Connect with us

Stock Market

Ukraine seeks to rebuild economy with small businesses challenge By Reuters

Avatar

Published

on

2/2

© Reuters. The herbs and plants that Victoriia Maslova and her mother Inna Skarzhynska, founders of the botanical cosmetics company Vesna, used to make skin and hair care products, are shown in this undated photo. Vesna is a Ukrainian word meaning spring i

2/2

By Andrea Shalal

Lviv, Ukraine (Reuters) – Victoria Maslova abandoned her cosmetics factory in the Ukrainian town of Bucha on the first day of Russia’s invasion of the country, fleeing to Poland with her mother and three younger siblings when missiles began to fall on a nearby airport.

A month later, they returned to Ukraine, determined to continue manufacturing Maslova’s vegan cosmetics brand, Vesna.

“We love Ukraine. We wanted to go back to our country and work here,” says Maslova, 24, who founded the company seven years ago with her mother, Inna Skarsinska, 44.

Advertisement

To reverse the economic shock caused by Europe’s largest war since World War II, the Ukrainian government is pinning its hopes on the pioneering determination of people like Maslova, along with the return of millions of refugees – and widespread international financial aid.

Waiting for the chaotic Russian withdrawal in April from the town of Bucha near Kyiv now famous for an occupation that left civilian corpses littered the streets, Maslova’s mother returned to the factory. The shop floor was looted and was a mess, but she salvaged some equipment and loaded it into a truck. They launched a new operation in the relative calm of Lviv, 450 kilometers (280 miles) west near the Polish border.

Five months later, Vesna products are sold in more countries than ever before, including Poland and Lithuania, and Maslova recently won a deal to produce goods for a private label in the United States, she said. All along, the company has been donating skin and hair care products, labeled “You’re Our Hero,” to the women and men who serve up front.

The war, which Moscow calls a “special military operation,” is approaching its eighth month. Despite Ukraine’s recent battlefield victories, experts believe it may last a long time yet, leaving millions of Ukrainians displaced within the country and about 8 million outside its borders.

So, at the same time as Ukrainian forces are fighting to reclaim the lands Russia has seized since the February 24 invasion, the government in Kyiv is racing to stabilize the economy, and create jobs for those who have fled their homes, jobs, and businesses in the east and south.

Advertisement

The economy is expected to shrink by more than a third this year, but as businesses reopen, Economy Minister Yulia Svirenko sees production stabilizing and growing by as much as 15% in 2023, albeit from a low base. Within a decade, it was dreaming that it would more than double from pre-war levels to reach $500 billion, with the help of foreign investment and accession to the European Union.

“We always say that we have two fronts: one is the military front and the other is the economic front,” Svirenko told Reuters in an interview in the basement of the Soviet-era Ukrainian Cabinet Building. Crowded with sandbags. The economic aspect is as important as the military aspect.

Small and medium-sized businesses like Maslova are the core of the government’s efforts.

Economic activity froze across the country after the start of the war, but restaurants, retail stores and even nightclubs are now visibly open again in Kyiv, Lviv and other unoccupied cities, even in Zaporizhia, near a besieged nuclear power plant.

Sviridenko said the Economy Ministry has helped 700 companies relocate from the confrontation areas, of which 480 have already resumed operations. These companies benefit from the return of an estimated 3 million refugees, helping demand, while money flows back into the economy through renewable exports, including from three ports on the Black Sea.

Advertisement

To help displaced companies make a fresh start, the Ukrainian Investment and Trade Facilitation Center in Lviv offers companies free access to offices and manufacturing spaces, a valuable lifeline.

The task facing the country, and businessmen like Maslova, is daunting, given a recent estimate by the World Bank and the European Union of war damage totaling nearly $100 billion and Russia’s ongoing strikes on civilian infrastructure.

Ukraine also faces mounting budget problems, despite a debt payments freeze agreed by Western government creditors this month and private sector creditors in August. It is seeking foreign aid, but it also needs private capital to rebuild.

Any investments will require strong security guarantees and accountability, in light of what the German Marshall Fund called Ukraine’s “history of corruption,” in a report released last month.

Leading economists from Ukraine, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other donors will work on some of these questions at the German-hosted Recovery Conference in Berlin on October 25.

Advertisement

The International Monetary Fund on Friday approved $1.3 billion in additional emergency financing for Ukraine that could spur support from other donors, with an eye toward a larger, full program going forward.

“Courageous deeds, brave people”

Irina Titarchuk, who heads the Lviv Investment Center, helps connect displaced business owners with resources, including government microcredits and loans of up to $68,000, and USAID funds for women-owned businesses that Maslova has helped get back on their feet.

“These are brave actions and brave people who did not leave everything and went abroad, but decided to start again and again,” she said. Titarchuk noted that many companies saw a rebound in revenue in 2014 when they moved away from the Russian market after the annexation of Crimea.

“Now, more markets are opening up for them,” she said, noting that a number of companies in Britain had reached out to her specifically looking for “Made in Ukraine” products.

Advertisement

Near the front line, Mykolaiv, 800 kilometers (500 mi) southeast of Lviv, is under regular artillery bombardment. Here, Julia Konovalova waits for her time, anxious to restart Fresh U & detox, once thriving in the health food delivery business, when the fighting stops.

Konovalova remained when more than half of the population of Mykolaiv fled. She donated her supplies to the military when the war began, and has been coordinating food aid for the World Central Kitchen relief group in recent months.

“I still have all my equipment,” said the former hotel manager. “Now I’m waiting for the war to end, and then I’ll start over.” “We just need to survive.”

Near the Russian border, intense fighting has drained Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, of three-quarters of its two million residents, although recent Ukrainian advances have retaken neighboring territory.

The missiles destroyed Evgeny Safonov’s wine bar in Kharkiv, but he is already looking for new locations in safer cities and eventually wants to return to Kharkiv.

Advertisement

“Our investors are interested, so far,” he says. “Call me brave or stupid, I know. But our planning horizon is a matter of days. You never know what tomorrow will bring.”

Looking for investments

Svirenko acknowledges that Ukraine faces significant challenges, but says she and other officials are looking for investments where they can, citing estimates that every $10 billion invested would generate a 5 percentage point jump in national output.

Her department is considering 50 applications from the United States, Germany, Britain and Poland that were submitted after the launch of the new investment portal “Advantage Ukraine” on the New York Stock Exchange last month that identifies $400 billion in investment opportunities, but she said it was. It is too early to provide details.

The World Bank’s financing arm, the International Finance Corporation, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development also said last month that they would put $70 million into a private equity fund that would invest in technology and export-oriented business in both Ukraine and neighboring Moldova. It aims to raise up to $250 million over the next twelve months.

Advertisement

Andy Hunder, who heads the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, said Ukraine’s economy is showing “enormous resilience,” with internet and banking services performing better in wartime Kyiv than in some peaceful parts of Europe.

The group’s latest survey, released this week, showed that 77% of its 600 member firms believe the war will end in 2023, and that all but 2% plan to continue doing business here.

Yulia Zavalnyuk, whose small flower farm in Villa Verde, 40 km west of Kyiv, was badly damaged by Russian forces four days after the war, initially thought about moving to Slovakia, but decided to move to Lviv temporarily, while selling plants to continue paying salaries and coverage. Basic business costs.

“Now is the time for us … small business owners,” she told Reuters. “We have to be the most creative, service-oriented, and quality-oriented to produce and sell goods and pay taxes,” she said.

Source link

Advertisement

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Stock Market

Taco Bell has an answer for Chipotle’s most beloved menu item

Avatar

Published

on

Chipotle (CMG) – Get a free report It quietly grabbed the number one spot among Mexican fast food chains using a completely different recipe (so to speak) than its main competitor Yum Brands. (Yum) – Get a free report Taco Bell. Basically, the newer player in the quick service/fast food/quick casual space has decided that prices aren’t going to be a driving factor for it. Instead, Chipotle has built its menu around the idea of ​​using more natural food than well-sourced food.

This was a successful plan until the company was created. The Coli scandal dates back in 2016 as this type of chain fell victim to its own marketing. Fresh foods come with higher risks, and when people get sick at Chipotle, a lot of other fast food chains point to less fresh, processed foods as a safe option.



Source link

Continue Reading

Stock Market

Ben & Jerry’s does not have authority to sue over sale of Israeli ice cream By Reuters

Avatar

Published

on


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ben & Jerry’s, a brand of Unilever, is displayed in a store in Manhattan, New York City, US, March 24, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Written by Jessica DiNapoli and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Unilever (NYSE: plc) has asked a U.S. judge to dismiss a Ben & Jerry’s lawsuit over the sale of the Israeli ice cream maker, saying the subsidiary’s “insistence on taking sides” in the conflict Palestinian Israeli gives its board of directors no authority to stop or even sue the sale.

In a statement Friday afternoon in Manhattan federal court, Unilever said the Ben & Jerry’s board “is no ordinary board.”

In the filings, she said the board has some responsibility to maintain its “social mission” and protect the brand under a shareholder agreement from 2000, when Unilever’s bought Ben & Jerry’s. But Unilever said the board could not sue.

Advertisement

Unilever also said that the board’s “recent insistence on taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has created an intolerable situation” for both sides.

Ben & Jerry’s could not immediately be reached for comment.

The maker of Cherry Garcia and Chubby Hubby ice creams sued Unilever in July to prevent the sale of its businesses in Israel and the occupied West Bank to local licensee Avi Zenger.

Ben & Jerry’s products have been on sale in Israel for more than three decades, but the company said last year that West Bank sales were not in line with its values.

In August, a judge denied Ben & Jerry’s bid to stop those sales outright.

Advertisement

Last month, Ben & Jerry’s board of directors gave up selling Zinger ice cream, saying its products were “not to be confused with products” made by Ben & Jerry’s.

“Selling products bearing the Ben & Jerry’s insignia in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is contrary to our values,” the council said.

In its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Unilever also said that Ben & Jerry’s had waited too long to claim that its trademark rights were “taken away” more than 20 years ago, and that the accusations behind the claim are a public matter.

(This story has been reworded to fix a typo in paragraph 1)

Source link

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Stock Market

Twitter users are running Musk Over Kanye West

Avatar

Published

on

Even Elon Musk has his limits.

Musk, Tesla (TSLA) – Get a free report The CEO, Twitter’s latest owner and self-described free-spirited free-lancer, has confirmed the microblogging site to be “an actual town square” ever since he walked through the front door with sink in hand.

“It’s mad!” The richest man in the world chirp On November 25 “I’m just fighting for free speech in America.”

Advertisement

In his quest, Musk recently Welcome back Donald Trump, ending a 22-month ban on the former Republican president.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending