Business news from Ukraine

HRYVNIA STABILIZATION, GROWTH OF DEPOSITS IN NATIONAL CURRENCY INDICATE POSITIVE BANKING SECTOR TRENDS – POROSHENKO

KYIV. Sept 9 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The recent increase in deposits in the national currency by almost 4% is an encouraging trend in the country’s banking sector, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has said.

“At the cost of enormous efforts we managed to save the hryvnia, improve the balance of payment and that of trade, which are currently already in surplus, to ensure the growth of deposits in hryvnias by nearly 4%, which is a testament to the encouraging trend in the banking sector,” Poroshenko said during an extended meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers in Kyiv in Tuesday.

According to him, the statistics of the past two months give hope that “the inflation will gradually go down, the growth in prices will stop and there will be no hyperinflation, which was predicted.”

The restructuring of foreign debts to private creditors has played an important role in stabilizing the financial situation in Ukraine, Poroshenko said.

He also said that at the beginning of this year the country’s foreign exchange reserves stood at $5 billion, and now this figure has grown to $13 billion.

The hryvnia’s exchange rate has currently stabilized at the level of UAH 22 per $1.

EC PRESIDENT REAFFIRMS SUPPORT TO VISA REGIME LIBERALIZATION FOR UKRAINE

BRUSSELS. Sept 9 (Interfax-Ukraine) – European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker has confirmed his commitment to promoting the liberalization of the EU visa regime with Ukraine, provided all the preconditions are met.

Speaking in the European Parliament on Wednesday, Juncker said he will do his best to facilitate the liberalization of the visa regime with Ukraine, but Kyiv needs to fulfill all the preconditions first.

 

KYIV TO HOST INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON MEDICAL TOURISM ON SEPT 11

KYIV. Sept 8 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Kyiv on September 11 will host the second presentation of the International School of Medical Tourism where the issue of Ukrainians travelling abroad and foreigners travelling to Ukraine for medical treatment will be discussed.

Chairman of the organizing committee of the forum Yulia Khomych said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine that the American expert Maria Todd will speak to an audience comprised of citizens of Ukraine and the CIS countries about practical training workshops on medical tourism.

According to Khomych, both travel companies and operators involved in health and medical tourism, as well as insurance companies and medical specialists, will attend the forum.

“For medical specialists this is an opportunity to establish a training program for qualification improvement with the centers which come to us,” she said.

According to her, representatives from Turkey, Cyprus, Finland, Austria and other countries will take part in the forum.

BUSINESSMAN KHMELNYTSKY SETS UP K.FUND TO SUPPORT PROJECTS IN ECONOMY, EDUCATION

KYIV. Sept 8 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian businessman Vasyl Khmelnytsky has set up a private fund – K.Fund (‘K.’ stands for ‘the key’) – to merge his initiatives in the economy and education, according to a press release issued by the fund.

“I will support projects in the spheres of education and economy that could facilitate the development of favorable conditions and added value of the country and its people. This initiative is public, and not political. Human capital is Ukraine’s main asset and potential. The country needs people with new knowledge and skills that are able to implement modern projects. Our task is to give young people the keys to open new horizons and find a way to their dreams,” the businessman said.

The size of K.Fund has not been disclosed.

The businessman also stressed that the world changes very fast and the classical system of education lags behind these changes. Therefore, K.Fund is oriented towards the model of sustainable education – today people have to learn all the time throughout their lives. Regarding the economy, K.Fund will assist in implementing projects aimed at forming the so-called knowledge-driven economy in Ukraine – the introduction of new technologies, investment, and the creation of well-paid jobs.

Today, the businessman supports projects of the Osvitoria public association – a secondary school, Novopecherska School in Kyiv, the iLearn online platform for students of boarding schools and children from needy families, a master’s level program in public administration at the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy,” and Ukraine’s first inter-corporate IT university BIONIC University.

Khmelnytsky’s Library project will be launched in the next few months to publish modern literature in Ukrainian on three main topics – education, economy, and entrepreneurship.

Vasyl Khmelnytsky invests in the development of various businesses in Ukraine with a focus on cooperation and co-management. Almost every project has its own configuration of shareholders and management.

Today, the entrepreneur’s core activity is real estate development business. He is a majority shareholder in UDP company, which implements large-scale infrastructure projects, including Kyiv International Airport, Ocean Plaza shopping mall, residential complexes Novopecherski Lypky, Boulevard of Fountains, RiverStone, and Parkove Misto. Khmelnytsky also invests in BIOFARMA (pharmaceuticals production), StarMedia (production of films and TV programs), RTM (national advertising operator). He is also a minority shareholder in Bank Khreschatyk. The entrepreneur’s plans include the creation of hi-tech industrial facilities, the development of innovation parks, and attraction of foreign investment and technologies in Ukraine.

POROSHENKO TO OPEN YES ANNUAL MEETING IN KYIV ON SEPT 11

KYIV. Sept 8 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will officially open the 12th Annual Meeting of the Yalta European Strategy Forum (YES) in Kyiv on September 11.

The 12th Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting entitled “At Risk: How the New Ukraine’s Fate Affects Europe and the World”, organized by YES, in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, will take place in Kyiv on September 10-12, 2015.

Poroshenko will speak about Ukraine’s position on current global issues and present his vision on how to overcome current the challenges and threats faced by the country, the YES press service reported on Monday.

According to the agenda of the forum, Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk will open the second day of the YES Annual Meeting on September 12, and will lay out his vision for reforms, addressing both the successes and failures of the reforms his government has made.

The 12th YES Forum will concentrate on determining how Ukraine can become a force for global stability and European values in today’s volatile global system, building on the revolution of dignity, and addressing the challenges that arose from the annexation of Crimea, the conflict in Donbas, and the urgent need to reform the country’s financial, economic, legal and security sectors.

On the first day, participants will discuss how to restore security in Europe and achieve peace in Ukraine; threats to the global economy and the role of Ukraine in this context, and which strategies can provide energy security for the world and Ukraine. New global cooperation and alliances, including the relations between Europe, the West, and Russia will be discussed.

The second day of the Forum will focus on assessing Ukraine’s successes and failures in implementing reforms and on the economic, financial, legal and security sectors of the country. The participants will also discuss challenges including decentralization, constitutional changes and the upcoming local elections.

This year, the 12th YES Annual Meeting will bring together more than 350 global leaders representing politics, business, society and media from more than 20 countries to discuss the new Ukraine’s impact on Europe and the world. One hundred Ukrainian student leaders, including those who have received scholarships from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, will also have a chance to meet YES speakers and participants.

Some of the speakers who will attend the forum include: Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (2004-2014); Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014); Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission; Leonid Kuchma, President of Ukraine (1994–2005); Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of Poland (1995-2005) and Chairman of the Board of YES; Gen. Stanley McChrystal, (U.S. Army, Retired), Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) (2009-2010); Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) (2009-2010); Ivan Miklos, Minister of Finance of Slovakia (2002-2006, 2010-2012); Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Carlos Pascual, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, U.S. Department of State (2011-2014); Gen. David A. Petraeus, (U.S. Army, Retired), and Director, Central Intelligence Agency (2011-2012); Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO (2009-2014); Prime Minister of Denmark (2001-2009); Wolfgang Schüssel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Austria (2000-2007); Radoslaw Sikorski, Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland; Speaker, Sejm of the Republic of Poland (2014-2015); Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland (2007-2014); Javier Solana, EU High Representative for CFSR (1999-2009), and member of the Board of YES; Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution, and Chair, Foreign Affairs Policy Board, U.S. Department of State; Vaira Viķe-Freiberga, President of Latvia (1999-2007); and Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

For the second time, the YES Annual Meeting is taking place in the Ukrainian capital. From 2004 to 2013, the forum was held at its traditional venue, the Livadia Palace in Yalta in Crimea, which has since been occupied by Russia.

For more than a decade, YES has worked to connect Ukraine with the wider world and find the ways to secure a peaceful and cooperative Europe. The annual forum convenes global leaders, government officials, business executives, social innovators and Ukrainian student leaders to identify, address and find solutions that may help overcome the obstacles preventing Ukraine from becoming a more modern, open and prosperous country.

LVIV RAILWAYS TO BUY NEW DIESEL TRAIN MADE BY KCBW FOR UAH 109.8 MLN

KYIV. Sept 8 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The tender committee of Lviv Railways has held a meeting where to select the winner of a tender to buy a new passenger diesel train, and the winner was Kriukov Car Building Works (KCBW, Poltava region).

The press service of Lviv Railways reported that the price of the new diesel train is UAH 109.8 million (VAT included).

Lviv Railways said that two bids were submitted to the tender – from KCBW and Kharkiv Wagon-Building Plant LLC, and the price of the latter was UAH 120 million. The two bids met the tender criteria and were allowed to participate.

The suburban diesel train with three wagons made by KCBW is intended to carry passengers on non-electrified 1,520mm gauge rail sections with a speed of up to 140 km per hour. The diesel train has 291 seats, and two seats for passengers with disabilities.

Lviv Railways operates in the south-western part of Ukraine in six regions: Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zakarpattia, Chernivtsi, Vinnytsia, and Volyn.

The Kriukov plant, which is the CIS’s only manufacturer of both passenger carriages and freight wagons, manufactures freight wagons (open wagons, tankers, hopper wagons, and high-sided wagons), as well as passenger carriages, bogies for freight wagons, wheel pairs, and spare parts for subway carriages, escalators, containers, and road equipment.