Business news from Ukraine


Experts from the US George Washington University will help Ukraine attract external research grants for the implementation of irrigation reform, conduct educational programs through the exchange of specialists and provide the country with technical assistance, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food said on its website on Thursday.
According to it, the relevant agreements were reached during a meeting between Minister of Agricultural Policy Roman Leshchenko and the staff of the George Washington University, which took place in early September.
The parties at the meeting discussed a partnership in which the institution will help Ukraine find external research grants for irrigation reform. The university also intends to conduct educational programs through the exchange of specialists with Ukraine and provide it with technical assistance.
“We need new technologies to change our environmental philosophy, because Ukraine can lose a lot of fertile land without a high level of water management,” the press service of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy quoted Leshchenko as saying.
The minister specified that Ukraine creates conditions for attracting foreign investment and developing public-private partnerships in land relations. According to him, after the opening of the land market on July 1, Ukraine intends to form a legal basis for the activities of the organization of water users and the creation of mechanisms for attracting investments in the construction of a new reclamation infrastructure and the functioning of the existing one.
As reported, the United States may provide Ukraine with a credit line totaling $4 billion for the period 2022-2030 to modernize irrigation infrastructure. The investment project was proposed to the American partners by President Volodymyr Zelensky for consideration during his working trip to the United States last week.
In April 2021, the Cabinet of Ministers called for the restoration of irrigation systems for agricultural lands in the southern regions of the country by the end of this year.
The restoration of the reclamation industry has become a national project until 2024. In 2021, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy launches a pilot project to restore irrigation systems in Odesa, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhia regions.

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Bills on the reform of architectural and construction control should be developed with the direct participation of the architectural professional community.
This opinion was expressed by President of the National Union of Architects of Ukraine Oleksandr Chyzhevsky during a press conference devoted to how bill No. 5655 can destroy the architecture of Ukraine and architects as a profession held at Interfax-Ukraine.
“We highly and positively assess the efforts of legislators to eradicate corruption in the construction industry by introducing elements of the Unified Electronic System into practice. This should become a part of the overall process of digitalization of the country, the introduction of ubiquitous e-government. However, the professional community is protesting against the provisions of bill No. 5655, which curtail the powers of the architect and unbalance the industry as a whole,” Chyzhevsky said.
According to Deputy Chair of the Architectural Chamber of the National Union of Architects Anna Kyrii, today none of the numerous amendments that were transferred to the text of bill No. 5655 have been taken into account.
“In its current version, bill No. 5655 unprecedentedly deprives architects of the rights and opportunities to influence and control their project,” Kyrii said.
Kyrii called “the destruction of authorship as such” the most painful blow.
“For some reason, the creators of the bill pay attention to only one point, which directly determines that authorship is deprived if the project is carried out using budgetary funds. Yes, this point is the most terrible, because the architect is deprived of copyright property rights to the project even before that moment he began to design. However, this is not the only moment – dozens of points of the bill, one way or another, deprive or squeeze the rights of the architect, or discredit the architect in front of the rest of the project,” Kyrii said.
At the same time, the expert said that the practice of attracting famous architects to the implementation of projects significant for society, which are financed from budgetary or donor funds, is popular all over the world. And this increases the credibility of both customers and architects.
According to Chair of the expert commission of the Architectural Chamber of the National Union of Architects Olha Podushkina, the property rights of architects are protected by the law of Ukraine on copyright and related rights (section II, Article 15).
“And although the majority thinks that an architect’s copyright is about ownership of an idea and concept, in fact, an architect’s copyright is primarily about his responsibility for the quality and safety of the project,” Podushkina said.
The expert said that for an architect, a project is not only a set of reinforced concrete structures, glass and engineering systems, but a harmonized spatial structure of the human life environment, which should be created taking into account aesthetic principles, reliability, environmental friendliness, and functional comfort. “Only an architect can organize the process of implementing his project and help the customer to obtain a high-quality product. Only an architect can control the implementation of the designed solutions that shall meet all standards. Only in this case the building will serve the projected period, it will be safe and comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly,” Podushkina said.
According to Kyrii, the current version of bill No. 5655 creates a corruption risk for projects implemented using budgetary funds: if, after the approval of the project and its estimate, the customer, seeking to save money, makes a choice in favor of materials and solutions of lower quality.
“If the architect does not have leverage to influence this choice, and this is also a security issue, buildings will simply come down with cheaper materials. On the other hand, if accounts are settled according to the previously approved estimate, and cheap materials are used, who will check it? and who will be responsible for this?” Kyrii said.
Chyzhevsky said that the rights of architects should be harmoniously combined with responsibilities.
“Duties can be fully fulfilled only when there are full rights, in particular, property copyright,” Chyzhevsky said.
The experts called the creation of the Urban Development Chamber as another controversial point of the bill.
According to Kyrii, this initiative leads to the strengthening of centralized power instead of expanding the rights of horizontal structures, i.e., in fact, it leads to the leveling of the very practice of self-regulation.
According to her, bill No. 5655 will unbalance the entire system.
“An architect is deprived of his rights and at the same time he is entrusted with even greater responsibility. We are becoming even more dependent on those who are still in charge of the market. The main resource is concentrated in the developers, those who distribute funds. In most cases, they are the initiators of violations of state building codes, saving resources, replacing quality materials with cheaper ones,” the expert said.
She drew attention to the fact that at the same time, it is for developers that the current version of the bill expands the rights.
“The Urban Development Chamber will supervise the responsible executors of the works, and the developers will receive both property copyrights and urban planning control, which they can order from legal entities,” Kyrii said.
According to Chyzhevsky, the organization of separate bodies with the broadest possible powers is extremely dangerous.
“This creates many additional levers of influence on responsible executors, which is demonstrated by the experience of SACI,” Chyzhevsky said.
The expert said that self-regulation is a sign of our times.
“On the one hand, this is a component of the formation of civil society, which ensures stable democracy, which is so important for our country. On the other hand, the implementation of the powers delegated by the state, the process of certification of a creative employee by a creative employee, which is implemented by the National Union of Architects, meets not only the recommendations of the World Organization of Architects, but also the obligations of the state of Ukraine to the WTO and the EU,” Chyzhevsky said.

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The next fifth Ukraine Reform Conference will be held on July 4-5, 2022 in Lugano, the capital of the Swiss canton of Ticino, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis has said.
This will be the fifth conference, we want to celebrate the achievements and look back, as well as make it inclusive: it is important to involve regional authorities, the private sector, and Ukrainian citizens, he said at the end of the fourth conference in Vilnius on Thursday.
The Foreign Minister said that Switzerland is glad to see that the international community, together with Ukraine, also wants to strategically support Ukraine’s search for its own path to a peaceful and stable future.
Cassis said that the official preparations for the conference will begin with his visit to Kyiv in October this year.
Following the fourth Ukraine Reform Conference, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba told reporters that attention to Ukraine is not decreasing. According to him, there are already applications from two countries to hold the conference in 2023 and from one in 2024.
He said that another important result was the recognition of the fact that Ukraine went through the crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic better than expected by international experts, and this is due to the reforms carried out by the country.
Speaking about the main plans for the next year, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister named the already begun judicial reform, which international partners are ready to help with.
As previously noted by the Ukrainian government, Ukraine Reform Conference is a key annual international event dedicated to expert discussion of progress with Ukrainian reforms. Initiated by the government in 2017, this conference is a platform that brings together Ukrainian and foreign officials, top business owners, EU, NATO, G7, and civil society representatives to draw an annual summary of reforms in Ukraine and discuss further priority steps and prospects.
Key goals of Ukraine Reforms Conference include presenting results of key reforms internationally; setting out the Government’s prioritized objectives for the year ahead; encouraging investment in the Ukrainian economy; and engaging the international community in Ukrainian reforms.
The first such conference was held in London, then in 2018 in Copenhagen and in 2019 in Toronto, and last year there was a break due to the pandemic.

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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.



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 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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