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International review: Ukraine

The new material from the series "International Review" will focus on a country with the geographical center of Europe, one of the world's first constitutions and the largest European Freedom Square - Ukraine.

  • Territory: 603,700 sq. km
  • Population: 45,962,900
  • GDP: $ 328,000 million
  • National currency: hryvnia
  • Official language: Ukrainian

Ukraine is located in the central part of Eastern Europe at the intersection of transport routes from Europe to Asia and from the Scandinavian countries to the countries of the Mediterranean region. It shares borders with Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova, along the Black Sea - with Georgia, Turkey and Bulgaria. The length of the Ukrainian-Belarusian border is 952 km. The country has a common system of waterways (river - Dnieper, Pripyat) and railways with Belarus. The most populated cities are Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov, Dnepr, Zaporozhye, Lvov.

Interesting fact. Ukraine is considered one of the richest European countries in terms of the variety and quantity of mineral resources. 1/4 of all planet's black soil reserves is concentrated here.

State power in Ukraine is exercised on the principles of its division into legislative, executive and judicial power. The President is a head of state. The legislative branch is represented by the parliament, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and consists of 450 members. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine exercises executive power. Justice in Ukraine is administered by the Constitutional Court and courts of general jurisdiction. The highest judicial body in the court system is the Supreme Court of Ukraine.

Ukraine economy

Ukraine annually conducts work on business and investment climate improvement, entrepreneurship and economy development. The country was ranked 64th with a score of 70.2 in the World Bank Group's Doing Business 2020 rating. It is among the top 50 countries in such listings as obtaining building permits, obtaining loans, protecting minority investors. Low indicators on connection to the power supply system (128th place), resolution of insolvency (146th place), international trade (74th place).

Ukraine ranks 88th according to the Human Development Index, 46 out of 189 according to the Education Level Index. Both indices are compiled by the United Nations Development Program annually or every two years. In the Global Competitiveness Index Ukraine is ranked 85th according to the World Economic Forum.

The Ukrainian economy is based on diversified industry, agriculture and services. The main directions of metallurgy: ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, coke-chemical industry, pipe-rolling production. Ferrous metallurgy products account for almost half of the heavy industry rexport.

The chemical industry works in a single complex with metallurgy, using by-products of this industry for the production of nitrogen fertilizers, varnishes, paints, and pharmaceuticals. Phosphorites, potassium salts and table salt are used for the production of mineral fertilizers, sulfur - for the production of sulfuric acid. Oil and gas - both local and imported - are used for synthetic rubber and synthetic fibers production.

Interesting fact. The first constitution in the world was adopted in Ukraine on April 5, 1710. In the United States, the Constitution was adopted in 1787, in France and Poland - only in 1791.

Mainly heavy, transport, electrical engineering, the production of aircraft, ships, military space technology, precision equipment is represented in Ukraine.

Mainly women work in light industry. Main directions: textile, clothing, leather and fur. Linen, cotton, wool, knit garments, hosiery, carpets and rugs are produced in Ukraine.

The main types of food industry in Ukraine: fruit and vegetable, canning, oil and fat, meat, dairy, butter and cheese, confectionery. Other developed types: tobacco, salt, sugar, alcohol, brewing and non-alcoholic beverages, wine, fish, flour milling, bakery, pasta.

Timber production complex of Ukraine includes forestry, woodworking, pulp and paper, timber and chemical industries. The logging industry was formed in the Carpathians and Polesie (90% of all logging). A significant amount of timber is imported. Woodworking enterprises of Ukraine produce lumber, chipboard, plywood, matches. Furniture factories are mainly concentrated in large cities (Kiev, Lvov, Odessa, Kharkov, etc.).

Ukraine is a country with developed tourism. There are many tourist routes and destinations here: the Carpathians, historical monuments of ancient Ukrainian cities, rural (green) tourism and nature reserves. The country is home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and St. Sophia Cathedral, as well as the medieval center of Lvov.

Agriculture of Ukraine is one of the most important economy sectors. There are 32 million hectares of black soil, which is one third of arable land in all of Europe. Due to that, the country was ranked third in the world in terms of corn expor, fifth in export of wheat. The main industry of the country's agriculture sector is crop production, especially technical and fodder (sugar beet, sunflower, etc.).

Foreign trade relations of Ukraine are diverse and diversified. At the end of 2019, import of goods to Ukraine exceeded $ 51 billion, having significantly increased over five years (+ 37%). The main importers are Russia, China, Germany, Belarus, Poland. Mainly import consists of machinery, equipment and works ($ 6.6 billion, growth rate 183% compared to 2015), mineral products ($ 5.8 billion, growth rate 53%), electrical machinery and equipment ($ 5.8 billion, growth rate 215%), land transport vehicles, except for railway and tramways, their parts and accessories ($ 4.7 billion, growth rate 294%), plastics and products from them ($ 2.3 billion, growth rate 110%), pharmaceutical products ($ 2 , 2 billion, growth rate 157%).

Ukrainian export is quite diversified, but several key directions can be identified: Russia, Poland, Italy, Turkey, Germany, China, India. At the end of 2019, the export of goods exceeded $ 52 billion, which is 1.4 times higher compared to2015. 36% of Ukrainian export accounts for cereals and ferrous metals. Ores, animal and vegetable oils, including sunflower, are exported for over $ 4 billion. The export of electrical machinery and equipment is estimated at $ 3 billion.

Trade and economic cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and Ukraine

Belarus is the second among the CIS countries and the fifth among all countries of the world as a trade partner of Ukraine.


In the first half of 2020, the trade turnover between the countries amounted to $ 1.9 billion. The growth rate over the same period is 77%. At the same time, the export of Ukrainian goods and services in the first half of 2020 amounted to $ 0.7 million, which is 15% less than last year. Import of goods and services from Belarus amounted to $ 1.2 billion. The main items of Belarusian export to Ukraine:

  • petroleum products, petroleum coke and bitumen;
  • potash, nitrogen and mineral fertilizers;
  • petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons;
  • trucks, tractors and truck tractors;
  • fiberboard;
  • tractors and truck tractors;
  • coal.

Main positions of import from Ukraine:

  • soybeans, waste from the extraction of vegetable oils;
  • freight wagons, railway or tramways, parts of rolling stock;
  • hot rolled flat products of unalloyed steel;
  • crude oil, including gas condensate;
  • poultry meat and edible by-products, corn;
  • pharmaceuticals.

In 2019, $ 14 million of direct investments on a net basis were attracted to the Belarusian economy from Ukraine. There are 295 enterprises with Ukrainian capital in Belarus, including 117 joint ventures and 178 foreign organizations. A well-developed distribution network of Belarusian exporters operates in Ukraine with over a hundred companies. BelAZ, MTZ, MAZ and Atlant have a dealer network in the regions. Currently, there are nine assembly plants operating in Ukraine for Belarusian equipment (tractors, grain harvesters, elevator equipment, MAZ and Belkommunmash trolleybuses, MAZ equipment, gate systems, electricity meters).

Interesting fact. Ukraine is ranked fourth in the world in terms of the number of citizens with higher education. The first higher educational institution in Eastern Europe, the Ostrozhskaya Academy, appeared here.

The main instrument for coordinating trade and economic relations between the Republic of Belarus and Ukraine is the Intergovernmental Belarusian-Ukrainian Mixed Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, the 27th meeting of which was held on December 13, 2019 in Kiev.

A significant contribution to the development of economic cooperation is made due to the wide interaction of the chambers of commerce and industry of the two countries, the organization of meetings of business circles in the format of the Advisory Council of Business Cooperation of the Republic of Belarus and Ukraine, held on an annual basis.

On November 11, 2020, an online meeting of the Belarusian-Ukrainian Consultative Council of Business Cooperation is scheduled, the task of which is to develop joint solutions to enhance trade and economic cooperation and scientific and technical ties on a mutually beneficial basis.

Cooperation of FEZ Grodninvest with Ukraine

Ukraine is traditionally one of the top-3 trading partners of FEZ Grodnoinvest resident companies and forms about 14% of the total turnover. Since 2017, this indicator has grown 4.2 times and reached $ 200 million. It is based on the export of FEZ residents ($ 127 million, a growth rate of 137%). At the end of 2019, imports amounted to $ 106 million with a growth rate of 105%.


The main directions of export of FEZ Grodnoinvest residents to Ukraine:

  • phthalic anhydride, mineral fertilizers;
  • polycarboxylic acids, alkyd resins;
  • pipes, tubes, hoses, plates, plastic film sheets;
  • chipboard, fibreboard;
  • paper and cardboard, furniture and its parts;
  • items of clothing, personal hygiene items;
  • containers for compressed or liquefied gas;
  • land transport vehicles, tractors.

Main import directions:

  • soya beans;
  • paper and cardboard;
  • gimped thread, pipes, tubes and profiles.

During the period of functioning of FEZ, $ 3.3 million of foreign investment was attracted from Ukraine. There is 1 resident with Ukrainian capital - TechoChimReagentBel Ltd. Enterprises-residents Belagrofert Ltd., Conte Spa JLtd., Kronospan Ltd., Lakokraska JSC, Belagroterminal Ltd. actively cooperate with the Ukrainian business.

If you are interested in cooperation with business circles of Ukraine, the FEZ administration is ready to assist in establishing contacts and organizing negotiations on the implementation of joint projects. Email us: or call: +375 152 41-23-17.

Previous publications of International Review cycle: