Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT NEEDS SUSTAINABLE OPTIMISM FOR ITS GROWTH – NOBEL LAUREATE

Ukrainian government has to work to promote “sustainable optimism,” to do something the people would really believe in, said Economist Robert J. Shiller, 2013 Nobel Laureate in Economics. “We need the optimism that we see now in Ukraine to be sustainable. We do not look at the latest growth numbers as an indication of success, but we have to look at how the culture is changing,” the economist said at a Ukrainian breakfast hosted by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in Davos. Shiller emphasized the importance of cultural change in Ukraine through education, especially regarding corruption perception.
“We do not look at the latest growth numbers as an indication of success, but we have to look at how the culture is changing,” the Nobel laureate said.
Chief Executive Officer of General Atlantic Bill Ford added that Ukraine was lucky to have a powerful education system and very strong engineering talents.
“But that talent has to believe in the opportunity and return to Ukraine and develop business here. Ukraine is going to see a generation of young people who will build digital businesses within Ukraine. I think that the thing that will really create enthusiasm and confidence for the country is young entrepreneurs who will build real businesses and real success in bringing technology in,” the expert noted.
He emphasized that other components of success are the fight against corruption and the rule of law.
“Ukraine’s problem with the corruption is not so much the corruption itself but the perception of corruption,” Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group David M. Rubenstein said at the Ukrainian breakfast in Davos. He explained that many investors eager to invest in emerging markets because they are seeking higher rate of investment return are afraid of being criticized because even though you did nothing wrong, because of that perception of the corruption, people would think you do something wrong.
“I think, Ukraine has to work on its image as well as the reality. I think that the government is interested in attracting foreign capital and getting rid of the perception of corruption as well as the reality,” he added.
Businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk also emphasized that Ukraine, along with continuing reforms and confronting Russian aggression, needs to build a strong narrative.
“Many agree that in terms of reforms and defending against the aggression, Ukraine’s leadership does a job that is not bad at all. The narrative is also crucial. We must be everywhere and show simply the truth. It is not all white but much whiter than the stereotype,” Pinchuk said.

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QATARI COMPANY WINS OLVIA PORT CONCESSION COMPETITION IN UKRAINE

Qatari company QTerminals has won the competition for the Olvia seaport concession.
“The second concession tender has been completed. QTerminals from Qatar has won the concession tender in the port of Olvia. UAH 3.4 billion will be invested in the development of the port over five years,” wrote Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Krykliy on Facebook.
At the same time, he noted that this is one of the largest foreign direct investment in the port industry in the entire history of Ukraine’s independence.

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EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT APPROVES EUR3 MLN LOAN TO UKRAINIAN LANTMANNEN AXA

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved the issuance of a EUR3 million loan to PrJSC Lantmannen Axa, a breakfast cereal producer in Ukraine.
“The project will support improvements and expansion of production lines and higher value-added products, which is expected to lead to improvement in profitability and efficiency,” the EBRD said on its website.
“Out of the total investment plan of the borrower, EUR1.09 million is planned to be used for modernization of the production lines and installation of automation and control systems, which is expected to lead to energy efficiency savings,” the report says.
Lantmannen Axa is part of the Scandinavian food concern Lantmannen, which supplies products to 45 countries.
Lantmannen’s annual turnover is more than $3 billion.
Lantmannen Axa is a large Ukrainian producer of breakfast cereals. At its factory in Boryspil (Kyiv region) it produces goods (granola, cereal bars, cereals) under the START and AXA brands.

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EBRD, EU AGREE EUR 50 MLN FINANCIAL GUARANTEE TO BOOST RENEWABLE ENERGY IN UKRAINE

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) have agreed a new EUR 50 million programme of financial guarantees aimed at scaling up investment in renewable energy in Ukraine and in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood with a particular focus on Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia, the bank has said in a press release.
Under the new programme, the EBRD will provide guarantees to lenders such as local commercial banks, which will allow them to provide financing to projects alongside EBRD loans. The guarantee is expected to help generate total investments of up to EUR 500 million.
This is the first agreement during the bank’s cooperation with the EU through the External Investment Plan (EIP) in the EU neighbourhood regions.
“We’re delighted to partner with the EU for such an urgent cause as climate action. Our lending combined with the EU’s financial instruments encourages more participation of the private sector in investments which are very much needed to face the global challenges of the future, including a more sustainable development model,” EBRD Vice President, Policy and Partnerships Pierre Heilbronn said.
European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Olivér Várhelyi added that the EU is convinced the guarantee provides sufficient risk cover to attract major private sector investment in countries where not enough such financing is available.
According to the report, through the EIP, to date the EU has allocated EUR 4.5 billion in public funds to leverage EUR 44 billion in public and private investment for development in countries neighbouring the EU and in Africa.

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BELAVIA INCREASES NUMBER OF FLIGHTS BETWEEN KHARKIV AND MINSK

Belarusian Belavia airline from April 30, 2020 will increase the frequency of direct flights from/to Kharkiv to/from Minsk from five to seven a week.
According to a posting on the Facebook page of the Kharkiv airport, if flights between cities are currently operated on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, then from April 30 they will be operated daily. Flight time is 1 hour and 12 minutes.
The cost of a one-way ticket excluding baggage starts from $80.

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POPULATION OF UKRAINE TOTALS 37.2 MLN PEOPLE

According to the data of the electronic census, population of Ukraine totals 37.289 million, minister of the Cabinet of Ministers Dmytro Dubilet reported.
“Ukraine amounts 37.289 million people,” Dubilet said at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday.
Estimates of the amount of the present population are as of December 1, 2019. The assessment does not cover the uncontrolled territories of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The margin of error does not exceed 2.86%.

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