Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba has offered President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine (ACC) Andy Hunder and Executive Director of the European Business Association (EBA) Anna Derevyanko cooperation to develop trade and attract investment, the press service of the ministry said. “In the United States, Asian countries, and EU countries, the protection of internal business abroad, the development of trade, and the attraction of investments are some of the key functions of the foreign ministries. Now we are creating such an effective system of economic diplomacy in Ukraine. I would like to invite the leading Ukrainian business to unite forces,” Kuleba said during a video conference on Tuesday.
Kuleba also told about the relaunch of the Council of Exporters and Investors under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A meeting of the members, 80% of whom were reelected, is scheduled for May 21. Participants will be organized according to industry principles and will develop a joint work plan for the year.
The minister also shared with Hunder and Derevyanko his vision of cooperation between the diplomatic system and business, which will fill the agenda of relations with other countries with real cooperation projects, liberalize trade, expand the geography of exports, and attract investment in Ukraine.
Kuleba believes that successful Ukrainian business is also able to play a key role in establishing an effective system of economic diplomacy. It is, in particular, about professional expert assessment, attracting business to diplomatic education, and conducting special trainings and courses.
Derevyanko and Hunder, in turn, expressed gratitude for the initiative, which, in their opinion, is able to bring cooperation between business and diplomacy to a new level and contribute to the protection of Ukrainian economic interests. For their part, they confirmed their readiness to cooperate under the Council of Exporters and Investors, as well as in the development of an assessment system and diplomatic education.The parties paid special attention to the subject of encouraging foreign companies that transfer production from other regions of the world closer to sales markets, to locating production in Ukraine.
The project of the Dunaya resort in Odesa region provides for attracting private investments of $2.5 billion, replenishing the hotel rooms with 20,000 rooms and creating 25,000 jobs, Fazil Askerov, the chairman of the board of the Odesa region tourism association, has said.
“This is the Dunaya resort town. The state company Dunaya. A year-round resort with a gambling zone. It will be located on the spit (part of the spit is a dam) between Sasyk Lake and the Black Sea. More than 500 hectares, the embankment is over 10 km. More than 80 hotels, the smallest with 150 rooms, and the largest with 1,000 rooms,” he said on Facebook.
The project provides for the opening of the first hotels in 2022, Askerov said. According to the plan, the resort will receive the first million tourists in 2025, and by 2030 their number will reach 6 million annually.
“After the quarantine is over, we will definitely hold a public presentation of the project for the general public,” he wrote.
He added that the project was created on the initiative of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, the project’s architect was Serhiy Husev’s team, and one of the ideological authors was the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada’s Committee on Economic Development, Dmytro Natalukha. In addition, according to him, Mikheil Saakashvili presented the project at the parliamentary hearings in 2016.
The amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ukraine in the form of share capital as of December 31, 2019 amounted to $35.81 billion, which is $2.9 billion, or 8.8% more than at the beginning of the year, the State Statistics Service has said.
According to its data, investment inflow last year amounted to $2.53 billion, withdrawal some $1.28 million, and also the increase was provided by the exchange rate difference due to the strengthening of the hryvnia at $950 million.
As reported, in the first quarter of 2019, FDI in Ukraine increased by $45.5 million. Their revenues amounted to $590 million, withdrawal some $500 million, and the contribution of the exchange rate difference amounted to $60 million.
In the first half of the year, FDI growth amounted to $840 million: investment inflow to $1.26 billion, withdrawal to $730 million with a foreign exchange contribution of $520 million.
In January-October 2019 FDI grew by $1.82 billion: investment inflow was $1.67 billion, withdrawal – $980,000 and the exchange rate difference – $1.14 billion.
A significant increase in FDI in the fourth quarter is associated with the transaction on the purchase of telecommunications business in Ukraine by Azerbaijan’s Bakcell from the MTS. The purchase transaction for Vodafone Ukraine was closed at the end of December 2019 with funding from J.P. Morgan and RBI, the price was $734 million, including deferred payment of about $84 million.
As reported, in 2018, FDI growth in Ukraine amounted to $1.3 billion, a year earlier it was $0.38 billion.
According to the State Statistics Service, the largest increase in FDI in 2019 was recorded from the Netherlands: by $1.183 billion (up to $ 8.3 billion), as well as Cyprus – $824.4 million (to $10.37 billion), Russia – $185.5 million (to $0.78 billion), Switzerland – $162.4 million (to $1.71 billion) and Germany – $141.7 million (to $1.84 billion).
At the same time, there was a sharp decrease in investments from Hungary – by $184.4 million (to $0.38 billion) and the UK – by $70.6 million (to $2.04 billion).
By industry, the largest increase in FDI was recorded in financial and insurance activities – $916.5 million, information and telecommunications – $738.5 million, mining and processing industries – respectively $283.8 million and $271.7 million, real estate operations – $237.5 million, electricity and gas supplies – $216.8 million, in wholesale and retail trade – $182.3 million, as well as in professional, scientific and technical activities – $126.1 million.
At the same time, in the area of administrative and support services, FDI decreased by $264.2 million.
The State Statistics Service also said that it stops calculating FDI, and now the National Bank of Ukraine will deal with this exclusively.
By 2021, the first Ukrainian innovation park, UNIT.City (a project of UFuture), will be built at 20%, and the amount of investment in it will reach 245 million euros.
“UNIT.City must integrate into the international innovation ecosystem. To do this, we are ready to actively invest in the project, attract global technological leaders, and interact with global financial institutions. The park has reached a new level and is an understandable partner for key industry players,” Vasyl Khmelnytsky, Founder of UFuture, said.
Today, about EUR50 million have been invested in the innovation park and 36 thousand square meters of infrastructure have been built. Three campuses, an IT-school for gifted youth, UNIT Factory, coworking Chasopys.UNIT, a free sports complex and several cafes have been opened. By the end of this year, EUR70 million will be invested in the construction of two business campuses and the first phase of UNIT.Home with a total area of 60 thousand square meters. The construction of five new business campuses, the second phase of UNIT.Home, and a school (with a total area of 110 thousand square meters) is planned to start next year with EUR125 million of investments. Thus, a fifth part of the territory of the innovation park will be built.
According to UNIT.City’s CEO Dominique Piotet, in 2020, comfortable conditions for 150 resident companies as well as for education of more than 1,200 students will be created in the innovation park. Partnership with two of the world’s leading universities is planned. Five venture capital funds, eight laboratories, and ten accelerators are expected to operate in UNIT.City next year. The top manager hopes that international events such as Web Summit, IT Arena, CES, and Davos will be held at UNIT.City in 2020.
“My goal is to ensure that in 2025, when 90% of UNIT.City is built, the world appreciates Ukraine no longer for outsourcing, but for the high quality of innovations, startups. I would like the world to perceive our ecosystem as a place where ideas grow into world-famous companies. Where billion-dollar unicorn startups appear. I would like the next Tesla or iPhone to be born here in UNIT.City,” Dominique Piotet said.
The symbol of the “New Era” of the innovation park’s development is the opening of the unique “Beacon” art object at UNIT.City square. With the onset of darkness, light gradually rises along the two sides of a 60-meter factory pipe lighting a bright beam at the top. The diameter of its base is 3.5 m, and the length can reach 100 meters.
Inside the art object, a dome screen and a projection system were installed by a Ukrainian company, developer of visual solutions and technologies for planetariums and museums, Front Pictures. The image on the screen is being created by four projectors under the control of the Screenberry media server. The planetarium can be controlled remotely through the application on the tablet. “Beacon” was designed by a British artist, Sebastian Kite. The concept of the project was implemented by UDP development company.
UFuture is a holding company of Ukrainian entrepreneur Vasyl Khmelnytsky that integrates his business and impact-investment projects. The Company has a diversified portfolio of assets in real estate, industry, infrastructure, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, and IT. As of today, UFuture’s assets are estimated at $550 million with total capitalization of the businesses invested in exceeding $1 billion.
UNIT.City is Ukraine’s first innovation park. It is the location where matchless infrastructure and all-inclusive ecosystem enable high technology, innovative and creative businesses to happen and flourish. The goal is to become the center of innovations and a one-point entry into Ukraine for investors, partners and new technology from all over the world. The mission of UNIT.City is to create a unique innovation platform where advanced companies, start-ups and mavens get an opportunity to cross paths and work together ramping up their growth.
British-based Ferrexpo plc in January-March 2019 invested UAH 1.3 billion (over $47.5 million) in the development of Poltava, Yeristovo and Belanovo mining and processing plants (GOK) it controls, which is 73.6% more than the investments for the same period in 2018 in the hryvnia (over UAH 748.9 million) and 71% in U.S. dollars (over $27.8 million).
According to the investment program approved by the board of directors, Ferrexpo Group for January-March 2019 invested more than UAH 855 million, or more than $31.4 million, in Poltava GOK (Ferrexpo Poltava Mining), over UAH 438.3 million, or more than $16.1 million in the development of Yeristovo and Belanovo GOKs (Ferrexpo Yeristovo Mining, Ferrexpo Belanovo Mining).
The main capital investments of PGOK were the costs of supporting existing production in the amount of over UAH 209 million, or more than $5 million and large strategic projects worth over UAH 272 million, or more than $16.3 million, components worth over UAH 373 million, or more than $10 million.
The funds of YeGOK and BGOK were invested in processing, the development of railway tracks and objects, in projects for capital construction of infrastructure, quarrying, geological and other work.
SP Investments LLC (the United States) on April 22 acquired 77 million shares, or 100% of the charter capital, of PrJSC Etalon Insurance Company (Kyiv), according to the insurer’s official information. Prior to the acquisition of shares, SP Investments LLC or its affiliates did not hold shares in Etalon. According to the report, the highest price of shares, which were purchased within 12 days, was UAH 0.205 per share.
Etalon insurance company was established in 1993. It has 24 licenses for nine compulsory and 15 voluntary types of insurance. The company offers more than 50 insurance products for individuals and legal entities. It has an extensive regional network of representative offices in Ukraine.