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.
Around 60 companies and at least 30 think tanks have united to set up the Economic Recovery Center, on the base of which the National Economic Strategy 2030 will be developed, a co-founder of the center, Andriy Dlyhach, said.
“The Economic Recovery Center has become the government’s platform for the development of the economic strategy of Ukraine,” he said on Facebook, following a meeting of the top managers and owners of the largest Ukrainian companies with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal and Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Kyrylo Shevchenko on August 14.
According to the information on the Center’s website, the platform brought together 30 Ukrainian think tanks and 60 business representatives. The think tanks include the Institute for Economics and Forecasting of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Advanter Group, Razumkov Center, Ukrainian Institute for the Future, Ukrainian Industry Expertise, and EasyBusiness.
The companies that have joined the platform include Allseeds, ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, DTEK, Energomashspetsstal, Interpipe, Lemtrans, Metinvest, MHP, Naftogaz, SmartEnergy, Galicia, Tedis Ukraine, TIS, Nibulon, UkrLandFarming, UNIT, and Darnitsa.
Public discussions will start in September, first developments will be ready in October, the final document and a series of the government’s instructions, bills and state targeted programs for 2021 with the launch of financing will be presented in December, Dlyhach said.
Financial results of taxation of large and medium enterprises by type of economic activity for 6 months of 2019 (UAH million)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a meeting with Chairman of the Japan-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Association Eysuke Mori has discussed possibilities for deepening economic and investment cooperation between Ukraine and Japan, the press service of the Office of the President has reported.
At the meeting, the parties discussed cooperation in the implementation of infrastructure projects in Ukraine, mutually beneficial projects in the fields of energy, transport, agriculture, and environmental protection.
“Today we need to modernize and unite Ukraine. To this end, our parliament adopts many laws. For example, a concession law, because we need to restore and modernize the Ukrainian infrastructure: ports, railways, roads, bridges, and dams,” Zelensky said.
He also said that a new parliamentary group has been established for inter-parliamentary relations with Japan, which includes 117 deputies, 80 of whom, including the co-chair of the group, represent the Servant of the People political party.
The parties exchanged experience on overcoming the consequences of nuclear emergencies. Zelensky noted the effectiveness of the Ukrainian-Japanese joint committee on cooperation in improving the response to emergencies at nuclear power plants.
“We confirm our intention to continue cooperation on overcoming the aftermath of the accident at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant through interaction between our countries within the so-called Fukushima-Chornobyl mechanism. A promising area of activity is the development and implementation of new technologies for the disposal of radioactive waste,” the head of the Ukrainian state said.
The Japanese side praised the results of their visit to Ukraine in September 2019. It was noted that this visit gave a new impetus to the development of inter-parliamentary dialogue and the full range of cooperation between the countries.
In turn, Zelensky thanked for the consistent policy of the government and parliament of Japan to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in particular within international organizations, as well as for large-scale humanitarian and financial assistance from Japan for the implementation of structural reforms.
“We greatly appreciate your country’s assistance in restoring Donbas and supporting internally displaced persons from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. I feel your friendly attitude towards us,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv has met with his colleague from Turkey Ruhsar Pekcan in Istanbul, where they discussed issues of enhancing trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. “Within the framework of Petro Poroshenko’s visit to Turkey, I’ve met with my Turkish counterpart, the Minister of Trade for Turkey. We are talking about strengthening trade and economic cooperation between Ukraine and Turkey, especially when bilateral trade volumes are constantly growing,” Kubiv wrote on his Facebook page.
“There are also good prospects for cooperation in the digital economy, industry, energy, IT, aviation and many other spheres,” the Ukrainian official added.