Doing Business In Ukraine

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Researching the Market

Strengths of the market

  • Largest (by surface area) country wholly in Europe, strategically located on EU borders

  • Large developed consumer market (5th largest population in Europe - over 45 million)

  • Highly educated and qualified workforce with strong tradition in science and high-end technologies

  • Low labour cost

  • 6 cities of 1 million population or more

  • Convenient start-up for CIS

  • Member of WTO; negotiating a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU

  • The UK is a large investor to Ukraine; BP, Shell, GSK, HSBC, BAT, Mott MacDonald, Marks & Spencer and many other UK companies present

  • £400 million+ market for UK exports

  • Market Economy Status granted by the European Union on 1 December 2005 and by the United States of America on 1 February 2006.


Click here to enlarge map (CIA World Factbook)


Opportunities in Ukraine

Ukraine offers long-term opportunities in a broad range of sectors, many of which involve cooperation with Ukrainian companies and authorities and requiring Western financial investment. Particular areas of opportunity include:

  • Infrastructure (Ports & Airports)

  • Advanced Engineering (Airspace and energy)

  • Financial Services

  • Agriculture

  • Fast-moving consumer goods

  • Rehabilitation of heavy industry

  • Healthcare


Trade between UK and Ukraine

Since 2005 UK exports annually increased more than 20% and in 2008 rose to £573.9 million (+31% yoy). In 2009 UK exports were £545.3, which is down 5% yoy (average in non-EU region -32.1%yoy). The decline in exports started post financial crisis of 2008 and in 2010 UK exports were £442.5, which is down 19% yoy. Top 10 export commodities include professional instruments, medicinal and pharmaceutical products, road vehicles, textile fibres, perfume materials, paper, various specialised machinery and chemicals.

In 2008 UK imports rose by 38% to £178.7 million. In 2009 imports dropped, but in 2010 it rose by 94% to £288.4 million. Top 10 imported commodities include iron & steel, vegetable fats & oils, animal feed, cereals, clothing, transport equipment, petroleum and its products, weapons and oil seeds.


Economic Overview

Ukraine has significant economic potential as a result of its well educated labour force, large domestic market and access to a variety of resources including some of Europe's best agricultural land, significant coal and some oil and gas reserves and a strategic location connecting Europe, Russia and Asian markets.

The EU accounts for about 30% of Ukraine's trade, while CIS countries account for about 40%. Ukraine has a major ferrous metal industry, producing cast iron, steel and steel pipe and its chemical industry produces coke, mineral fertilisers and sulphuric acid. World demand for steel and chemicals, which make up about 40% of Ukraine's exports, dropped sharply in the second half of 2008.


Manufactured goods include airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives and tractors. Ukraine is also a major producer of grain, sunflower seeds and sugar beet. It has a broad industrial base, including much of the former USSR's space and rocket industry.

In response to the sharp economic downturn in the country in late 2008, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $16.4 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) in November 2008, conditioned on reforms in the banking sector, as well as adjustments in fiscal and monetary policy. The World Bank has committed more than $5 billion to Ukraine since the country joined the Bank in 1992.

Ukraine is a member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in May 2008. In 2008 Ukraine and the European Union launched negotiations on a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA). During the 12th EU-Ukraine Summit, held in Paris in September 2008, the EU presented Ukraine with an enhanced association agreement, including chapters on both political and trade relations. Some chapters, including trade, remain under negotiation. Subsequent summits have moved the process forward - albeit slowly.

Standard of living
Ukraine's GDP per capita in 2012 according to the CIA was $7,600 (in PPP terms), ranked 136th in the world. The World Bank classifies Ukraine as a lower middle income state. For more information; please see The World Bank or The CIA World Factbook

Please see the State Statistics Service of Ukraine for information about the population.


Political Overview

Under the 1996 Constitution, Ukraine is a presidential-parliamentary republic with a multi-party system. The President is Head of State elected by the citizens of Ukraine for a five-year term. The President controls the executive including law enforcement agencies and appoints the Cabinet of Ministers (Ukrainian Government).

Business Deal Shake

Ukraine's unicameral Parliament (the Verkhovna Rada) consists of 450 members elected for a five year term. The Rada initiates legislation, ratifies international agreements and approves the budget. People's Deputies (MPs) are elected to the Rada by a form of proportional representation based on party lists. Prior to 2006, half of the MPs were elected on party lists and the other half on an individual basis from single-seat constituencies.

Recent Developments
In February 2010, Victor Yanukovych was elected the fourth President since Ukraine's independence in 1991. The next presidential election is scheduled for March 2015.

For more information on Ukrainian politics and government please visit


Country Facts

Area: 603, 550 sq. km
Population: 44, 573, 205 (July 2013 est.)
Capital city: Kyiv (Kiev)
Languages: Ukrainian is the official language, but Russian is widely spoken, particularly in the East and South. There are small numbers of Romanian, Polish and Hungarian speakers and about 250,000 Crimean Tatars.
Religions: Ukrainian Orthodox (Moscow Patriarchate),Ukrainian Orthodox (Kyiv Patriarchate), Ukrainian Greek-Catholic (Uniate), Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim.
Currency: 1 hryvnia = 100 kopiykas
Exchange rate: £1.00 (GBP) = 12.57 Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH)
Constitutional form: Parliamentary-Presidential Republic
Head of State: President Viktor Yanukovych
Prime Minister/Premier: Mykola Azarov


Source - UKTI


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