A Ukrainian delegation headed by First Deputy Prime Minister, Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko is on an official visit to Paris, it is planned to pay special attention in the talks to joint infrastructure projects, as well as the participation of French companies in the Big Construction program and the creation Ukrainian national air carrier.
“During the one-day stay of the delegation, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine will meet with Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery of France Bruno Le Maire. In addition, a number of meetings are planned with French partners, in particular, leading French companies Airbus, Alstom and Bouygues,” the Economy Ministry said on its wesite on Wednesday.
The visit takes place in order to implement the agreements between the leaders of Ukraine and France and in the context of the planned visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Ukraine, the ministry said.
Svyrydenko said on Facebook that among the issues of French-Ukrainian cooperation are the attraction of financial guarantees or a direct loan from the French government, the development of promising nuclear energy projects: cooperation between the Ukrainian Energoatom and EDF is essential, as well as consultations on holding the World Exhibition EXPO in Ukraine 2030.
In addition, within the signed memorandum of understanding, the parties will touch upon the issues of cooperation between the national air carrier and Airbus, under the signed intergovernmental agreement on the supply of 130 locomotives manufactured by Alstom for Ukrzaliznytsia, the organization of the conversion of Airbus passenger aircraft into cargo aircraft on the basis of SOE Antonov (Kyiv).
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba held a telephone conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the parties agreed to hold the first ever meeting of the joint economic commission.
“The heads of Ukrainian and Pakistani diplomacy agreed to hold the first political consultations of the foreign ministries and the first ever meeting of the Joint Ukrainian-Pakistani Commission on Economic Cooperation,” the press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on its website.
Kuleba also said that it was Ukrainian traders who exported the critically needed volume of grain, which compensated for two-thirds of the deficit during last year’s food crisis in Pakistan. Thus, the minister said that Ukraine is ready to increase export volumes, in particular, together with Pakistan, to develop trade with other countries in the region.
“The ministers expressed a common desire to significantly increase the number of Pakistani students coming to study in Ukraine. The parties exchanged invitations to make visits,” the ministry said in the statement.
ICU Group will allocate $1 million for the development of Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) as part of the continuation of the program to support education in Ukraine, ICU said in a release.
“In 2016, we were one of the first in Ukrainian business who believed in the mission of KSE and the real desire of the management to realize it. The school is intended to become an intellectual basis for a strong and innovative economy of Ukraine, and it is important for us to direct funds to create such a basis. We have been doing this for five years, and we see a clear result of the efforts of the school – the number of students has grown 10 times, and the list of curricula covers almost all trends in the development of modern economic thought,” the founder of ICU and co-chairman of the board of directors of KSE, Makar Paseniuk, said.
President of Kyiv School of Economics Tymofiy Mylovanov noted the systematic cooperation between the KSE and ICU.
“ICU is one of the first strategic partners of Kyiv School of Economics. KSE and ICU are primarily partners who together generated the most daring ideas and implemented them together: setting a new quality bar for themselves and for others. Ukrainian Financial Forum 2018 and 2019, Ukraine Economy Week are our common and favorite projects aimed at improving the quality of economic and business discussions,” he said.
ICU is one of the founders and sponsors of the Center for Journalism at KSE, where Ukrainian media journalists receive necessary knowledge in the field of economics and finance. Now KSE is opening two modern English-language bachelor’s programs: “Economics and Big-Data” and “IT and Business Analysis.” This became possible, among other things, thanks to the partnership and financial support of ICU.
“I am sure that such a significant investment in the development of education in Ukraine will become a bright precedent for domestic businesses – the flagships of the Ukrainian economy,” he added.
ICU Group is an independent financial group, founded in 2006 by specialists from ING, providing brokerage services, asset and private equity management services, as well as venture capital investments. The group specializes in the markets of Central and Eastern Europe.
Analysts at BofA Securities, which expected the Ukrainian economy to fall by 6.8% in 2020, lowered their forecast to 5.2%, while the forecast for the country’s economic recovery in 2021 fell to 4.5% versus the previous forecast of 6.5%.
The weaker-than-expected economic downturn in 2020 also diminishes the base effect for a 2021 recovery, despite the current strong momentum for a recovery in consumer demand, as well as a record low borrowing cost since the 2020 easing cycle, BofA Securities said in a review issued on November 24.
A sustained recovery in consumer activity amid an extremely strong base effect could push inflation above the 5% ± 1 pp target range in the second-third quarters of 2021, which, according to analysts, could force the NBU to raise the key policy rate by about 100 bp in the second half of the coming year.
At the same time, it is predicted that the key policy rate may return to a decline in 2022, as soon as inflationary pressures stabilize.
According to the analysts, in 2021, Ukraine is likely to receive another one or two tranches under the IMF program, including the deferred tranche of 2020. An important condition for them is the restoration and stabilization of anti-corruption institutions, including a possible complete reshuffle in the Constitutional Court, which may take several more months.
According to the review, the attractive yield on Ukrainian government bonds is noted, while the exchange rate remains the main problem for offshore investors.
The analysts said that Ukraine has decent upside potential, dependent on the hryvnia, which is now largely undervalued, but they noted that domestic politics remains a key risk.
Ukraine and the European Union have agreed on further economic integration and regulatory convergence in a number of areas.
A joint statement by the leaders of Ukraine and the EU, adopted at the end of the summit in Brussels on Tuesday, says.
“We looked forward to further enhancing economic integration and regulatory approximation within the framework of the Association Agreement in the following fields: on digital, we took note of the on-site assessment of the implementation of Ukraine’s commitments in the AA/DCFTA. We also discussed the EU’s engagement in further supporting Ukraine and its institutions in approximation with and gradual implementation of the EU Digital Single Market acquis and institutional capacities, to fully benefit from the Association Agreement. We agreed to prepare by the end of 2020 a joint working plan for co-operation between EU and Ukraine on electronic trust services with a view to a possible agreement which must be based on approximation to the EU legislation and standards,” the statement reads.
The leaders welcomed progress on the update of the Annexes on telecommunication, environment, climate and financial cooperation of the Association Agreement. “Welcoming Ukraine’s ambition to approximate its policies and legislation with the European Green Deal, we stressed the importance of progress in Ukraine’s commitments in the areas of climate change, environment, marine ecosystem, education, energy, transport and agriculture, building on existing established sectoral dialogues, and agreed on a focused dialogue on the necessary steps in these areas,” the statements says.
In addition, they acknowledged the importance of fully complying with DCFTA commitments, notably in the areas of intellectual property rights, public procurement, trade defence, and sanitary and phytosanitary standards with a view to building an open and predictable business and investment climate in Ukraine. “We agreed to further discuss and review the ways to improve DCFTA implementation in order to further develop and facilitate bilateral trade,” the leaders said.
They also welcomed the launch of the pre-assessment on Ukraine’s preparedness on an Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products.
The EU also welcomed Ukraine’s willingness to associate to the incoming EU’s Research and Innovation Framework Programme Horizon Europe and EU4Health Programme, which will be a significant enabler for green and digital post-COVID recovery.
“We recalled the importance and reaffirmed our commitment to concluding the Common Aviation Area Agreement at the earliest possible date,” the statement notes.
What is more, the EU reaffirmed Ukraine’s role as a strategic transit country for gas and welcomed the agreement on gas transit to the EU after 2019. “We underlined the importance of pursuing the modernization of the Ukrainian national gas transmission system and further cooperation on strengthening European energy security. We stressed the importance of Ukraine’s cooperation with the EU, with a view to its integration with the EU energy market based on effective implementation of the updated Annex XXVII of the Association Agreement as well as coordination of further steps for the integration of gas and electricity markets,” it says.
The parties also agreed to improve connectivity between Ukraine, the EU and other countries of the Eastern Partnership with a view to facilitating trade, further developing safe and sustainable transport links and supporting people-to-people contacts.
“We welcomed the participation of Ukraine in EU programmes and underlined the importance of Erasmus+ for education, training, youth and sport and Creative Europe for culture. We looked forward to intensifying the relevant cooperation in the framework of current and future programmes,” the leaders said.