The Business Week for the week of March 16 – 21, 2020

The Business Week for the week of March 16-21, 2020


Our team has prepared the note, where you can find the most up-to-date information regarding the government’s response to COVID-19 in Ukraine: main novelties according to Law #3219; state support of businesses (Law #3220); answers to investors’ concerns regarding COVID-19. We will keep updating the information and notifying you about any changes. 

Ukraine’s government introduces restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Due to the rapid global spread of the coronavirus infection, Ukraine’s government has introduced a number of restrictions during the quarantine period until April 3 in order to limit the virus transmission. Here are some of the most important changes to be aware of: a total ban on rail, air and bus intercity and interregional passenger transport services (including underground metro transportation); a ban on domestic intercity and interregional motor transportation of passengers; international cargo transport has not been fully restricted as 49 out of 219 Ukrainian border crossings are operating; all mass gatherings involving more than 10 people are not allowed; entertainment facilities are closed although food catering services are allowed; banking, insurance, food, hygiene and medical outlets are allowed to operate normally; enterprises and organizations are advised to allow employees work from home.

Ukrainian parliament implements legislation to help businesses deal with the pandemic period.

Ukraine’s parliament partially removed some burdens on businesses in order to lessen the hit on the economy during the coronavirus pandemic period. Here are some of the most important changes of the passed legislation: the value-added tax and duty for imported medical goods have been temporarily removed; most penalties for tax law violations from March 1 through May 31 of this year have been lifted; audits and inspections from March 18 through May 31 have been temporarily paused; the deadline for filing annual income and asset declarations has been extended to July 1; non-residential real estate owners are exempt from property taxes other than land for the period of March 1 through April 30; agricultural producers are exempt from land tax and rent for state-owned agricultural land for two months; canceled payment of Single Social Contribution for all private entrepreneurs and those engaged in independent professional activities for the period March 1 – April 30, 2020.

Ukraine’s central bank takes measures to support banks during epidemic period restrictions.

The National Bank of Ukraine is applying measures in order to support a resilient and capitalized banking system, according to the central bank’s statement on its website. The central bank says that Ukraine’s banks continue to operate without interruption as well as provide services to clients. To mitigate a negative impact of the COVID-19 virus on the banking system, the NBU is implementing a number of measures, including: maintaining its presence in Ukraine’s foreign exchange market; using standard refinancing instruments to support the liquidity of banks; delaying the introduction of capital buffers. The central bank will also continue to monitor trends in the financial sector and evaluate the quality of bank credit portfolios. Additionally, The bank is also in talks with the International Monetary Fund over the possibility of receiving emergency financing of up to $50 billion due to the epidemic. Lastly, the NBU is sending disinfected cash to Ukrainian banks until May.


High-speed 4G mobile broadband will be available in rural areas.

Three mobile operators, Vodafone Ukraine, Kyivstar and lifecell, have received 4G licenses and will start deploying LTE from July 1. The operators must ensure that each settlement with a population of more than 2,000 people will be able to get LTE-900 services during the 24 months period and cover at least 90% of the population of Ukraine as well as international and national highways. The cost of the licenses is over UAH 600 million already paid by the operators. Kyivstar – UAH 260 million, Vodafone Ukraine – UAH 230 million, Lifecell – UAH 121 million. It’s expected that in the nearest future operators will invest even more in order to develop 4G and provide mobile coverage.

Ukraine’s largest telecom operator extends its 4G network.

Kyivstar, Ukraine’s largest telecom operator, has extended its 4G network to 514 settlements in 22 regions of Ukraine, according to the company’s press statement. The operator extended its network to such cities and towns as Bilozerske, Sviatohirsk, Hostre (Donetsk Oblast), Zolote (Luhansk Oblast), as well as to hundreds of villages where more than 306,000 people live. The operator says that 76% of Ukraine’s population has access to its 4G communications services. More than half of the country’s population is Kyivstar’s mobile subscribers. According to a Worldwide Price Comparison study, Ukraine has the world’s second cheapest internet. Such affordable prices allow the country’s IT community to flourish and innovate cutting-edge startups.


Ukraine’s startup among the 20 most promising AI companies.

A startup with Ukrainian roots called is among America’s 20 most promising AI companies, according to Forbes magazine’s “America’s 50 Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies” ranking. was ranked 18th. The startup is an AI platform for enterprise revenue and has served such clients as Red Hat, VMware, Zoom, New Relic and Lyft. Back in May, the startup raised $60 million at around $500 million valuation. Ukraine is home to some top global IT startups as the country’s workforce is increasingly switching to IT. In addition, tech giants such as Amazon-owned Ring, Google, Samsung and Viber are finding Ukraine as a lucrative option for their R&D centers. 

Two Ukrainian startups listed among America’s best 2020 startup employers.

Two startups that were founded in Ukraine – GitLab and Allset – made it into the 2020 “America’s Best Startups Employers”, an annual list of the best U.S. employers, according to Forbes magazine. GitLab took 35th place, whereas Allset – 263rd. The top 500 were selected from more than 2,500 applicants based on three criteria: employer reputation, employee satisfaction, and growth. GitLab is a web-based DevOps lifecycle tool developed by Ukrainian Dmitriy Zaporozhets back in 2011. The company has around 100,000 corporate clients, including Goldman Sachs, Delta Air Lines and Ticketmaster. Allset is a service company for booking tables in restaurants allowing customers to pre-order meals via a phone app. The startup was founded by two Ukrainians, Anna Polischuk and Stat Matvienko, back in 2015. 


Ukraine’s largest sugar producer launches machinery investment program.

Agro-industrial holding Astarta-Kyiv, Ukraine’s largest sugar producer, has launched the first phase of its five-year investment program to develop its agricultural machinery and implement IT instruments, according to the company’s website. The investments for 2020 include 31 John Deere tractors and 21 units of grain, inter-row and beet sowers (John Deere, Horsch Maestro, Pöttinger Terrasem, Kinze, Monopil, Amity Technology). Astarta-Kyiv is one of the largest vertically integrated agro-industrial holdings in Ukraine. The company farms 240,000 hectares, processes 40,000 sugar beets daily using eight sugar plants, and is also heavily involved in milk, soybean and bio-energy production. As the country’s agricultural sector expands, more foreign players are expected to compete within the market.