Business news from Ukraine

IRELAND’S LOW COST RYANAIR CONSIDERS UKRAINE AS TOP THREE PROMISING COUNTRIES FOR IT HUB DEVELOPMENT

Ireland’s low cost airline Ryanair is considering Ukraine as the top three promising countries for development of an IT hub in 2019, Ryanair Chief Commercial Officer David O’Brien said at a press conference in the Infrastructure Ministry of Ukrainey. The airline’s engineer is visiting several cities of Ukraine, he said. The airline is mulling a possibility of opening the IT center in Ukraine in the future, and when reaching the critical mass for flights we would consider a possibility of opening the plane maintenance facilities in the country, he said.
O’Brien said that the negotiations are being held with airports of Odesa, Kherson and Kharkiv. He said that Ryanair is discussing a possibility of launching flights from regional airports of Ukraine, but the issue could be solved in several years. “We will receive 40 or 50 planes in winter 2019 and then we will talk about new cities in Ukraine,” he said.
Earlier, at a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, O’Brien said that the result of the previous meeting with the head of state was the introduction of the position of Chief Technology Officer by Ryanair together with the software lab. He expressed hope that the fourth office of this lab will be established in Ukraine. As reported, Ryanair plans to invest $1.5 billion in Ukraine by 2023, expanding the fleet to 15 planes. Ryanair offers flights from Kyiv to six cities in Poland, one destination in Germany, Spain, Lithuania, Slovakia, the U.K. and Sweden, as well as two destinations from Lviv to Germany and Poland, one to the U.K.

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EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT TO INVEST IN RENEWABLE ENERGY IN UKRAINE

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is about to invest from $2 million to $4 million in the development of infrastructure of auctions stimulating renewable energy, EBRD Deputy Director in Ukraine Marina Petrov said during her interview to the Reform.Energy website. “This is the money that we are already asking for now from the donors in order to launch a high-quality auction,” she said. She explained that market players might not be able to perceive poorly organized auctions. “This is very important to keep up the balance of interests in order to receive the most outstanding result,” Petrov said. The auctions will have to be transparent, understandable and in line with legislation.
According to her, the EBRD during Ukraine’s transition to the auctions stimulating renewable energy is ready to share its experience from similar auctions in those countries which were the first ones to introduce such tools. Such or similar auctions are held in Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, Jordan, Egypt, and Armenia, she said.
The amount is to be allocated within the EBRD’s USELF-III lending facility approved in July this year in the amount of EUR 250 million to support private renewable energy projects in Ukraine, she said.
Speaking at the Ukrainian Financial Forum organized by the ICU Invest Group in Odesa, the EBRD representative said that market operators had questions as for who would be a balancing player on this market. She said that the EBRD was working jointly with the U.S. Agency for International Development to create the market of balancing facilities and invest the funds in more mobile parts of the system, e.g. batteries, gas turbines. “This is next year’s agenda,” Petrov said.
In general, she described the situation on the renewables market as a “quick sprint” – the investment is to be made while the current feed-in tariffs are in effect.
“We’ve got many investors who are mulling over investment this and next year. We have fewer investors who are preparing projects for 2020-2021. We see there will be a steep decline,” she said.
In this connection, she called on the adoption of a law on renewable energy auctions by the end of the current year.
Ukraine has great potential for the development of other sectors of renewable energy, mainly biofuel and small hydro facilities, she said.

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UKRAINE RANKS 17TH IN OPEN DATA DEVELOPMENT RANKING

Ukraine ranked 17th in the open data development ranking according to the Open Data Barometer study, reads the annual report Open Data Barometer from the World Web Foundation. The calculation methodology has changed this year, therefore there are no places in the rating as in the previous years, but the scores calculated allowed us to assess progress in recent years, the report says. In addition to points, the data on the difference between the points of assessment in the current and the first of the ratings were also used to create the evaluation list.
Ukraine is on the second place among the countries that made the greatest progress in the last four years. The authors of the study attributed Ukraine to the group of countries that still claim leadership, but are confidently working towards the discovery of data, the study states.
Ukraine shared the result of 47 points with Argentina. Ukraine is followed by the Philippines (42 points), Chile (40 points), and Indonesia (37 points).
The leaders of the rating were Canada and Britain (76 points each), Australia (75 points), Korea and France (72 points each).
The rating is closed by Saudi Arabia (25 points), and Sierra Leone (22 points).

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BUSINESSMAN KHMELNYTSKY WILL PARTICIPATE IN DEVELOPMENT OF UNIT.CITY COPY IN KAZAKHSTAN

Businessman Vasyl Khmelnytsky’s UFuture investment group will participate in the development of a project to create in Astana (Kazakhstan) a copy of the innovation park UNIT.City, which UFuture has been developing for several years in Kyiv. “I’ve just returned from Kazakhstan, where I was at the invitation of Prime Minister Bakhytzhan Sagintayev. We’ve agreed we will help create an analogue of UNIT.City in the center of Astana,” Khmelnytsky wrote on his Facebook page.
He said starting this autumn UFuture would launch a project to create an eco-system and a university in Astana, following the example of UNIT.City. He added that this project is already known in Kazakhstan, as Kazakh students study at Kyiv’s UNIT Factory.
Khmelnytsky positively assessed the experience of creating an international technopark for IT start-ups at the Astana Hub and the Astana International Financial Center, where residents enjoy a preferential tax regime, British law and an independent court of British judges. UFuture’s press service told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency that it would be possible to speak about details of the possible participation of the investment group in the Kazakhstan project after the project was prepared.
As earlier reported, UFuture is situated on 25 hectares of land at Kyiv’s motorcycle plant where it is developing the UNIT.City innovation park. The “anchors” of the project are programming factory UNIT Factor created in spring 2016 under partnership with French School 42, and the Technology Companies’ Development Center (TCDC). Khmelnytsky has already announced plans to create similar projects in Lviv and Kharkiv.
UFuture Investment Group, headquartered in Brussels, was established in the autumn of 2017 and unites Khmelnytsky’s business projects. The group includes UDP Renewables, the Bila Tserkva Industrial Park, the innovation parks UNIT.City and LvivTech.City.

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GOVERNMENT SETS UP COUNCIL FOR TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has set up the Council for Trade and Sustainable Development, which will be headed by Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister and Ukraine’s Trade Representative Natalia Mykolska, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry has reported on its website. The government made the decision on Wednesday.
“The Council’s task is to organize the work of the advisory group on trade and sustainable development in accordance with the provisions of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement on the support of civil society, trade and development,” the report says.
The council will include representatives of government bodies and civil society.

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OUTFLOW OF POPULATION THREATENS TO DEVELOPMENT OF E-COMMERCE MARKET IN UKRAINE – OPINION

The outflow of population from Ukraine is a real threat to the development of e-commerce market, the founder of In Time Serhiy Hrachev said at a press conference. “In February this year, browsing of Ukrainian online shops fell. Within my remembrance, this is the first time in five years. Of course, there are seasonal fluctuations, but in February usually there is growth… This year the profile was different,” he said, adding that in the future the quantitative indicator of browsing online stores has leveled off, but these trends force one to think.
“A real outflow of the population today is a threat to e-commerce that can slow down the growth of e-commerce in Ukraine. We feel it on ourselves. All blue-collar workers left the country, if earlier we took “one-day workers” only in the season, now it is the usual daily practice: a person can leave in the morning, work out a day and never come back at all. The labor force is leaving [the country] actively, and this is a disaster,” the founder of In Time said. In turn, according to Hrachev, the players of the logistics market are affected by the outflow of drivers and loaders.
“There are no them on the market at all. We already have contractors with vehicles, but there are no drivers, and trucks are idle, I consider this a key threat,” he said.
At the same time, Hrachev believes that in general the e-commerce market in Ukraine is developing very actively and this year it will continue to grow.

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