The GB4U and the European Business Association met with Yulia Svyrydenko, the First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economy of Ukraine. The discussion revolved around plans for economic recovery, priority sectors, military risk insurance, defense, public-private partnerships, etc.
Currently, the Ukraine Facility is being developed as part of the Ukraine Plan, which aims to provide access to €50 billion in financing from the European Union for 4 years.
The plan will encompass priority sectors of the economy, including, among others, “green” metallurgy, agricultural processing, energy, military tech, and similar industries. By October, the Ministry is expected to present this plan to its partners to demonstrate how the country will undergo recovery.
Last week, the Ministry of Economy announced the formation of working groups in cooperation with business representatives to develop a plan for critical sectors. During the meeting with the European Business Association, Yulia Svyrydenko suggested that the participants join one of the working groups focused on specific sectors. According to the Minister of Economy, the business and the government must work together (which was crucial for the community to hear) to understand the available resources, investment opportunities, and plans, as the business will be the central driver of the country’s recovery.
As part of the Ukraine Facility, Ukraine will receive 50 billion euros. This amount is not sufficient to cover all the needs. However, the partners are willing to consider options for attracting additional funds. And for this purpose, they want more information about the plans for Ukrainian economic growth. Therefore, the Ukraine Plan development in partnership with the business sector will enable the attraction of funds from the European Commission and additional investments.
Recalling her time in London, she noted that the conference demonstrated that Ukraine has a vision for economic development, and there are specific developments in each sector. Therefore, it is essential to start actively implementing them! Ukraine needs an annual growth rate above 2-3%.
The discussion also touched upon the “Affordable Loans 5-7-9” program. The government is ready to develop and reformat it if necessary, as it is a vital business financing source. The program’s primary focus has been on small and medium-sized enterprises. Agro companies received over 50% of the loans. Regarding financing, it was also noted that the government is cooperating with MIGA on military risk insurance.
MIGA has already started providing guarantees for military risk insurance from the trust fund to support the reconstruction and economy of Ukraine, and domestic companies can also apply for them. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) also announced insuring domestic companies.
An essential concern for businesses is the mobilization of workers. Active efforts are being made in partnership with the Ministry of Digital Transformation to develop the e-Booking service. Meanwhile, while the electronic mechanism is under development, it has been agreed to gather all the business-related questions and submit them for consideration to the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Defense.
Regarding demining issues, Yulia Svyrydenko supported the opinion that it is crucial to establish mechanisms for fast and high-quality certification of private companies for humanitarian demining. In this regard, the EBA’s Business Security and Protection Committee is also working on this matter.
Discussing the issue of export logistics, the Minister noted that Ukraine’s stance is that restrictions from Poland should be lifted by September 15. Otherwise, it will not be perceived as a friendly and partnership-oriented step.
Businesses are now increasingly focusing on global markets to continue its development. In this context, Yulia Svyrydenko emphasized that signing free trade agreements is crucial for the Ministry. Currently, the focus is on Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey (with ongoing negotiations).
Regarding public-private partnerships, law No. 7508 is awaiting approval in the second reading. Once passed, it will enable full-fledged cooperation within 9 months.
The discussion also covered more industrial matters, including the need to formalize the market for used cars. Law No. 9083 will be reviewed by a working group next week to address this issue. The Ministry of Economy has invited businesses to participate in the discussion on this matter.
We also agreed to hold a sector-specific discussion on the ban on importing energy-efficient boilers from last year. Additionally, we will send an official letter to the Ministry to address the situation regarding obtaining the status of an authorized economic operator. According to information from the business community, there may only be 30 such operators in the country, which could lead to customs delays in November.
We sincerely thank Yulia Svyrydenko and her deputies for a productive meeting and their willingness to listen and cooperate with the business community, particularly concerning challenging problems like mobilization. We have also agreed with the Minister to have sectoral meetings to address issues in all industries and support the functioning of businesses.