German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has praised the adoption in Ukraine of laws on the sale of land and deregulation of the banking sector and assured that Ukraine can count on solidarity from Germany and the EU during the negative impact of the pandemic on the economies of the countries.
“I congratulate you that you have managed to agree with the IMF, that there is a law on the sale of land, that Ukraine is deregulating the banking sector, that is, it continues to follow the path of reform. This is a strong signal, not only political for all international partners, and it’s a sign for the European economy that Ukraine continues to put into effect important reforms, continues to reform the judiciary and implements the recommendations of the Venice Commission,” said Maas at a press conference after talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Berlin on Tuesday.
The German Foreign Minister noted that there are great economic challenges in connection with the pandemic, but Ukraine can count on solidarity from Germany and the EU. “For me, this has become clear from conversations with European colleagues. I want to emphasize this that the macroeconomic assistance from the EU and also the assistance from our side that we provided to Ukraine emphasize it. In this way we can reduce the negative effect from a pandemic in the economic and medical sector,” added the minister.
In turn, Kuleba thanked Maas for his positive assessment of Ukrainian reforms.
“I want to confirm that Ukraine is determined to continue to change, to introduce the best European standards, to carry out those transformations that will allow us to build a strong economically successful democratic Ukraine, which is part of a European family,” the Ukrainian FM emphasized.
The chief operating officer of U.S.-based Trident Acquisitions Corp., the ex-head of Smart-Holding, Oleksiy Tymofeyev, launches a challenge to attract investment in Ukraine if the Servant of the People party fulfills the promised reforms. “If Zelensky’s team fulfills its checklist of reforms, I pledge to personally bring to Ukraine at least $100 million in direct investment per year. Each has its own Ironman [the triathlon competition]. I have one,” he said on Facebook.
The candidate for people’s deputy from the Servant of the People party, David Arakhamiya [also knows as David Braun], who was appointed member of the Ukroboronprom supervisory board by the president of Ukraine in July, noted in his commentary to Tymofeyev “I’ll hold you to that!”
Chairman of the board of ATF Bank (Kazakhstan), the ex-director for business development at Nova Poshta, Serhiy Kovalenko, also said in comments that he is ready to support the initiative with an investment amount of $50 million.
The manager of the asset development and valuation department of DTEK Oil&Gas, Yuriy Moroz, in turn, wrote that he would run the Ironman competition if Tymofeyev attracts the promised investments.
It is unlikely that the presidential and parliamentary elections to be held this year would affect the speed of the implementation of reforms in Ukraine, according to most participants of the CFA Society Ukraine Investment Forum held in Kyiv on Friday, March 15.
According to its express poll, 58.33% of the audience backed the above opinion and 62.944% confirmed it during the repeated voting after the information panel.
However, 15.74% and 21.68% of the participants during the repeated voting said that the reforms would accelerate. Some 17.59% (11.91%) and 8.33% (4.2%) respectively expected that the reform would slow down and would be backtracked.
According to Economist of Morgan Stanley investment bank Alina Sliusarchuk, judicial reform is currently the key reform for Ukraine.
“The first question that investors usually ask me is not about the labor market or even about the war in the east of the country. It concerns the fight against corruption, judicial reform, the presence of structural changes. That is, this is the most important issue,” she said at the forum.
Chief Economist at the Dragon Capital investment group Olena Belan said that the intentions and aspirations of the new authorities would very quickly manifest themselves in the macroeconomic situation.
“Regardless of who will be elected, if the new government continues cooperating with the International Monetary Fund, adhering to the correct policy, rather than making populist decisions, there is a potential for reducing the key policy rate by 2 or 3 percentage points,” she said.
Executive Director of Blazer International Foundation Oleh Ustenko has the same opinion. He said that the success of the new government will directly depend on whether they are based on expert opinion.
“I am sure that in Ukraine the situation will really improve if each of the existing candidates who intends to lead the country will follow the instructions prepared by the experts. Of course, the person who is elected to this position is important, but society and international partners are unlikely to allow future head of state to significantly deviate from the course of reform,” he said.
About 300 financial and investment experts took part in the ninth CFA Society Ukraine Investment Forum.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has excluded Dmytro Shymkiv, ex-governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Valeriya Gontareva, Borys Lozhkin, ex-Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk, Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova, MP Serhiy Rybalka and ex-head of the State Fiscal Service Roman Nasirov from the National Reforms Council. By the same decree, Poroshenko included Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Serhiy Marchenko, Acting Minister of Finance Oksana Markarova, and Head of the National Bank Yakiv Smolii in the National Reforms Council.
The National Reforms Council is a special advisory body under the president on strategic planning, coordinating positions on the reform strategy in Ukraine and monitoring their implementation.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC, the division of the World Bank Group) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) have signed an agreement to facilitate energy efficiency renovations in Ukraine’s residential sector.
According to a posting on the website of the IFC, Switzerland will provide up to $1.8 million to IFC Advisory Services to support legal reforms that will support energy-efficiency refurbishments by engaging with housing management companies on behalf of homeowners’ associations.
According to the report, the initiative represents the third and the final phase of IFC’s Residential Energy Efficiency Advisory project in Ukraine, which started in partnership with SECO in 2010.