrainian festival “Winemaker’s Day”. Among the lots you will find exquisite varieties that impress with their quality and unique taste. The highlight of the auction will be the best collection wines of Crimea.

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the mobile hospital and other charitable projects. Thus, you will have the opportunity not only to enjoy high quality wines, but also to contribute to a noble cause.

The event will be hosted by actor and TV presenter Yevgeny Koshevoy, who guarantees a unique holiday atmosphere.

The festival will take place on November 11-12 at the address: Kyiv, Dniprovska embankment, 12, RIVER MALL, food court area on the 3rd floor. The beginning is at 14:00. The ticket you purchased is valid for two days – both on Saturday and Sunday!

We support the Ukrainian manufacturer!

Event organizers: Public Union “UKRSADVINPROM”, Club of Experts, All-Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers.

The event is supported by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and the Charitable Foundation “HELP FOR UKRAINE”.

Cheese partner – TM Zinka, bread partner – TM Tsar Khlib.

You can buy tickets on the website

At the Winemaker’s Day festival, you have a great opportunity to taste and buy unique Ukrainian wines and discover exquisite flavors of wine from different parts of Ukraine.

The following Ukrainian wineries will take part in the festival:

– Zelenytsy winery “Zelenytsy Family Winery”;
– Gigineishvili Wine House;
– Slyvyno Winery, a private enterprise;
– Dnipro hills (Stoic Ukrainian winery);
– Tiras Vaineri LLC;
– 46 Parallel;
– Uman Winery of Igor Maksymenko;
– Father’s wine VB;
– Villa Tinta;
– Institute of Horticulture of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine;
– Kulinichenko winery;
– Wines of the Silver Land;
– National Research Center “Tairov Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking” of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine.

The festival will be held on November 11-12 at the address: Kyiv, Dniprovska embankment, 12, RIVER MALL, food court area on the 3rd floor. The beginning is at 14:00. Your purchased ticket is valid for two days – both on Saturday and Sunday!

Open4business is a media partner

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