The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) has said that the bank is ready to send around EUR 9000 million to help the sectors affected by the coronavirus disease COVID-19 spread.
“The bank intends to refocus its financing of approximately EUR 900 million, planned for new operations in 2020, to assist the sectors and industries most affected by the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 infection,” the bank said in a press release issued on Tuesday.
The bank said that in these difficult times the BSTDB is sympathetic to the efforts its member states make to contain the spread of the coronavirus and reduce the negative impact it has on human lives, societies and economic activity.
“We will offer additional technical assistance to affected clients to facilitate project preparation, including business plans, feasibility studies, environmental impact assessments, etc. The Bank will focus on assisting municipalities, utilities, manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies being on the front line of the fight against COVID-19,” the bank said.
The BSTDB is an international financial institution established by Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine.
Real growth of Ukraine’s GDP in 2020 would accelerate to 4% from 3.2-3.3% in 2019 with a flight rise in inflation from 4.1% to 5.2%, Dragon Capital Investment Company (Kyiv) has said. “Now the situation is very good in Ukraine, one of the best for 20 years of our stay here,” Tomas Fiala, the head and founder of the company, said at the presentation of the macroeconomic forecast of the European Business Association (EBA) in Kyiv.
According to him, in 2021, the company expects a slight slowdown, to 3.7% with inflation of 6.1%.
Fiala said that Dragon Capital predicts that the hryvnia will strengthen this year on average to UAH 24/$1 compared to UAH 25.80/$1 last year.
He added that, according to the company’s expectations, the exchange rate at the end of this year will be about UAH 24/$1, and at the end of the next – UAH 25.5/$1.
According to Fiala, such an economic growth with the hryvnia strengthening has already increased its U.S. dollar-pegged GDP from $90 billion in 2015 to $150 billion in 2019 and, tentatively, to $175 billion this year.
He said that this allowed reducing public debt from 80% of GDP to 51% of GDP and allows us to expect an increase in the credit rating of Ukraine by another 1-2 points in 2020.
The head of Dragon Capital said that among the main risks for the forecast is the refusal to cooperate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is extremely dangerous in the conditions of Ukraine’s dependence on external financing and the deterioration of the global situation, especially in the grain and metal markets.
The growth of Ukraine’s economy in the fourth quarter of 2019 slowed down to 2.2% and will again exceed 3% in the first quarter of 2020, Dmytro Sologub, the Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), has stated. “According to our estimates, behind the growth figure [GDP] of 3.3% in 2019 is the fourth quarter growth of 2.2% … Regarding the first quarter, we currently have an estimate of GDP growth above 3%,” he said at a briefing in Kyiv.
As reported, the NBU worsened the forecast for GDP growth in 2019 to 3.3% from 3.5% and kept it at 3.5% in 2020 and 4% in 2021.
The Wuhan coronavirus will have a minimum effect on the economy of Ukraine due to low international tourist inflow in the country, Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Minister of Ukraine Tymofiy Mylovanov has said.
“Usually it may directly affect tourism – tourism slows down. Unfortunately, or in this case fortunately, international tourism inflow is low in Ukraine – a mere 2% of GDP,” he said at a press briefing following the government’s meeting on Wednesday, adding that transporters and tour operators, who are working on foreign markets, including China, might suffer some expenses on the evacuation of people, however, in general, the effect will be minimal.
“We are not forecasting a negative effect [of the coronavirus] on goods turnover. Actually, using the opportunity, we have eliminated several trade barriers for export to China, but this is not related to the coronavirus,” the minister said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, and the sides discussed prospects of negotiations on Donbas and Swedish investment in the Ukrainian economy.
The press service of the president of Ukraine reported on the president’s website on Wednesday, Zelensky thanked the prime minister for comprehensive support of Kyiv, in particular, the support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The parties discussed the prospects of the negotiations on Donbas.
“We are not ready to wait five more years for the negotiations in Minsk to yield results,” Zelensky said.
The head of state also noted the importance of Sweden as a partner for Ukraine, in particular in the trade sphere.
Zelensky urged Löfven to facilitate the increase of Swedish investments in Ukraine’s economy, including the spheres of energy efficiency and recycling.