The Center for Economic Recovery and the Ukrainian Business and Trade Association (UBTA) in a letter to Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal propose to consider three scenarios for reducing the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and, accordingly, adjust the goal of Ukraine’s second Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris agreement.
“Considering the fact that for the entire period of Ukraine’s independence, the dynamics of GDP and the dynamics of greenhouse gas emissions had an almost direct correlation, business associations expressed concern about Ukraine’s plans with great ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 35% by 2030 from the 1990 level,” the letter says.
The analytical report prepared by the associations contains three scenarios for reducing CO2 emissions until 2030. As noted, the scenarios are calculated in accordance with the goals of the National Economic Strategy of Ukraine.
According to the baseline scenario, with the volume of investments in decarbonization at the level of EUR12 billion, Ukraine will be able to reduce CO2 emissions to 43% of the 1990 level.
The conservative scenario envisages achieving a more ambitious goal of reducing emissions to 40%. At the same time, investments in decarbonization should increase to EUR27 billion.
In accordance with the optimistic scenario, Ukraine can reduce CO2 emissions to 36% (the target is 35%), provided that it invests EUR50 billion in decarbonization by 2030.
The letter states that at the current level of financing environmental modernization, only the baseline scenario is realistic for Ukraine so far.
The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) plans to gradually abolish the requirement for legal entities and individuals-entrepreneurs to purchase foreign currency only against obligations, in particular, from July 20, it will allow businesses to buy foreign currency within EUR 100,000 (in equivalent) per day without the presence of grounds and obligations and the submission of supporting documents to the bank.
According to the NBU press service on Thursday, the relevant changes were approved by regulator’s board decision No. 80 dated July 13.
“We have decided to cancel this requirement gradually. This will allow us to assess the impact of each such step on liberalization on the state of the market,” the NBU press service said, citing Deputy Governor of the NBU Yuriy Heletiy said.
According to the National Bank, the current easing will not have a significant impact on the functioning of the Ukrainian foreign exchange market, but it will expand the business opportunities for risk and liquidity management.
It is indicated that the next steps towards the complete removal of the requirement for the purchase of foreign exchange against obligations will be carried out after analyzing the situation in the domestic and foreign markets, the state of financial stability, and also subject to a favorable situation in the foreign exchange market.
The Business Activity Expectations Index, calculated by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), rose to 51.6 in June from 50.5 in May, according to a survey of enterprises conducted by the National Bank of Ukraine and published on the website of the regulator.
“In June, companies across most of the surveyed sectors reported optimistic expectations of their business performance – the indices of the construction, industrial and services sectors moved above their neutral levels. Meanwhile, companies in the trade sector have reported pessimistic expectations for three months running,” the report says.
“Industrial companies upgraded their optimistic expectations of their business performance amid benign external and internal environments – the sector’s index was 52.5 in June, up from 50.8 in May. Respondents reported much firmer expectations for the amount of manufactured goods, while also remaining upbeat about an increase in the number of new orders, including new export orders,” the bank said.
“Service companies also improved their expectations of their business performance, with the sector’s index moving to 52.3 in June, up from 50.7 in May. Respondents expected an improvement in all performance indicators, expecting most strongly an increase in the amount of services that have been provided, and the services currently being provided,” it said.
“Residential housing and non-residential facility construction companies upgraded their performance expectations most of all. The sector’s index moved up from 49.4 in May to 58.1 in June – the highest figure among the sectors. Respondents expressed strong expectations for the amount of construction work done and the number of new orders, while also reporting intentions to hire more staff for the first time since September 2019,” according to the document.
“In contrast, trading companies were downbeat about their business performance – their index dropped to 48.2 in June, down from 49.9 in May, remaining below the neutral level for three months in a row. Respondents reported dimmer expectations about all performance indicators, such as trade turnover, goods purchased for sale, and staff numbers. Most companies in the sector expected a further decrease in their trade margins,” the report notes.
“Companies across all sectors expect a rise in their selling prices on the back of continued increases in raw material and higher purchase and supplier prices. Staff expectations remain guarded – companies across all sectors, apart from the construction sector, still report no intentions to expand their workforces,” the NBU says.
This survey was carried out from June 3 through June 22, 2021. A total of 316 companies were polled. Of the companies polled, 42.1% are industrial companies, 28.8% companies in the services sector, 24.4% trading companies, and 4.7% construction companies, while 36.1% of the respondents are large companies, 32% medium companies, and 32% small companies.
The restoration of the Egypt-Ukraine Business Council will be on the agenda of the intergovernmental bilateral meeting in June, which will be held in Egypt, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt Ayman Ahmed Mokhtar Elgammal has said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
He said that the Egypt-Ukraine Business Council will consist of representatives of Ukrainian and Egyptian business.
The Ambassador said that the Chambers of Commerce of both countries will present participants who are interested and have experience in doing business both in Ukraine and in Egypt. The council’s activities will also be aimed at promoting business and bilateral investments, holding various sectoral specialized exhibitions in both countries. Thus, since the council includes both sides, it will be clearer for business how to invest in Ukraine, Elgammal said.
The ambassador recalled that the Egypt-Ukraine Business Council was created ten years ago, but has been inactive in recent years.
The focus of activity (of the council) is not limited to investments. All types of business activities, investments, co-production, joint ventures and projects depending on the sector – everything will be promoted by this council, Elgammal said.
He is convinced that obtaining information on investment opportunities in Ukraine and Egypt through the council will be much faster and easier than through government institutions in both countries.
The State Agency of Ukraine on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving intends to submit for approval by the government a program to support energy efficiency for 2022-2026 with the volume of UAH 10 billion, acting chairman of the agency Kostiantyn Hura has said.
“Since the insulation credit program is coming to an end this year, we have developed the concept of a new target program for 2022-2026 to support energy efficient measures in the amount of UAH 10 billion, which would include not only “warm loans” for individuals, but also apply to industry, the budgetary sector, transport and individual projects for the development of bioenergy,” he said in a comment to the Energy Reform portal at the all-Ukrainian forum Ukraine 30. Ecology.
He said the mechanism of the proposed program for loans to legal entities will differ from the program of “warm loans,” which consists in compensation for their part.
“We are now considering the possibility of launching such a mechanism as lowering the loan rate, in this case – at the double refinancing rate of the NBU, which is currently 6.5%. That is, the bank’s standard rate minus 13% if an entrepreneur takes out a loan for energy efficiency. The banks’ expenses will be compensated from the budget,” he explained.
According to the expert, the agency has coordinated the program with all interested bodies and is now awaiting approval from the Ministry of Energy.
“After that, we will send it to the government. I hope for its support,” Hura said, adding that such a program to stimulate energy efficiency will provide an opportunity not only to modernize housing, budgetary sectors, enterprises, but also have a positive effect on the economy, creating projects, jobs, increasing budget revenues.
As reported, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine extended until 2021 the state target program for energy efficiency and development of the sphere of energy production from renewable energy sources and alternative fuels, being in effect from 2010 to 2020.
The European Business Association (EBA), in partnership with Huawei Ukraine and SAP Ukraine, has conducted an expert study of the current state of digital transformation deployment at private and public levels.
The study was conducted from March 29 to April 14, 2021, according to a joint report by the companies. It covered 130 general, executive and technical directors of EBA member companies.
The majority of respondents assess the volume and quality of the provision of state electronic services as high or satisfactory (7% and 55%, respectively). Among the most widespread electronic government services, the respondents rated the work of the Diia single portal of government services the best of all.
At the same time, according to the respondents, the development of digital infrastructure, as well as improving access to the use of modern technologies (digital inclusion) are definitely priority tasks for the state.
Thus, 47% of respondents assess the level of development of digital infrastructure as moderate, 42% – as low or very low. The majority of respondents also rated the level of digital inclusion as low or very low (54%).
At the same time, 55% of respondents believe that the level of digital transformation of their industries is moderate, 16% – high, another 6% – very high. At the same time, 23% consider it low or very low.
Of the directors surveyed, 41% rate the digital literacy level of their employees as moderate, 13% as low, and 46% as high.
In addition, 47% of directors rated the level of digital development of their business as moderate, 39% think it is high, another 5% – very high. Only 9% of respondents consider the level of digital transformation of their companies to be low.
At the same time, the overwhelming majority (89% of those surveyed) admitted that the corporate strategy of their company contains the goals of digital transformation.
According to the results of the survey, the integral indicator of the digital transformation index of Ukraine amounted to 2.81 points out of five possible and found itself in the negative plane.
According to the research methodology, the integral indicator of the index consists of five equivalent components: the general level of digital transformation of companies; digital transformation of industries; development of digital infrastructure; digital inclusion; volume and quality of state electronic services.
“We are witnessing a dynamic growth of the Ukrainian IT market. However, there are certain barriers that hinder the development of digitalization due to the rather complex regulation of the industry, emigration of specialists, weak infrastructure support for new projects, restrictions on the use of cloud technologies in the public sector, etc. This is confirmed by the results of an expert study,” Director of SAP Ukraine Maxim Matyash said.