Deputy Minister of Economy, Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai agreed to hold a Trade and Investment Council.
“We talked about the need to strengthen dialogue on climate change, non-tariff rules for industrial and food products both in the context of strengthening the World Trade Organization (WTO) and on the bilateral track. We agreed to hold a Council on Trade and Investment and talk,” Kachka wrote on Facebook on Wednesday following a discussion with Tai on key trade issues held on May 11.
During the conversation, Tai expressed support for the idea of free production of vaccines (waiver), he said.
“We expressed our support. Ukraine is ready to act as a compressor of the waiver initiative and to convince the EU that it is necessary,” Kachka said.
With regard to duties on metallurgical products, the United States, according to Kachka, is ready to seek an individual approach to metal trading in order to overcome the problem of overcapacity.
“We explained that the duties and the EU measures applied later ended in the opposite direction in terms of overcapacity [excess capacity]. In general, Ukraine is more likely a partner of the West in transforming metallurgy,” Ukrainian trade representative added.
The State Regional Development Fund will finance 297 investment programs and projects worth UAH 4.3 billion in 2021, according to the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers.
The resolution of April 12 was published on the government’s website.
According to the document, the largest number of projects is planned to be financed in Ternopil region – 24 projects for UAH 142 million, Luhansk region – 19 projects for UAH 177 million, Cherkasy region – 19 projects for UAH 95 million, and Donetsk region – 17 projects for UAH 561 million.
In Kyiv, it is planned to finance four projects worth UAH 256 million, including UAH 175.8 million allocated for the first phase of the construction of Bortnychi aeration station, as well as the reconstruction of its pumping station.
According to the resolution, in general, Kyiv region will receive UAH 154 million for the implementation of 11 projects.
Earlier, the government changed the procedure for selecting investment projects of the fund, in particular, it changed the deadlines for some stages in the current edition, the assessment and preliminary selection of investment programs and projects should be completed no later than August 1 of the year, which comes before the planned one, instead of May 1.
According to experts of Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), this will make it possible to better predict the situation both in terms of budgeting and for competitors who will be able to better understand their needs and opportunities in future budget periods.
In addition, for large construction projects worth over UAH 100 million, the implementation period was allowed to be extended from four to five years. For such projects, the lower cost limit is also doubled up to UAH 10 million.
“This will provide for more flexibility in planning the budget for long-term projects and reduce the number of potential long-term construction projects,” the KSE said on its Telegram channel.
However, the government did not make amendments regarding the requirements for the timing of the publication of the protocols after the meeting of the commissions or broadcasting of such meetings, the KSE said.
“Lack of publicity and transparency, on the one hand, does not contribute to trust in this tool, and this increases the likelihood of losing motivation for the authors of potentially good projects. On the other hand, it creates threats to influence the final list of objects and the amount of funding,” the KSE said.
Foreign direct investment in the economy of Ukraine as of 09/30/2020 (balance, $ million).
The state-owned Ukreximbank (Kyiv) has opened a long-term credit limit for Centravis Production Ukraine, part of Centravis Ltd., in the amount of EUR 35 million, which is equivalent to UAH 1.177 billion.
According to Centravis press release published on Thursday, March 4, the company is going to use these funds to produce new types of seamless pipes, introduce environmental and energy-saving technologies and further upgrade the production.
“The bank opened a credit limit of EUR 35 million for five years to maintain the high competitiveness of products in world markets as well as to ensure timely and full implementation of the investment program aimed at developing sales of high value-added products,” Director of Corporate Banking Department (private enterprises) at Ukreximbank Oleksandr Isniuk said, who is quoted by the press service.
In turn, Centravis CFO Alexandre Joseph added that raising funds in Ukreximbank would strengthen the company’s financial stability and would provide the opportunity to annually invest at least EUR 7 million in the development and output of new products.
“Since we work with world top brands, we need to be proactive and maintain focus on efficiency and customer service. We believe that cooperation with Ukreximbank is a classic win-win story for Ukraine. Our company exports over 98% of its products. The foreign exchange earnings amount to about EUR 150 million. This helps to improve the foreign trade balance of Ukraine and strengthen the ‘made in Ukraine’ presence in the world market,” Joseph said.
The press release recalled that despite the tailspin due to the coronavirus pandemic, Centravis maintained a stable position among the world’s best manufacturers of seamless pipes over 2020. The production volume amounted to 19,050 tonnes. The company doubled its EBITDA compared to 2019 — to EUR 14 million.
Centravis is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of seamless stainless steel pipes, founded in 2000. Its production facilities are located in Nikopol (Dnipropetrovsk region).
Centravis is one of the world’s top ten players, supplies products to ThyssenKrupp, BMW, Alstom, Linde, Samsung, Volkswagen and other companies. The company employs over 1,400 employees.
Ukreximbank, the sole owner of which is the state, was established in 1992. According to the National Bank of Ukraine, as of January 1, 2021, in terms of total assets (UAH 246.877 billion), Ukreximbank ranked third among 73 banks operating in the country.
Bolt, a ride-hailing service, has raised EUR 20 million of investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to increase access to mobility services in Eastern Europe (including Ukraine) and Africa (Nigeria and South Africa), the press service of the company reported on Thursday.
“Technology can and should unlock new pathways for sustainable development… Our investment in Bolt aims to help tap in to technology to disrupt the transport sector in a way that is good for the environment… and provides safer and more affordable transportation access in emerging markets,” IFC Chief Operating Officer Stephanie von Friedeburg said in a statement.
“We are looking forward to partnering with IFC to further support entrepreneurship… and increase access to affordable mobility services in Africa and Eastern Europe. Together with the investment from the European Investment Bank last year, we are proud to have sizeable and strategically important institutions backing us and recognising the strategic value Bolt is providing to emerging economies,” Bolt CEO Markus Villig said.
In Ukraine, Bolt ride-hailing service was launched in summer 2018.
JSC Ukrzaliznytsia expects to launch a concession project for high-speed traffic in Ukraine with the help of investors from China, Korea and Turkey, Ukrzaliznytsia board chairman Volodymyr Zhmak has said.
“I believe that the only tool for building high-speed train networks is concession, and in order to realize this, Ukraine needs a powerful investor,” he said at the Ukraine30. Infrastructure forum in Kyiv.
According to Zhmak, there are currently interested investors from China, South Korea and Turkey.
“Today, these potential investors are just looking at Ukraine in terms of organizing high-speed traffic,” he said.
Earlier that day, at the forum, Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Krykliy announced the ministry’s plans in 2021 to start work on a project for the implementation in Ukraine of a European format railway network (1,435mm) with a train speed of over 250 km/h.
“These are four sections with a total length of almost 2,000 km of railway track. The first section is Kyiv-Lviv and the border, 896 km, and we are already starting to build and prepare one of these stages this year,” the minister said.