This is a curated list of all the biggest stories on Ukrainian economy this week.
We had to wait for a while, but it seems like Spring is finally forcing its way into our lives with degrees in double digits and brighter days. And like “Winter is coming” is associated with harder times, “Spring is coming,” sounds promising, optimistic even, and just has that taste of better times.
Especially this year, the case seems to be the same in Ukraine. As we are now well into April, forecasts are finally coming along singing songs of better times in sight. Lately, a forecast from NASU expects the number of daily registered COVID19 cases to stabilize soon.
Still, stabilizing doesn’t mean all problems have disappeared, but it would be the first very big step in the right direction.According to NASU, the daily number of Covid-cases will be expected to be around 16,209 on April 13th, with about 412 daily casualties. That number is expected to be almost the same 16,351 daily cases and 442 daily deaths on April 20th.
There are even more good news regarding the pandemic. Yesterday, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said Ukraine has agreed to purchase 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which he expects will be delivered in 2021. Stepanov hopes that it will speed up the vaccination speed in Ukraine, which has been lacking.
Any form of stabilizing would be a welcome improvement of the current situation, where previous records of numbers of cases are broken frequently. 20,341 new Covid-19-cases were reported on Saturday. It is the largest daily rise since the pandemic started.
In Kyiv, the numbers were also shattering records. Not surprisingly, the lockdown measures in the capital city was also tightened this week:
Ukrainian president Volodimir Zelenskij has just come back from Qatar with his pockets full of new deals. Among the topics of discussion was investing in food exports, food processing, irrigation and port logistics.
Among other things, Qatar’s Nebras Power and Kyiv’s UDP Renewables will enter into a consortium designed to invest in Ukrainian solar and wind plants for up to 250 million dollars, according to Sergiy Yevtushenko, UDP’s co-founder.
Also, there are discussions that Ukraine will use Qatar as a logistics hub for food exports in the region, reports Ukrinform, and talks about further flight connections.
Ukraine is currently undergoing extensive privatization of several state-owned company’s, and Zelensky has expressed hope that Qatar will be interested in buying some companies. There are several negotiations about Qatar investing in Ukrainian ports.
Tension and trucks
As tensions between Ukraine and Russia are rising to worrying levels, the head of Scania in Donbas, gave Ukraine Nu his opinions when we were visiting the small point of sales and service in Kramatorsk, a town in Eastern Ukraine not far from the occupied cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.
“The sales are growing year on year, but if there was peace here, we would be growing even faster,” Victor Klimko. Though Kramatorsk does not have the same industrial power as it used to during the Soviet Union, it is still a centre of both coal mining and production of heavy equipment.
Ukrainian government wants to improve customs checkpoints
The Ukrainian government now wants to give the customs checkpoints a check up. The current plan is to build new checkpoints and rebuild others. According to a think tank, Ukraine is in desperate need of modernization of its checkpoints.
The Ukrainian government has approved to spend 350 million dollars on building 10 new customs points and rebuild 25. A large chunk of the money comes as a loan from Poland, and the money will go to different things such as installing video surveillance equipment, weighing, and scanning systems.
State Tourism Agency has got a mystical idea
When Covid-19 is over, tourists visiting Ukraine might be able to experience Ukraine in a different light. The State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine has begun working on a new concept of “mystical” tourism. The plans were revealed by the company Sych, which is an advisor to the state agency.
Kyiv Post launches real estate magazine
In short, developers are still building and people are still buying, so that is why the Kyiv Post has launched their fifth Real Estate edition, where they assess the market after a recession and the conflict with Russia.
Moreover, the Real Estate edition poses the question. Is real estate pandemic proof? According to the Kyiv Post, Ukrainians took up 36 percent more mortgages than in 2019, indicating that the answer is yes.
Trade turnover growth
It has been a good beginning of the year for the trade turnover in Ukraine. In Q1 this year the turnover grew by 12,1 percent compared to the same period last year, the Kyiv Post writes.
“The Ukrainian economy is recovering,” deputy minister of economy, Taras Kachka, said on the first of April in a Facebook-post, where he also said that not only is this year better than 2020, but every month so far is better than the previous.
London’s Strategy Council holds its Ukrainian Transport Infrastructure forum next week. The whole thing is both free and will be online. The program is as follows:
Monday – Overview, with Infrastructure Minister Krikliy
Tuesday – Ports and Waterways, with Nibulon, Hamburger Hafen, and IFI
Wednesday – Roads, with Oleksandr Kubrakov, Head of Ukravtodor
Thursday – Rail, with UkrZalytsnitsya
Friday – Airports, with Kyrylo Khomyakov, head of State Agency for Infrastructure Projects, Kharkiv and Odesa airport managers.
Ukraine did okay
Ukraine came through recession in a relatively elegant fashion last year compared to other European countries. According to figures compiled by Alfa-Bank Ukraine, the GDP drops for 2020 were: Poland – 2.8%; US – 3.5%; Ukraine – 4.1%; Germany – 5%; Czech – 5.6%; EU – 6.4%; France – 8.3%; Italy – 8.8%; and Spain – 11%, Ukraine Business News.