The lure of work, tourism and study in the EU is growing fast among Ukrainians, according to a public opinion survey conducted in December by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. From February to December the percent of Ukrainians who plan to work this year in the EU jumped from 17% to 27%; to visit friends and relatives, from 8% to 21%; to study in the EU, from 7% to 12%; and to open a new business in the EU, from 4% to 10%. Eastern Ukrainians registered marked attitude changes in the survey, "Opinions and Views of Residents of Ukraine Regarding the Visa-Free Regime with the European Union." Among easterners, the belief that Ukrainian entrepreneurs now have better access to the EU market jumped from 25% one year ago, to 38% in December. The belief that visa-free travel attracts discount airlines was supported by 39%, up from 25% at the start of 2017.
Ukraine could become a "European China" for producing electric cars and batteries for the EU, Oleg Boyarin, board chairman of Eurocar, tells Liga.net. Boyarin, whose company makes Skoda cars in Uzhgorod, said he works with the Infrastructure Ministry to work out an electric car strategy for Ukraine. With government support, Ukraine could develop an export-oriented car industry in partnership with American, Chinese or European brands.
Ukraine’s industrial output surged 3.6% yoy in January, the State Statistics Service reports. Manufacturing accelerated by 9.7%. The manufacturing jump was due to machinery – up 22.1%; metallurgy – up 8% ; chemicals – up 6%; and food – up 3%. Growth was the strongest in Lviv – up 18%; Mykolayiv – up 16.5%; and Chernivtsi – up 16%.
Mobile operator Kyivstar intends to launch this year its first 4G networks in: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Odesa, Uzhgorod, Vinnytsia, Khmelnitsky, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil and Lviv. There also will be 4G connections near border crossings in Volyn and Lviv regions and in resort towns in Odesa and Zaporozhye. 4G tariffs will be unrolled in late summer and will be “10, 15, 20 UAH more expensive than existing ones," Peter Chernyshov, Kyivstar president, tells reporters. According to the company, Kyivstar’s 3G network now reaches 9,800 settlements, or 80% of the population.
Kyivstar, Vodafone Ukraine and lifecell are authorized to bid in the March 6 auction of six lots of 4G communications licenses, the National Commission for State Regulation of Communications and Informatization reports. ZN.ua reports that Ukraine’s “4G lag” will be eliminated by the end of this year. An earlier 4G auction was held Jan. 31.
Renovating its rolling stock, Ukraine Railways added 907 ‘open top’ wagons in the first two months of this year. These cars are used for transporting bulk goods such as coal, scrap, steel, wood and other cargo that can be tipped, dumped or shoveled.
Ukraine’s highway construction boom has prompted Poland’s Mirbud S.A. construction company to open a subsidiary in Kyiv. Mirbud President and majority shareholder Jerzy Mirgos says on his company’s website: “We see here a great potential for our activities in the field of engineering and road construction.”
Betting on a driving upswing, Poland’s UNIMOT S.A. plans to open 100 gas stations across Ukraine under the Switzerland’s Avia brand. By 2020, UNIMOT intends to open the Ukraine network and an equal number of Avia stations in Poland.
German furniture company Polipol plans to build an upholstered furniture factory in Lviv region, according to Oleg Synyutko, head of regional administration. Herbert Vitver, a Polipol representative, tells Ukrinform that by 2021, the company will employ 1,000 people with an average salary of 500 to 600 euros.
Ukraine exported 357 new goods to the EU last year, and the number of exporting companies grew 5%, to 14,136, Natalia Mikolskaya, Ukraine’s chief trade representative reports. The fastest growing items were: artificial fabrics, apricots, cherries, milk, condensed cream, fructose, projectors and electric kettles.
Polish egg producers worry that egg exports to EU by Ukraine’s Avangard and Ovostar will have "serious consequences" for Polish producers. “A significant deterioration in the profitability of egg exports from Poland should be expected," warns Poland’s National Chamber of Poultry and Fodder Producers. Avangard is shifting from the Middle East to target the EU. In October, Ovostar Union’s Yasensvit plant started exporting Class A eggs to the EU. Today, Ukraine accounts for one half of the EU’s egg imports, up from 4% in 2014.
Ukraine will mount a large exhibition stand at the first China International Import Expo, Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai, Stepan Kubiv, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, tells Ukrinform. Kubiv says: "China is a multi-billion-dollar consumer market, where Ukraine can supply many products, ranging from food to industrial goods, clothing, various equipment and services." Although China has a large trade surplus with Ukraine, Ukraine exports to China, largely food, increased by 11.3% last year.
The State Property Fund will auction 25% of PJSC Sumyoblenergo shares on the PFTS stock exchange on March 30, according to Vedomosti. The initial value of the block of shares is $4 million.
About one third of Ukrainian workers, or 5 million people, are paid in cash, without being enrolled in health and retirement plans, the State Labor Service reports. Offering a lower estimate, Andriy Revi, Social Policy Minister, says the number of ‘shadow’ workers is 3.7 million.
Venture capital investments in Ukraine start-ups tripled last year to $300 million, Andrey Kolodyuk, board head of the Ukraine Venture Capital Association, tells liga.net. This year will be even higher, predicts Kolodyuk, managing partner of AVentures Capital. On Monday, AVentures announced that it is investing in CoreValue, a fast-growing IT-outsourcing company. With 350 employees and R&D offices in seven regions, CoreValue specializes in pharmatech, fintech and healthcare.
President Poroshenko is preparing to sign a bill regulating limited liability companies, the most common form of business in Ukraine. Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy tweeted after submitting the bill to the President: “I am convinced that this law will improve the business climate and attract foreign investment in the Ukrainian economy.”
Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan wants to double traffic in and out of Boryspil to 20 million passengers by 2020. At the same time, he tells reporters, he wants to promote Lviv, Odesa and Kharkiv as regional air hubs.