Ukraine was the fourth largest source of imported food for the EU last year, according to the European Commission. The ranking was Brazil (EUR 11.8 billion), the USA (EUR 11.0 billion), Argentina (EUR 5.7 billion), and Ukraine (EUR 4.7 billion)
The average cost of leasing private farmland rose 25% last year, almost twice the inflation rate of 13.7%, Maksym Martyniuk, first deputy minister of Agrarian Policy and Food reports. The cost of leasing state land went up 24%. The most expensive land was in Cherkasy and Poltava, where it cost about $100 a hectare a year. The cheapest land was in Zakarpattia, a hilly, rocky region where a field can be rented for $29 a hectare. In Mykolaiv and Kherson, southern regions with light rainfall, rents were also low – about $31 a hectare.
Ukraine produced 6.5% more sugar than one year ago, Ukrtsukor, the producers association, reported Tuesday at the end of the nearly six month refining season. Working with sugar beets, 46 refineries produced 2.1 million tons of sugar. Three regions produced half the nation’s sugar: Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky and Ternopil. The top importers of Ukraine’s sugar last year were: Sri Lanka, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Sudan and Libya.
Over 90% percent of cybersecurity chiefs at big companies in Ukraine plan to increase spending to protect from hacker attacks, according to a survey conducted by Ernst & Young Global Ltd. Three quarters of the security chiefs said their company should increase spending on cyber protection by 50% or more. Last week, the White House said Russia orchestrated last summer’s NotPetya attack, an assault that caused billions of dollars in damages to companies.
Horizon Capital plans to invest $100 to 200 million in Ukraine over the next five years, Lenna Koszarny, founding partner and CEO of the private equity and venture capital firm, told the weekly Biznes. Horizon Capital manages four private equity funds, with more than $700 million invested in Ukraine and Moldova.
Prime Minister Groysman promised an international conference Tuesday that his government will keep working with the IMF, Ukrinform reports. He said: "We will continue to cooperate with the IMF. We will support macrofinancial stability, attract investment and increase exports."
Ukraine will ‘agressively’ privatize and make ‘seismic changes’ in corporate governance of state companies this year, Prime Minister Groysman promises in an opinion essay in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal. Addressing foreign investors, he writes: “To catch up with the leading countries in our region, we need to grow twice as fast as the average—at least 5% to 7% per year…Ukraine has attractive investment opportunities in many industries such as agri-food, manufacturing, energy, transport and new technologies.”
The EU will partially finance construction of the Gdansk-Odesa ‘Go Highway,’ Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said after meeting Tuesday in Kyiv with Henrik Hololei, the European Commission's Director-General for Transport. Omelyan said: "Today we have learned that one of the financial instruments of the European Union is ready to finance a part of Go Highway project to connect the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea.” Ukraine is spending $140 million on the highway this year.
Tenders for Ukraine’s first modern toll roads are to be launched by the end of this year, Infrastructure Minister Vladimir Omelyan told reporters Tuesday. He said the most likely toll road candidates are: from Kyiv’s ring road to Bila Tserkva, the first, highly congested 75 km stretch of the highway to Odesa; and Lviv to Krakovets, Ukraine’s busiest border crossing with Poland.
Ukraine’s state railway may seek to raise as much as $1 billion on international debt markets this year to refinance its loan portfolio and replace aging rolling stock and rail lines, the company’s acting chief executive officer Yevhen Kravtsov tells Bloomberg. Ukrzaliznytsya plans to more than double capital investments this year, buying new locomotives and wagons for cargo and grain hoppers to replace older machinery
In 2020, when Russia’s Nord Stream 2 is to be in full operation, Ukraine must pump a minimum of 50 billion cubic meters a year to make enough money to maintain the massive east-west pipeline system, calculates Volodymyr Omelchenko, energy director at Razumkov Center, the Kyiv think tank. Last year, Ukraine only used 28 billion cubic meters. Naftogaz says that tariffs for natural gas transit through Ukraine in 2020 will be three to four times lower than tariffs of Nord Stream-2, Russia’s Baltic route. Starting today, the Cabinet starts interviewing potential foreign partners for managing Ukraine’s GTS, or gas transmission system.
Coal production in Ukraine was down 27.3% in January, compared to one year ago. The drop represents almost entirely production from three mines in separatist areas that were counted last year: Sverdlovantratsit, Rovenyanthrazit, and Komsomolets Donbassa. When those mines are excluded from statistics, the country's coal output in January was down by only 3.2% compared to January 2017.
Eighteen Ukrainian information technology companies won spots on the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals annual list of top tech firms, The Global Outsourcing 100. Marking a steady progression, the 18 are up from 13 last year, which were up from 10 in 2015.
The EU is abandoning a $36 million project to help Ukraine build six checkpoints on its western borders, with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, Reuters reports. After three years, none of the checkpoints had been completed, a failure partly due to corruption and partly due to Ukraine not allocating money. The biggest contract, for two checkpoints, was awarded to Energomontazhventiliatsia, a firm that had no track record of winning government construction tenders, Reuters writes. The Krasnoilsk site “consisted of unfinished buildings surrounded by rubbish and building materials,” Reuters reporter Olena Vasina, writes of her visit last November to the site on Romania’s border. “At the existing Ustilug crossing with Poland, only a trench has been dug. At others, on the Slovak and Hungarian borders, pipes and metal piles stuck out of the ground where buildings were to have been constructed.”
The first Israeli Ukrainian Innovation Expo will take place March 18-19 in Tel Aviv’s TASE Conference Center. The goal is to bring together entrepreneurs, innovators, angel investors, venture capitalists and many others involved in developing startups in Israel and Ukraine. The organizers are the Israeli-Ukrainian Alliance and theneo.vc, a venture capital fund focused on Ukrainian startups.