Business news from Ukraine

US PLANS TO PROMOTE ENERGY SECTOR REFORM IN UKRAINE

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Kristina Kvien during an online meeting with Acting Energy Minister Yuriy Vitrenko confirmed the U.S. intentions to help reform the energy sector in Ukraine, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said.
“Constructive meeting with acting Minister of Energy Vitrenko yesterday, where CDA Kvien reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to helping Ukraine succeed in transforming and modernizing its energy sector,” the embassy said on Facebook on Wednesday.
As reported, at the end of December 2020, acting Energy Minister Yuriy Vitrenko met with Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission Ivanna Vladkova-Hollar. The key issues of the meeting were reforms in the energy sector, financial stability of energy markets and further development of energy industries.
According to government sources, the mission’s interest in the energy sector is caused by the sharp increase in the energy market deficit in recent years, which is proposed to be covered, in particular, by the budget or government guarantees.

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MAJORITY OF UKRAINIAN POLICE OFFICERS CONSIDER REFORM OF NATIONAL POLICE UNSUCCESSFUL

The reform of the National Police of Ukraine is considered successful by 13.9% of National Police officers and 32% of patrol officers, according to the study “National Monitoring of Unlawful Police Violence in 2020” conducted by Kharkiv Institute for Social Research.
According to the results of the survey, 58.5% of police employees and 37.6% of patrol police consider transformations in the National Police unsuccessful. The option “the reform is not finished yet” was chosen by 26% and 28.8% of the respondents, respectively. 1.6% of the polled police and patrol officers believe that changes in the structure have not yet begun.
The survey of employees of the National Police of Ukraine was carried out using the methods of group questionnaires and surveys using an online form. The sample can be considered representative of the employees of the National Police of Ukraine as a whole. The statistical error with a probability of 0.95 does not exceed 3.0% for data close to 50%, 2.6% – for data close to 25% or 75%, and 1.8% – for data close to 10% or 90%.
This publication has been funded by the European Union.

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FACTORING REFORM COULD ADDRESS MARKET GAP IN RECEIVABLES FINANCE IN UKRAINE ESTIMATED AT EUR 1.5-3.4 BLN

Factoring reform has the potential to address the market gap in receivables finance in Ukraine, currently estimated at between EUR 1.5 billion and EUR 3.4 billion, and developing the factoring sector will help expand access to finance for businesses and save jobs, Head of the Trade Facilitation Programme of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Rudolf Putz said during a webinar held jointly by the EBRD and the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) on Tuesday.
According to the EBRD, in Ukraine, receivables finance represents only 0.1% of the country’s GDP, compared to 8% of output in neighboring Poland, where the factoring market remains the fastest-growing financial sector, worth EUR 66.1 billion and serving more than 18,000 businesses.
“The demand from smaller businesses, which typically find it difficult to secure bank loans, will grow exponentially as the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of slowing down,” Putz said.
The EBRD said that the webinar brought together more than 100 trade professionals, bankers and international experts. The two-day virtual event called for sound policy and a good regulatory framework to enable the healthy development of factoring, to expand access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to strengthen their financial resilience.
The event was delivered by the factoring working group at the National Banking Association of Ukraine in cooperation with FCI, the largest global representative body for factoring and financing of open-account domestic and international trade receivables.
According to the report, drawing on the experience of Greece, Poland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, the working group and the National Bank of Ukraine agreed the next steps in reforming the sector.
These include the separation of factoring from debt collection; business education and marketing of factoring; the promotion of paperless and automated document flows; the protection of creditors’ rights; the rethinking of factoring-related risk assessment; the establishment of a factoring risk insurance framework; and improved legislative regulation.
FCI expressed a strong view that Ukraine needs to develop an effective regulatory policy governing the factoring business and to adopt a factoring law.
The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. To date, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost EUR 15 billion through 466 projects in the country.
The EBRD launched two Solidarity Packages in response to the COVID-19 crisis and now expects to dedicate its total business investment of up to EUR 21 billion in 2020-21 to overcoming the economic impact of the crisis.

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WORLD BANK ENDORSES LAND REFORM IN UKRAINE

The World Bank has expressed its strong support to land reform in Ukraine and praised its necessity to all market participants.
“The World Bank strongly endorses the plans of Ukrainian leadership to open the agricultural land market. Land reform is needed for Ukrainian farmers to buy and sell agricultural land, access credit, invest and diversify, as well as land owners to get proper return for their most valuable asset,” the World Bank said in its statement posted on Facebook on November 9.
The statement reads that all farmers, including small, medium and large, and landowners will benefit from the opening of the land market.
“It raises economic growth as well as living standards of all Ukrainian people by unleashing the country’s agricultural potential. The planned reform also includes measures to limit land concentration, stop raider attacks and provide financial assistance for small farmers. Two decades of a closed market and non-transparency that fosters corruption are enough: the time for land reform is now,” the World Bank said.

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LITHUANIA AND UKRAINE DISCUSS PREPARATION FOR INTERNATIONAL UKRAINE REFORM CONFERENCE

Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the European Union Mykola Tochytsky has discussed at a meeting with Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Ričardas Degutis the organizational aspects of the preparation of the International Ukraine Reform Conference, as well as current issues of Ukraine-EU cooperation.
“On October 10, Ukraine’s representative to the EU Mykola Tochytsky met with Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Ričardas Degutis, who is preparing the International Ukraine Reform Conference, which is scheduled to be held in Vilnius in 2020,” the press service of the Ukrainian mission in the European Union said.
Degutis emphasized the priority of the Conference, which is considered in Vilnius as part of the overall strategy to support the reform process in Ukraine.
In turn, Tochytsky thanked Degutis for the consistent support of Lithuania to Ukraine both at the bilateral level and within the EU, especially in the context of confronting Russian aggression and introducing systemic reforms in the state.

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EUROPEAN BUSINESS ASSOCIATION IN UKRAINE ASKS PARLIAMENT TO BACK TAXI MARKET REFORM BILL

The European Business Association (EBA) has asked Head of the Verkhovna Rada committee for transport and infrastructure Yuriy Kysyl to support a bill proposing new legislation for the taxi market, the press service of the EBA said on Friday. “The adoption of a new model for regulating the taxi market is a significant step in introducing European standards into the life of Ukrainians. We hope that the new law on taxis will allow us to remove transportation from the shadows, get rid of outdated regulations and instead introduce clear and equal rules of the game for market players. For the first time, Ukraine has approached the reform of the taxi services market in such a comprehensive and professional manner that it is undoubtedly a positive signal,” the press service said, citing Advocacy Team Leader at the EBA Igor Gotsyk.
According to the report, the bill proposes the cancellation of obtaining a license for the domestic transportation of passengers by taxi, while at the same time the obligation is introduced to notify the State Service of Ukraine for Transport Safety, which also provides the functions of the public register of road carriers.
In addition, according to the document, an individual road carrier is not required to register as private entrepreneur. He also does not need to draw up a contract on transportation for each service in paper. He can only draw up a contract in electronic form.
“Given the thoroughness of the above-mentioned provisions and the importance of their adoption in order to increase the transparency of operations by carriers who operate road passenger transport services, we expect fruitful cooperation and hope that the bill will be adopted this autumn,” the EBA said.

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