The Business Week for the week of February 24 – March 1, 2020

The Business Week for the week of  February 24 – March 1, 2020


More than a fifth of the world’s top 100 IT outsourcing service companies are either Ukrainian or have large offices in Ukraine, according to the U.S.-based International Association of Outsourcing Professionals. Last year, 18 companies with a strong presence in Ukraine made the list, which is three companies more than in 2018. In addition, Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation is establishing a migration system in order to ease the hiring process for up to 5,000 top-notch foreign IT specialists, according to the ministry’s deputy head Oleksandr Bornyakov. The move is meant to attract more IT professionals to Ukraine from neighboring countries allowing expats to more easily obtain a work permit.

US tech company Reddit opens its first office in Kyiv. 

Ukraine continues to be an attractive destination for major global tech players as Reddit, a U.S. web content rating and discussion web platform, announced that it is opening an office in Kyiv, according to Ukraine’s tech media platform. The company is opening a Special Projects division in Kyiv’s Business Center Gulliver and is currently looking for software engineers. In the meantime, Reddit not planning to open offices in other Ukrainian cities, although it doesn’t rule out the possibility in the future. Reddit plans to hire up to 10 people by the end of the year. The company’s value is approximately $3 billion. Tech giants such as Google, Ring, Viber, EPAM, Samsung are among those that have already established either offices or R&D centers in Ukraine, as the country offers the largest IT labor force in Europe with 184,000 software developers; his figure is expected to rise to 250,000 by 2025.


Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers approves 402 investment programs.

Ukraine’s government approved 402 investment programs and regional development projects that will be financed by the State Regional Development Fund in 2020, according to the Cabinet of Ministers’ website. About half of those are projects within the framework of the “Great Construction”, a program launched by Ukraine’s Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk that aims to modernize the country’s infrastructure focusing on building schools, kindergartens, hospital admissions units, stadiums and roads. UAH 5.2 billion have been allocated to the regional development projects by the State Regional Development Fund. Honcharuk said that a minimum of 100 kindergartens, 100 schools and 100 stadiums will be built by the end of the year in addition to the minimum of 4,000 km of roads across Ukraine. 


Ukraine’s government launches online platform for businesses.

The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine presented its online platform for small- and medium-sized enterprises called “Diia.Business”. The platform allows entrepreneurs to have access to the state portal which provides a catalogue of business ideas, a list of necessary legal documents for opening a business, online services and support programs, an entrepreneur’s guide, success cases, as well as opportunities for consulting help. The online platform is being implemented with the support of Mastercard. In the future, the government is also planning to open “consulting zones” – support centers and business hubs in different regions across the country. The first consulting zone is scheduled to open in April-May of this year in Kharkiv. 


Ukraine’s fresh apples exports up by 26.5%, highest volume in 6

Ukraine’s fresh apple exports in 2019 hit a record volume since 2014 reaching 53,600 tons, or 26.5% more than in 2018, according to the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club Association. The 2019 figure is almost 11 times more than what was exported in 2015. The main export destinations were: Belarus (14,500 tons), Iraq and Turkey (both 7,900 tons), and Austria (5,100 tons). Overall, Ukraine produced 1.1 million tons of apples in 2019. As an increasing number of Ukrainians are receiving the proper tools and training on how to export and as more foreign investors are eyeing the market, the fresh apple industry’s export potential is only expected to grow.

Ukraine exports 39 million tons of grain as of since the beginning of the 2019/2020 agricultural year.

Ukraine, the world’s largest grain exporter, has exported 39 million tons of grain since the beginning of the 2019/2020 agricultural year, according to the analytical web-portal of the agro-industrial complex of Ukraine. This figure is 7.9 million tons more compared to the same period of last year. Ukraine has exported 16.3 million tons of wheat, 18.3 million tons of corn, and 4 million tons of barley. The success has been attributed to Ukraine’s growing agri-business sector as well as the warm weather conditions allowing ports to handle more freight. Last year Ukraine was the third largest agriculture exporter to the European Union as it exported €7.3 billion worth of agricultural products, according to a monitoring report by the European Commission.

Ukraine’s 2019 honey exports up by 12.7%.

In 2019, Ukraine’s honey exports were worth $100 million and reached 55,600 tons, a 12.7% jump compared to the previous year, according to Interfax news. Ukraine’s honey exports started to significantly increase since 2014 when Ukraine signed an association agreement with the European Union. The overall production volume of honey in Ukraine last year was around 100,000-110,000 tons. Ukraine is the eighth country in the world that exported the highest dollar value worth of natural honey in 2018. If Ukraine’s exports continue to grow, it can surpass countries such as India, Spain and Mexico, which will bring it into the top 5 world exporters. 

Ukraine’s commercial fishing increases by 10% in 2019.

Commercial fishing, an industry that is often unnoticed by foreign investors in Ukraine, is showing positive growth. In 2019, the total fish catch (and of other various aquatic biological resources) in Ukraine went up by 9.7% compared to the previous year, reaching 97,200 tons, according to the country’s State Fisheries Agency. Traditionally, the appetite of Ukrainians for fish products has been quite high, attracting such foreign players as Norwegian Egersund Group which has been operating in the country since 1996. Ukraine has tens of thousands of rivers of which 115 are more than 100 kilometers in length. The country’s largest river, the Dnipro, is 981 kilometers in length alone. 


Ukraine’s retail trade turnover up by 12% in January. 

As consumer confidence is growing in Ukraine, the country’s retail trade turnover increased by 12.1% percent in January year-over-year, reaching UAH 90.8 billion (about $3.7 billion), according to Ukraine’s State Statistics Service. The country’s leading regions in retail turnover were: Dnipropetrovsk (UAH 8.6 billion), Kharkiv (UAH 7 billion), Odesa (UAH 6.7 billion), Kyiv (UAH 6.6 billion) and Lviv (UAH 5.6 billion). The capital alone was responsible for UAH 17.5 billion. Also, retail trade turnover in the Donetsk region increased by 10.3% and in the Luhansk region by 5.8% year-over-year. With interest rates becoming more affordable and the country’s economy growing, Ukrainians are expected to be spending more in the coming months. 


Sweden’s Ericsson to consult Ukraine’s state on 5G infrastructure.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation announced that Sweden’s telecom giant Ericsson is to provide the government with consulting services on advanced 4G and 5G infrastructure development. The two parties signed a memorandum of cooperation. Both Ericsson and the ministry will be studying and implementing in Ukraine the experience of other countries that are considered as global leaders in the development of the telecom industry, such as the U.S., South Korea and China. Currently, there are 29 5G commercial networks around the globe and the figure is constantly growing. In addition, there are 30 types of smartphones that support 5G.