- Interview with Commercial Officer Pyrih of Ukraine
By Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik with Editor Kim Jung-mi, Reporter Kim Sua
While some countries of the world give Korean companies a hard time for political or other reasons, there are many other countries where the prospect of good business (and good money-making) is very bright. In most such countries, the people traditionally have friendly feelings toward Korea and the Korean companies, for that matter, and provide the best support and assistance for mutual prosperity between the two countries.
|President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine|
One such country is Ukraine, and this became immediately apparent at a recent interview with Commercial Officer First Secretary Roman Pyrih of the Embassy of Ukraine in Seoul.
Among the most promising sectors for investment, as was disclosed by First Secretary Pyrih, are the agribusiness and agritechnology, solar and wind power, infrastructure development, and manufacturing.
“With huge stock of highest-quality arable black soil and soaring global food demand, agricultural production in Ukraine is poised to grow fast in the years to come,” assured First Secretary Pyrith. Details of the interview follow:
|Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman|
Ukraine is a country of great potential. The country is called a ‘bread basket of Europe’ meaning that the country has great potential, including the covetous status in the world as ‘One of the Four Exporting Countries of Grains.’
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea, Ukraine is one of the noted world resources-rich countires with 5% of the total grain output of the entire world.
Ukraine also has the ability of unilaterally designing and manufacturing sophisticated aircraft and space ships.
|Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin|
Ukraine is a country of countless number of outstanding cultural figures and artists of the world such as Vladimir Horowitz and Mikhail Bulgakov.
Since the Euromaidan Civil Revolution of 2014, Ukraine has been carrying out a large variety of outstanding reforms making high jumps in various areas.
It is high time Korea further strengthened its Strategic Partnership relationship and upgraded it to befit the strong need to strengthen a win-win cooperation with the country. Details of the interview with Commercial Officer Roman Pyrih of Ukraine follow:
|Photo shows Olexander Horin, Ambassador of Ukraine in Seoul flanked on the left by Roman Pyrih, First Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media on the right|
Question: Does your country have any plan to invite Korean companies to invest in your country? Many Korean companies are seeking new investment destination countries following the unfavorable conditions increasing in some countries of the world.
Answer: According to Ukrainian statistics, Korean investment in Ukraine comprise only around USD200 million. It`s probably one of the lowest amount of investment from the Republic of Korea into any European country and we think there are no objective grounds for such over-cautious attitude.
|Maksym Nefyodov, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, and Yun Kang-hyeon, Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, signing of the Protocol of the 4th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Ukrainian – Korean Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation held in Seoul on April 24, 2018|
First of all, Government of Ukraine is working hard to improve investment attractiveness of our country. According to assessment of European Business Association, index of investment attractiveness of Ukraine in first half 2018 remained positive for second consecutive year, with 30.5% of business leaders praising improvement in business climate. Ukraine’s position in Global Innovation Index improved by 7 points in 2018, currently ranking 43th in the world. According to Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2018, Ukraine moved 14 positions up to 66th place. Country`s GDP grew by 2.5% in 2017. We are committed to advancing on the path of comprehensive reforms aimed at transforming our country in line with the European aspirations of Ukrainian people.
|Roman Pyrih, First Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine (left) is interviewed by Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media|
Secondly, Ukrainian Government is paying much attention to promote economic cooperation with the Republic of Korea. In April 2018 First Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv visited Republic of Korea, while holding fruitful negotiations with the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Strategy of Finance of the Republic of Korea Kim Dong Yeon, representatives of leading Korean companies and business-associations.
Along with the visit the 4th meeting of the Intergovernmental Ukrainian – Korean Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation and the 6 th Ukrainian – Korean Economic Forum, supported by KITA, were organized.
Q: What are the specific areas where you might want Korean companies to invest? Please elaborate.
A: Among the most promising sectors for investment is agribusiness & agritech, solar and wind power, infrastructure development, manufacturing.
With huge stock of highest quality arable black soil and soaring global food demand, agricultural production in Ukraine is poised to grow fast in the years to come. In the period of 2010-2016 it increased by 34%, export – by 54%. Industry experts predict that by the mid-2020s, Ukraine will be #3 in food production worldwide, second only to the U.S. and Brazil. At the same time, according to FAOSTAT data, average crop yield of grains in Ukraine is still 2 times lower than in EU or US. Thus, there is great potential for production intensification using Korean technologies and expertise, introducing IT solutions.
IT is another frontrunner of Ukrainian economy. The sector grew stunning 20% in 2017, contributing 3,4% to country`s GDP and engaging more than 120 thousand of developers and specialists (this number is poised to double by 2025).
|Meeting of Stepan Kubiv, First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, with the Chairman of KOIMA|
There is great potential for renewable energy development. "Green" feed-in tariff, introduced by the Government of Ukraine is one of the highest in the world, which makes investment into this sector very attractive. Installed generation capacity in the first half of 2018 grew more than 2 times comparing to previous period.
Investors should also keep an eye on Ukrainian transport infrastructure. Recently Government of Ukraine adopted Drive Ukraine 2030 strategy – ambitious plan to completely renovate highways, railway stock, sea and airports network. The strategy is aimed at integration with EU transport system. Its realization would require around 60 billion USD of investments.
|Visting of Samsung d`Light by Ukrainian delegation|
Taking into account our country’s vast industrial and resource base, skilful and well-educated workforce we should also prioritize manufacturing sector. Attractive factors for investors aiming to localize their production in Ukraine are good infrastructural capacity, proximity to major European and Asian markets, free trade regime between Ukraine and the EU, low salaries.
|President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine.|
Q: Does your country offer any incentives to the good Korean companies wishing to invest in your country? Please specify such offers.
A: Visiting Ukraine is easy for Korean businessmen as visa is not required for them for stays up to 90 days. So there are no obstacles to visit the country to better understand conditions and opportunities there.
There are serious efforts underway to make Ukraine a more accessible place to do business. Recently, the time to register an enterprise was shortened to just a few days.
New laws were introduced to make it easier for foreign nationals to obtain work permits and temporary residency.
The Government of Ukraine also launched UkraineInvest agency to provide support for foreign businesses seeking to start or extend their activities in Ukraine.
National Investment Council chaired by the President of Ukraine held its last meeting in May, 2018 with Senior Vice President of “POSCO Daewoo” Lee Kye-In taking part in this event as a guest.
|Actresses Jun Ji-hyun(left), Kim Tae-hee(rignt) of Korea.|
Q: Does your country have any specific items to purchase from, or export to, Korea? Please elaborate because Korean companies now wish to drastically increase their interaction with such companies.
A: We are interested to increase export of Ukrainian agricultural and food commodities. These sector comprised 33,1% of total exports from Ukraine, but the Korean market is still largely untapped. Ukrainian producers can offer high-quality sunflower oil, grains, honey, tomato paste, frozen berries, confectionary and alcohol beverages. We are currently working with Korean authorities to certify Ukrainian dairy and poultry products.
Korean import in Ukraine is steadily growing in all the major commodity groups. In my opinion, there is good potential to increase sales of Korean cosmetics, as Ukrainian customers are mostly unaware of its quality and health benefits.
We also think it`s very important to avoid trade protectionism and facilitate open and fair business transactions between our countries. In this regard we are concerned by decision of the Government of Korea of November 29, 2017 to impose 19,06% anti-dumping duty on Ferro-Silico-Manganese originating from Ukraine.
|Beautiful women of Ukraine.|
Q: What are the areas where your country wishes to increase cooperation with Korean companies?
A: We would like to see bilateral economic cooperation to become more systematic and based on long-term projects in high value-added industries. This approach towards Ukraine is also envisaged by the strategy of the Korean Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation.
Ukraine is a country with full cycle of aircraft and aerospace hardware engineering and production. Well-known is world-biggest Antonov–225 Mriya airplane, which is used for super heavy cargo transportation. Antonov company, established more than 70 years ago, designed over 100 and manufactured more than 22 thousand passenger, cargo and special purpose airplanes.
Ukrainian Yuzhnoye design office and Yuzhmash are amongst the world leaders in space rockets production. Yuzhmash, as well as many Ukrainian enterprises, took part in manufacturing of equipment and facilities for launch of the first artificial Earth satellite Sputnik in 1957, which marked the start of space era. In 2017 Yuzhmash participated in three launches under the program “Vega”, one launch of the project “Antares” and one under the program “Land launch”. All launches were successful. Actually, Yuzhnoye design office and Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) have already cooperated in successfully delivering to orbit Korean CompSat-3A satellite. We hope this cooperation will be further extended.
Ukrainian nuclear power industry is world`s 7th biggest in installed capacity, with nearly half of the total electricity in the country being generated by nuclear power plants. There are extension and modernization plans that could involve partnership with Korea.
We would like to bring substance to our cooperation in the mentioned fields.
|Children of Ukraine wearing their traditional costume.|
Q: Who is your government minister in charge of international trade and commerce with countries such as Korea? Please elaborate on the minister and provide us with a copy of his/her picture for publication.
A: Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine is headed by the First Vice Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv. He has background in civil and financial sector. He worked as a member of Parliament and headed the National Bank of Ukraine in 2014. As I mentioned before, in April 22-25, 2018 Mr. Kubiv visited Korea. For further details one can refer to the interview, which he gave to “Korea Post” during the visit.
|The National Flag of Ukraine|
Q: Many Korean business people wish to have sufficient rest and recuperation. What are the tourist attractions in your country?
A: There are many ways to enjoy Ukraine as a tourist. Afordable prices, delicious local cuisine, precious cultural and architectural heritage, beautiful nature and vibrant urban life add to attractiveness of our country.
Ukraine is currently rethinking its approach to tourism promotion. Although we have truly vast geography of incredible churches, monasteries and opera houses – this is not the only thing that may be interesting to a tourist.
|Capital Kyiv of Ukraine|
Monumental industrial and architectural objects of the bygone era has their dystopian charm, while drawing attention to the sad pages of Ukrainian history. And this is not just about the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Large industrial cities can be no less interesting than the cozy streets of downtown Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa or Chernivtsi, or the castles of Kamyanets-Podilsky, Khotyn and Akkerman.
Green tourism in Carpathian mountains, steppes and seashore of South Ukraine, among the tranquil beauty of Ukrainian nature, are other destinations for curious Korean tourists.
Cultural event that should not be missed are exhibitions and festivals all year long at Mystetsky Arsenal in Kyiv, Odesa International Film Festivals and International Film Festival Molodist, Odesa Jazz festival and Leopolis Jazz festival, Ukrainian Fashion Week and many others.
Q: Please introduce yourself fully as the prospective Korean business leaders might wish to meet with you in person.
A: I`ve been on diplomatic service since 2002 with previous postings to Vietnam and India. I arrived to Korea in November 2016 and was really impressed by achievements and potential of your country. Working here gives me chances to meet many interesting people, while growing both professionally and personally.
|Easter Eggs of Ukraine.|
Q: Please state whatever other important areas of coverage I might have inadvertently left out from the questionnaire.
A: All the major issues are covered.
Kim Sua firstname.lastname@example.org