This is a curated list of all the biggest stories on Ukrainian economy this week.
Life in Ukraine has simultaneously stopped and kept going because of the rising threats on Eastern Ukraine. While journalists and politicians has their eyes pointed towards the Kremlin, life – and the economy – moves on.
What seems like a natural part of our daily lives, the corona virus might finally be releasing it’s grip on Ukraine. As soon as next week, Kyiv might move out of the red quarantine zone, and the Chernivtsi region already left.
The politicians and state officials have not been completely consumed by the Russian army build up in Western Russia. In the National Bank of Ukraine, they expect to put PrivatBank up for sale in the near future:
Kyrylo Shevchenko, the governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, recently said that the state-owned bank PrivatBank would be put up for sale soon and that it “will draw the interest of the most prestigious international investors, including from the US and the EU.”
PrivatBank is Ukraine’s largest bank with around 20 percent of the market, and the sale is supposed to bring down the government’s share of the bank market.
However, while that might be a big win for the privatization movement to sell off PrivatBank, not everyone are thinking that the sale is realistic. Director of the Swedish bank SEB, Kristian Andersson, finds a quick sale very unlikely.
“I was a bit surprised by the statement,” says Andersson to Ukrainenu, “I cannot see a lot of international interest and fight over this. To sell PrivatBank soon with all its court issues will be an impossible task, and I think there will be no interest from international buyers.”
New costums service reform
The Ukrainian government recently presented the idea of reforming the State Customs Service by modernizing several checkpoints. It is supposed to make customs more effective and remove corruption, and Danylo Hetmantsev, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Taxation and Customs Policy, says that reforms will be implemented by the end of this year.
“The process of customs reform in our country is like a revolution that has a beginning but has no end (laughs). Let’s be honest; this process has dragged on… By the end of this year, we must complete the reform, have a renewed customs,” he said.
The costums service in Ukraine is highly corrupt, as stated previously by officials, distributors, politicians and experts alike.
Harvest looking good
Ukraine could see a rebound in grain exports by 19 percent this upcoming marketing year to 54 million tons, predicts the agricultural consultancy APK-Inform, according to UBN. Ukraine accounts for around a tenth of all wheat exports globally. This year, APK-Inform expects Ukraine to export 29.5 million tons of corn, 20 million tons of wheat, and 4.3 million tons of barley.
UBN writes that the Ukrainian ministry of economy expects that this year’s harvest will reach 75 million tons. It is 15 percent better than last year.
“Preliminary, Ukraine will produce 75.1 mln tonnes of grains that will match the record of 2019. Productions of oilseed crops will reach 19.1 mln tonnes. The overall planted area under grains and oilseeds will total 24.2 mln ha, up by 0.3 mln ha from 2021,” the ministry informed, according to APK-Inform.
Guide for state support
A new guide made by UkraineInvest is designed to let possible investors know what kind of state help they can expect, if they invest in Ukraine.
“Explanatory Guide on the Law is prepared to familiarize the potential investors with the specifics of the Law. The Guide provides information on available forms of state support, requirements to applicants and investment project with significant investments, details of the application process,” writes UkraineInvest, where you can find the guide.
In light of the recent tensions between Ukraine and Russia, Ukraine Nu has been travelling in the east, through Donbas and all the way down to Mariupol, a large port city in the south-eastern most corner of Ukraine.
The city is well-known in Ukraine for being close to Crimea, the Kerch Strait and for producing steel. The steel plants in Mariupol are visible from many places in the city, and by Scandinavian standards, they are enormous.
It is probably not the first pick for a holiday destination, though. Mariupol is far away, and right now it is a risky place to stay due to the tensions. Cities like Lviv, Odesa and Kyiv will also offer a larger nightlife, more restaurants, attractions and possibilities.
And the tensions…
It is impossible not to mention the tensions, as they have been going unhindered for the past week. Yesterday, Russian president Vladimir Putin had his State of the Nation speech which didn’t calm the waters.
“We want good relations, and we really don’t want to burn bridges,” Putin said, “But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn down or even blow up these bridges, they should know that Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, swift and harsh,”
“This situation is very dangerous, and we call on Russia to withdraw their troops from the Ukrainian border,” said Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell earlier this week, “All in all, the relations with Russia are not improving, but on the contrary, the tension is increasing.”
Solar power is the energy of choice
Wind farms in Ukraine in 2020 produced 3.304 billion kWh of electricity, which is almost 50% less than solar power plants generated – 6.844 billion kWh, while the installed capacity of wind farms at the beginning of 2021 was 1.314 GW and it was 80% less than the capacity of solar power plants – 6.872 GW, writes Interfax Ukraine.
First private highway construction
In spring next year, the work on the first Ukrainian highway built by private contractors should begin. Alexander Kubrakov, head of Ukravtodor, said, according to UBN: “Construction work on these projects will begin at the end of the year – the beginning of the next one.”
Good numbers in retail
Retail trade just keeps growing in Ukraine. In the first quarter, it was up 7.5 percent compared to Q1 last year. Kyiv, Chernivtsi and Vinnytsia are the fastes growing regions, writes UBN.
Ukraines top 3 markets:
The top three export markets in Janurary and February were (from UBN):
China — $ 1.1 billion +44%; Poland — $648 million – unchanged; and Turkey — $552.1 million +18%.