A nurse at a COVID hospital in Toretsk. Foto: Emil FIltenborg.

This is a curated list of the biggest economic news in Ukraine for the past week.

Finally, Ukraine has seen small signs of the tides turning in the absolutely devastating fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Ukraine has been one of the countries in Europe that has taken the hardest blows from the disease, that has claimed almost 80,000 Ukrainian souls since it began last year.

First of all, it seems the numbers are stabilizing, as the numbers of recoveries surpassed daily infections this week. The trend has somewhat remained. Today, Ukraine registered 20,000 new cases and 19,000 new recoveries. With the 700 daily deaths, the two numbers are almost equal meaning that the pressure on the healthcare system has been stabilized somewhat.

It is good news, because Ukraine was getting close to 30,000 cases a day with projections saying 50,000 cases a day before Christmas. A more pressing issue is now to bring down that number considerably, so that Ukraine can enjoy the same return to normalcy as many of its West European partners.

The main way to do that is to vaccinate, and currently 250,000 people are getting a dose of the vaccine everyday. Almost 40 percent of Ukrainians have now received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 28 percent are now fully vaccinated, said the Minister of Health Viktor Lyashko recently.

Norwegian company: Ukraine makes high-quality but lacks significant volumes

Ukraine is close to the home market, and products are easy to import. Furthermore, Ukraine produces high-quality products, which makes the country attractive, but it also lacks the capacity seen in Asia and is more expensive. That is the message from Norwegian BRGN, whom Ukraine Nu recently interviewed.

“It was a coincidence that we came to Ukraine,” says Karine Trellevik Lunde, co-founder of BRGN, which is a Norwegian clothing company with a focus on sustainable clothing and with sales around the world in countries such as England.

“We were looking for suppliers in Europe to change things as we do much of our products in Asia, where we mainly produce in Taiwan, Vietnam, and China. They are historically known to be the best places to produce technical materials and outerwear, but Ukraine came up as an alternative,” says Lunde to Ukrainenu.

Read the whole article HERE.

Wet dreams

Valmont Industries, a global leader in agricultural equipment, is entering the Ukrainian market soon, revealed Roman Leshchenko, Ukraine’s minister of agrarian policy and food. The minister pointed out that “almost every second irrigation system in the world is their product” and has big expectations.

“The company knows about the successful implementation of land reform and the start of irrigation reform in Ukraine. It has ambitious plans to deploy its high-level localization production: it will be able to produce and sell full-cycle irrigation systems in Ukraine – from pump stations to latest-generation rain machines,” wrote the minister and pointed out that a new law is on its way in parliament.

The new law (No. 5202-D) focuses on accelerating the investments in irrigation in Ukraine to increase agricultural output. Among other things, the ministry expects to support manufacturers in the agricultural sector.

Ukraine opens one of the largest shopping malls in Europe

Several shopping centers have been constructed in Kyiv recently, and a new one just opened this weekend and is attracting a lot of attention. The Respublika Park shopping mall is a total of 300,000 square meters and has a large entertainment center, which makes it one of the largest shopping malls in Europe.

Respublika Park will have a rental area of 135,000 square meters and 500 stores, a 10,000 square meters digital amusement park, and 50 restaurants. It is located right next to Teremky Metro station and will have a large park in the middle.

For example, Respublika Park has the largest Multiplex cinema in Kyiv and the largest Silpo supermarket as well. However, more than anything, the mall is attracting attention for its ‘Oasis’ area – a sort of park – in the middle of the shopping center with plants, fountains, and recreation areas. It is 2,000 square meters.

Tourism bounced back… a bit

The numbers show that three million foreign visitors visited Ukraine between January and September, 12.6 percent more than in the same period last year, according to State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine.

According to the agency, most tourists came from Moldova, Russia, Poland, Romania, and Belarus. Together, they made up more than half of the total number of tourists. The numbers also show that 70 percent of the visitors were Europeans, while 25.5 percent came from Asia and only a tiny fraction from other parts of the world.

In Asia, most tourists come from India, from which almost 35,000 tourists found their way to Ukraine. However, despite the increase in tourism this year, the sector is still affected by the pandemic situation in Ukraine, which has made the EU remove Ukraine from the green list of countries that are safe to travel to.

Energy sector to be modernized

The Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal was recently on a working trip in the Ternopil region to visit a modernized boiler house with increased energy efficiency because it reduces the heat loss during transportation. At the meeting, Shmyhal said that the Parliament is working on more modernization in the sector.

“The boiler house produces and supplies thermal energy to more than a hundred apartment buildings, as well as schools, kindergartens, and hospitals. The reconstruction allowed to reduce the consumption of natural gas by 6%, electricity by 34% per month and reduce the impact of the cost of these energy sources on the value of the tariff for heat production,” said Denis Shmygal.

He pointed out that a new problem is expected to be launched next year to modernize the whole energy sector, including boiler houses. The goal is to reduce people’s utility bills, achieve energy independence from Russia and help with the reduction of CO2 emissions to help the climate.

The final countdown

In four days, on Monday November 22, we will know whether or not IMF will grant Ukraine another tranche of the five billion USD loan, that Ukraine was promised last Summer. The Executive Board of IMF will consider the first review of the stand-by agreement and the allocation of the second tranche.

We will keep an eye out at Ukraine Nu.