Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINIAN, DANISH BUSINESSES DEEPEN COOPERATION

Denmark is interested in investment in the Ukrainian agricultural sector and energy saving technology. Currently more than 300 companies from that partner country work on the Ukrainian market, and dozens of new companies are willing to enter this market with investment and cooperation proposals. The bilateral economic relations suggest a huge reserve of untapped potential, this is what partners will be working on. These issues were on the agenda of the Danish-Ukrainian Business Forum in Kyiv, which was attended by Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

“Ukraine has great potential, and now it’s time for a strong partnership between the two countries. We are ready to assist in developing economy, innovation. Thus, Danish companies have ready-made solutions used in the food industry, renewable energy, energy saving technologies. Ukraine must be a strong partner,” Rasmussen said.

President of the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE) Anatoliy Kinakh shares this opinion. During his speech addressing participants in the event, he said trade turnover estimated at $400 million did not correspond to the scale of the cooperation partners were engaged in. He also urged his colleagues from Denmark not to focus on two areas alone – agriculture and energy saving – despite their high priority and active implementation of related projects.

“Our country has great intellectual potential – this is the same IT sector where we are in the lead in Europe in terms of provided services, as well as engineering industry and the aerospace sector. I am confident this is a very interesting and promising area of cooperation for the countries that choose to develop in the innovative way,” the ULIE leader said.

Kinakh thus told the heads of the Confederation of Danish Industry, who were also present at the Forum, that he proposes facilitating bilateral communication and increasing the number of joint projects in the framework of a document on cooperation signed in 2007. He also expressed hope that business-related issues would be included in the agenda of the European Business Summit in Brussels, scheduled for June 1.

Deputy Director General of the Confederation of Danish Industry Thomas Bustrup thanked the ULIE for assistance in arranging the Business Forum in the Ukrainian capital and noted that Denmark is interested not only in the agricultural sector but also in information technology and innovation.

“We see the reserve for greater cooperation. We will be developing our relations, as even the offices of the Confederation and the ULIE are in the same building,” he said.

Danish national leading companies together with financial institutions came to Kyiv to attend the Forum. In particular, representatives of the Confederation of Danish Industry, Denmark’s Heat Supply Council, the Agricultural Council of Denmark and others took part in the event.

Ukrainian businessmen who attended the Forum were able to learn about technologies that help Denmark to achieve the highest productivity in animal and crop production, occupy a leading position in quality and safety of food, and optimization of production facilities.

The sides also signed a number of business deals in the presence of the Prime Ministers of Denmark and Ukraine.

BUSINESS SECTOR CREATES PUBLIC TECHNOCRATIC GOVERNMENT TO HELP CABINET BUILD NEW ECONOMIC POLICY

Business organizations, companies and experts have actively been involving the newly formed Ukrainian government in dialogue with the public on problems of overcoming the crisis and creating conditions for sustainable economic development. Representatives of the real sector of the economy insist on a high-level dialogue with the government and constant, effective communication with the business community. A public technocratic government – a non-governmental intellectual platform – is proposed to be formed to systematically analyze the current state of the economy, suggest a bailout plan and facilitate further sustainable development. This decision was supported at an enlarged meeting of the Anti-Crisis Council of NGOs and the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE).

“The public technocratic government is not an opposition-minded structure, it is an intellectual alternative to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Its activity will be split according to the areas of work, professionals and experts will be engaged. It is expected to be constantly monitoring the situation and generate as many as possible projects for management solutions and proposals. It will also work to establish channels of communication between the government, businesses and the public,” Chairman of the Anti-Crisis Council of NGOs and UILE President Anatoliy Kinakh said.

This platform designed for expert and public control of the executive branch (primarily in the economic sphere) will be formed as early as in May.

The business community suggests focusing on halting processes of de-industrialization, increasing the production of knowledge-intensive, technically complex products, boosting investment in the science and innovation sector, and on developing the domestic market.

Participants in the Anti-Crisis Council meeting emphasize that the business sector in Ukraine is still able to develop despite the crisis.

Business associations and companies have articulated their vision of solving the most pressing economic problems in their new version of the anti-crisis program of joint actions by the government and businesses. The fight against corruption, stabilization of Ukraine’s financial system, the implementation of modern industrial policy, effective support for self-employment, small- and medium-sized businesses remain priority steps in the economic sphere.

The current wording of the anti-crisis program is based on the proposals and recommendations by national professional associations, NGOs, businesses, expert institutions, representatives of different industries, who insist on the urgent need to jointly find effective ways to improve the economic situation in the country.

POROSHENKO ATTENDS KHERSON PALLADA PLANT’S FLOATING DOCK TRANSFER TO SOUTH AFRICA

KHERSON REGION. April 29 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during his visit to Kherson region visited state-run Pallada Plant.

He said that the enterprise was among the leaders of world-famous companies-constructors of floating docks.

“You show the best qualities of Ukrainian producers. Every Ukrainian should work like that – efficiently and in a timely manner,” Poroshenko said, addressing the plant’s employees.

An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported that in the presence of the Ukrainian president, Director of Pallada Valeriy Maloman and Managing Director of Southey Holdings PTY Ltd Christopher Sparg signed the protocol of technical readiness of the composite reinforced concrete floating dock ordered by this company. Upon completion of the ceremony, the national flag of the South African Republic was hoisted on the dock.

“I am sure that our partners will praise the quality of Kherson workers. I am also confident that today’s event will become an impetus for intensification of economic contacts between Ukraine and the South African Republic. I have instructed to expand our cooperation with the African continent. You are pioneers at this important market,” Poroshenko said.

He said that this floating dock is a first new product of this class imported to South Africa.

The president expressed hope that Pallada plant will take part in a tender on building floating piers, workshops and barracks for installing wave protection facilities for the domestic fleet.

TIME FOR KYIV, BEIJING TO CREATE FREE TRADE AREA BETWEEN UKRAINE AND CHINA – DIPLOMAT

KYIV. April 29 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation should be planned at the strategic level, and it is time for Kyiv and Beijing to start a dialog on the creation of a free trade area between the countries, Chinese Ambassador to Ukraine Zhang Xiyun has said.

“We should plan cooperation at the strategic level. This is how I see the work of the bilateral intergovernmental commission,” the Chinese diplomat said at a panel discussion devoted to Ukraine’s prospects in participating in the new strategy of the Chinese government “Silk Road economic belt” as part of Second National Export Support Forum in Kyiv on Thursday.

He said that today Ukraine and China have different economies and the governments should create and change the conditions for business aimed at concrete final outcome.

“I would like to bring up good [bilateral] economic projects created not under government directives, but businessmen,” he said, adding that the facilitations of tax and customs procedures is the work of the government.

Xiyun expressed confidence that there is a large potential of Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation: according to the Chinese customs authorities, goods turnover between the countries in 2015 totaled USD 7.07 billion, and this was 17.6% down on 2014. China’s share of Ukrainian foreign trade is 8.2%, and Ukraine’s share of Chinese foreign trade is only 0.18%, he said.

The diplomat said that today China is second largest trade partner of Ukraine, and Chinese investment portfolio in Ukraine as of late 2015 reached USD 1 trillion.

“In 2015 USD 100 billion was invested in the [global economy] in the form of credits,” he said.

“Chinese investors are still confident in the Ukrainian market. No investor in the past two or three years left [Ukraine]. No agreement was terminated. They [projects] are live, but I want them to be actively performed,” he said.

“Ukraine is a favorable geographic location: in the center of Europe. The country’s special asset is intellectual resource. One should think what the situation will be in ten, twenty and thirty years,” he said.

POROSHENKO MEETS UKRAINIAN, INTL BUSINESS LEADERS OPERATING IN UKRAINE

KYIV. April 29 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has assessed the situation in the Ukrainian economy and international markets and shared his views on the country’s development with businessmen.

“Our first priority is restoration of economic growth and we have an opportunity to radically change the country for business to feel more comfortable,” the press service of the president reported, citing Poroshenko.

“We will not resort to populism at the cost of the Ukrainian economy. Instead, we will make reforms that will ensure creation of an efficient, attractive and comfortable investment climate,” Poroshenko noted.

The head of state called the decision of the government on the establishment of a new fair market price for gas a “powerful anti-corruption step.”

“Everyone knows what was done with the difference in prices – fraud aimed at increasing the volume of consumption. This is for the population and this is for the district heating provider. Dealers were earning money on that and politicians covered them,” Poroshenko said.

According to the president, adoption of a fair decision on tariffs as regards both people and business is crucial, because it forms a “right approach to energy saving and energy diversification, energy security and struggle against corruption in oil and gas sector.”

At the same time, the head of state pointed out the necessity of supporting vulnerable groups of people.

The president reminded that Ukraine had restored the parliamentary coalition and formed a new Ukrainian government. In this context, he urged the parliament to speed up the adoption of necessary legislative changes aimed at simplification of privatization process, deregulation and acceleration of other economic reforms, in particular holding transparent contest for election of state enterprises management.

He also pointed out an important role of the group of strategic advisors that works with the Ukrainian government under the chairmanship of Leszek Balcerowicz and Ivan Miklos, “famous world reformers who ensure both content and communication strategy of our cooperation.”

The head of state noted the importance of continuing cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and outlined the efforts of the government that will be made in that direction, including currency liberalization and European-type de-offshoring.

In the course of the discussion, the parties expressed support for the decisions of the government on the establishment of a market gas price, as well as the policy of National Bank of Ukraine, “which is one of the most successful reformers of the country according to foreign and domestic investors.”

NIBULON TO LAUNCH SECOND HANDLING TERMINAL IN MYKOLAIV REGION IN JUNE

KYIV. April 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Nibulon (Mykolaiv), one of the largest Ukrainian producers and exporters of grains and oilseeds, intends to commission the second transshipment terminal in Mykolaiv region (a branch of Voznesenska) in about 50 days.

According to a report on Nibulon’s website, after commissioning the terminal the company will be able to accept up to 10,000 tonnes of agricultural products per day, shipping them (including for exports) on board own self-propelled vessels built in Mykolaiv.

According to Nibulon Director General Oleksiy Vadatursky, the terminal is a high-tech automated complex, which consists of about 45 public facilities, including administrative and laboratory facilities, granaries for 5,500 tonnes each, lines for grain shipment on board self-propelled vessels and others.

As reported, Nibulon’s investment in the construction of the second handling terminal will amount to UAH 450 million.

Nibulon was created in 1991. It is one of the largest operators in the grain market of the country. The company has elevators with a total capacity of more than 1.7 million tonnes, as well as own transshipment terminal in Mykolaiv.