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Governo Italiano

Ukraine: Amb. Donnici, growing presence of Italy and the EU



Ukraine: Amb. Donnici, growing presence of Italy and the EU

Nearly 400 Italian firms “active, one  hundred or so of which permanently established with productive  plants and trade has been growing since 2000 at an annual rate of 25%”, but has now reached “a critical mass sufficient to foster system-building and to have a collective impact on the local institutional and economic environment”. Ambassador of Italy to Ukraine Pier Giovanni Donnici outlines economic relations between Italy and Ukraine in an interview for the September edition of the fortnightly newsletter “Italian Economic Diplomacy” published by Il Sole 24 Ore Radiocor, “and the Office for Support to Businesses of the Directorate General for Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to Ambassador Donnici “the bases for support for the public sector are there: the embassy has invested human resources in the economic/trade sector, ICE has an office in Kiev that works in association with the Embassy, the Italian Cultural Institute is aware of the positive fallout of economic promotion on its activities also. In the private sector, Ambassador Donnici underscores, the firm standing of two of the largest Italian banks [Unicredit and Intesa San Paolo, editor’s note] completes the picture, creating the possibility for the development of a more structured Italian presence and to ensure more articulated assistance from the start to those Italian businesses that are getting involved in the Ukrainian market”.
The sectors, in Ambassador Donnici’s view, on which to invest in Ukraine are those concerned with “everything we know how to do well”, i.e. “the typical production cycles concerned with fashion/style, food/agriculture, furniture, building materials and ancillaries, including thermo-hydraulics, plant systems and machine tools. We are also receiving requests in the area of urban waste management”.
The prevailing business model in Ukraine is “that of large groups that arose following the privatisation of Soviet basic industry and mining” but, Ambassador Donnici specifies, “what Ukraine needs now, for economic reasons but also for the purposes of social regrouping after the break-up of the Soviet model, is the creation and entrenchment of a network of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), for instance in the division of sub-contracting. This need opens up areas in many divisions of System Italy”.

Ambassador Donnici analyses market positioning: Ukraine has over 46 million inhabitants whose disposable income is on the upswing and consumer models are taking their cue from the West—but above all, for those intending to set up shop there, a production platform oriented toward Russia, the nations of the Community of Independent States (CIS), and the European Union as well”. With regard to this latter, Ukraine “has already, largely,” become “its top trade partner. Kiev is among the main beneficiaries of the EU’s financial regulations on aid to Neighbour Countries and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is very active in the fields of infrastructure and SMEs. The new agreement being negotiated by the EU with Ukraine envisages a volet on trade deregulation hinging on Kiev’s alignment with Community economic and administrative rules and practices. In addition to increased trade and business prospects, EU actors will also be able to avail themselves of opportunities for consulting and assistance to this institutional convergence of the Ukranian system with that of the EU. This is highly important since it will act as an incentive to Ukraine to pursue the internal reforms necessary to adapt its legislative, administrative, legal and economic apparatus to the expectations of European businesses”.



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