Newsletter February 2024

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to share our monthly Business Sweden Ukraine Newsletter, aiming to keep you abreast of crucial business events in Ukraine that may be of interest to your organizations. We are honored to provide support to your companies as they contribute to the reconstruction efforts in Ukraine. Please feel free to reach out to us for any inquiries or clarifications; we are at your disposal.

It is our pleasure to announce the successful conclusion of the webinar "Rebuilding Ukraine’s Energy Sector: Opportunities for Swedish Businesses" held on January 25. This collaborative effort between Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy and BuS Ukraine attracted over 100 participants, representing a diverse audience including Swedish energy companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and more. The active engagement and insightful discussions witnessed during the session were truly commendable. Encouraged by the webinar’s success, we are eager to replicate this format in the future, covering both the same sector and exploring other relevant topics. If you are interested in accessing a dedicated folder containing the webinar recordings and presentation materials, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Additionally, in January and February Business Sweden Kyiv has engaged in meetings with a long range of government institutions including the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Economy, State Agency for Energy Efficiency, Rada Commission for on Protection of Investors' Rights, Agency for Reconstruction, Ministry of Strategic Industries. These meetings are held to secure contacts and progress in ongoing Swedish company engagements or proactively for future possible needs.

Half way into February, we would like to highlight some important business and investment updates in Ukraine:

Upcoming activities: Swedfund Webinar on municipal sector opportunities, with an emphasis on district heating and water projects. Feb 22 at 09.00 CET. Online meeting Sign up and more info: Yevhenii Shakotko

Breakfast discussion with UNHCR on how Swedish companies can contribute to rebuilding Ukraine. Feb 28 at 08.00-10.00 CET. In-person meeting in Stockholm Sign up and more info: here

NATO Conference in Stockholm on “Public-Private Cooperation in Securing Critical Supplies in support of Alliance Resilience”. Companies contributing to a resilient society are invited. Organised by MSB. March 5-6. In-person conference in Stockholm Sign up and more info:

Ukrainian Government:

• Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy anticipates a robust GDP growth of 4.6% and a remarkable 29.6% surge in investments for 2024, reflecting the nation’s adaptability amidst wartime conditions.

• Despite increases in furniture and sugar exports, Ukraine confronts a significant 18.7% drop in export value in 2023, highlighting logistical challenges. While efforts to resolve these issues show promise, a surge in fuel, medicine, and UAV imports leads to a notable trade deficit of USD 26.4 bln (SEK 277 bln).

• Ukrainian Government announces a substantial increase in healthcare spending, totaling USD 6,3 bln (SEK 67 bln), up by USD 0,8 bln (SEK 8.68 bln) from last year, aiming, among other things, to improve hospital infrastructure.

• Ukrainian agricultural land market undergoes expansion with the implementation of new legislation, allowing Ukrainian legal entities to purchase up to 10,000 hectares of land, marking a significant shift from previous restrictions. International Cooperation:

• Ukraine secures GBP 2.5 bln (SEK 33 bln) defense funding from the UK under the Security Cooperation Agreement, enhancing efforts against Russian aggression with specific security guarantees across various domains.

• Japan provided USD 390 mln (SEK 4 bln) to Ukraine through World Bank projects aiming to support social protection and agricultural recovery initiatives.

• The Ministry for Communities, Territories, and Infrastructure Development partners with USAID on distributed generation projects, aiming to modernize municipal energy infrastructure, enhance energy resilience, integrate distributed generation, and reform the energy sector.

• Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy and UNDP launch "Build back greener" program for Ukraine’s energy sector, focusing on decentralization, green transition, and energy efficiency, aligned with global climate goals and Ukraine’s Energy Strategy.

• South Korea pledges assistance to restore the Kozarovychi dam in Kyiv region with a USD 14 mln (SEK 147 mln) project. This initiative is part of the Peace and Solidarity Initiative for Ukraine program, aimed at protecting settlements and enhancing water infrastructure.

• Canada-backed Community-Led Inclusive Recovery (CLIR) initiative aids 19 Ukrainian communities in sustainable recovery, fostering resilience through comprehensive projects. Selected communities across 7 regions will receive expert support in various areas. Team Sweden Updates: • Embassy of Sweden in Kyiv: The frontline situation remains stable. Exports along the Black Sea corridor to Romania have nearly returned to pre-full-scale invasion levels, reaching 6.3 bln tons in December 2023. Insurance costs have significantly decreased since September 2023. There is a strong focus on EU integration, with appreciation for the EU’s recent EUR 50 bln support package. Additionally, there were heavy Russian rocket attacks on Kyiv both around New Year and on January 23.

• Kommerskollegium/National Board of Trade Sweden: A delegation from Ukraine, comprising around 10 IT and fintech companies, will be participating in Stockholm Fintech Week 2024 on February 12-16. As part of the program, they will engage in training sessions, visit Kista Science City, and have meetings with KTH and representatives from the Swedish IT sector. This collaboration is made possible through the Open Trade Gate Sweden initiative.

• Klimat- och näringslivsdepartementet: On February 13-14, during the International Energy Agency’s 50-year celebration in Paris, a high-level bilateral meeting between Ukrainian and Swedish officials is anticipated alongside the IEA Ministerial Meeting 2024.

• Teknikföretagen & Svensk Projektexport: Upcoming gathering within the SPE group on February 14, stakeholders convene for one of their four annual meetings. Participants will receive updates from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BuS, SEK, EKN, and Swedfund.

• Region Stockholm: In collaboration with Why Summits, Region Stockholm will host the 2nd Future of Ukraine Conference on February 15-16, spotlighting 24 Ukrainian start-ups and emphasizing IT sector innovation and investment opportunities.

• Swedfund: In collaboration with BuS, Swedfund is organizing a webinar on municipal infrastructure needs in Ukraine, focusing on district heating and water, tentatively scheduled for February 22. See above for sign up.

• Swecare: On March 19-20 Swecare will host a workshop for the Swedish industry to build upon the Health Conference from December 1, covering topics like Training & Education, Mental Health & Psychological Support, Healthcare Infrastructure, and Antimicrobial Resistance. Also, in late April, Swecare, in collaboration with the Swedish-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, will organize a Business Seminar on Health Care Stroke, hosting a delegation of 30 doctors and representatives from the Ministry of Health of Ukraine for a visit to Stockholm and Uppsala, with a focus on stroke-related issues.

• Utrikesdepartementet: In May/June (date TBD), Swedish MFA, in collaboration with BuS, is considering organizing a procurement seminar in Stockholm focused on discussions about procurement practices at international financial institutions such as the EIB, EBRD, and WB, as well as Ukraine’s Prozorro system. Also, the MFA is internally reviewing consular recommendations to potentially facilitate business delegations to Ukraine. Notably, as of January 22, the UK revised its travel advisory for four western oblasts – Zakarpattia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, and Chernivtsi – to "all but essential travel."

• Landsbygds- och infrastrukturdepartementet: Discussion are ongoing with the Council for Industrial Construction regarding potential involvement in Ukraine. Also, a communication platform shall be established through which Ukraine will be able to communicate the need for support within the transport infrastructure as a part of the Swedish initiative for an International Transport Forum (ITF) connected to the OECD.

• Sida: In collaboration with SALAR/SKR and Waste Sweden, SIDA is conducting a feasibility study on municipal waste management development in Ukraine. Expected to conclude this spring, SIDA is gearing up for multi-year support in waste management, potentially involving SKR and Waste Sweden.

• EKN: EKN is finalizing the special regulation for its guarantee facility in Ukraine, valued at around SEK 333 mln, with preparations underway at the Government Office. Following the conclusion of the referral round on January 22, the expected effective date is April 1.

We are eager to share more insights in the months ahead. If you have any questions or contributions, do not hesitate to reach out or delve into our guide, "Rebuilding Ukraine: Opportunities for the Swedish Private Sector," found on the BuS website’s dedicated Ukraine page. Your active involvement is crucial to our collective success.

Best Regards, Andreas Giallourakis and Yevhenii Shakotko