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Nadiya Byhun: Foreign investors can diversify risks by investing in small and medium-sized businesses

20 Apr, 2024
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Nadiya Byhun: Foreign investors can diversify risks by investing in small and medium-sized businesses

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Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine, Nadiya Byhun, emphasized at the Ukraine's Future Summit 2024 in Brussels that despite the ongoing war, Ukraine's financial system remains stable. She also highlighted that expanding available investment insurance tools against military risks and increasing the accessibility of loans and grants from international banks and financial organizations would incentivize foreign investors to invest in new joint projects with Ukrainian businesses.

"Ukraine is of interest to international partners. Ukrainians have shown the world the unstoppable energy for self-improvement and creativity, as well as the indomitable entrepreneurial spirit. The world is captivated not only by our defenders on the battlefield but also by Ukrainian entrepreneurs who have managed to adapt to the challenges of war. After an initial decline in the first year of the war, we grew by 5% last year. This year, we expect GDP growth again. At the same time, the Ukrainian banking system is stable, profitable, and has excellent liquidity. Financial institutions have sufficient capital, and the banking system as a whole, according to the assessment of the National Bank of Ukraine, is considered resilient," explained Nadiya Byhun.

She further noted that the high liquidity of the banking system sends an extremely important signal to investors. However, she pointed out that lending to the real sector of the economy is recovering too slowly. Currently, businesses mainly attract financing under the government's 5-7-9% programme, with over 80% of new loans being issued under preferential terms. This cautious approach by banks is understandable, as they prioritize low-risk deposit certificates and government securities to reduce risks during wartime.

Nadiya Byhun highlighted the stability of the banking system, evidenced by the more than 70% growth in banks' deposit portfolios during the war, from 0.7 to 1.2 trillion hryvnias.

"We welcome banks' efforts to restore lending to the real sector of the economy, and we will continue to support the process of restoring lending to the private sector. Further expansion of the Ukrainian banking system's lending capacity will depend on the introduction of risk-sharing instruments, including those from international banks and IFIs. We also rely on the further development of insurance instruments for financial and military risks. On our part, we will legislatively increase the opportunities for non-bank lending - factoring, leasing, etc.," she continued.

She concluded by emphasizing that attracting loans and grants from international banks and IFIs on preferential terms and attracting private international capital to projects with small and medium-sized businesses would positively impact the expansion of Ukrainian banks' lending capabilities. Furthermore, she highlighted the importance of legislative measures to increase the protection of international investments and capital. She encouraged investors interested in Ukraine to start cooperation with domestic businesses now, without waiting for the end of the war.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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