Ukraine courts Italian companies

By Sandy Guthrie16 July 2012

Infrastructure projects in Ukraine were among the key topics discussed with Italian companies at a conference held last week in Kiev, capital of Ukraine.

The conference, called Italy & Ukraine: Building Together, was addressed by Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Infrastructure - Chief of Staff Volodymyr Kornienko - and heads of departments of the Ministry of Infrastructure.

Representatives of Italian businesses heard about priority projects for the development of the transport sector in Ukraine, for which foreign companies are able to tender.

According to Mr Kornienko, the railways were a basic sector of the economy of Ukraine and, therefore, the most essential element of the transport system.

In Ukraine, 82.1% of freight and 54.5% of passenger traffic is on the railway, and the conference heard that railways in Ukraine took fourth place on the Eurasian continent in terms of the volume of freight.

The leading projects include the further electrification of the railways and the introduction of high-speed traffic, as well as the building of new roads and the development of commercial sea ports such as Odessa.

The construction of new double-track tunnel is currently under way, and is another link in the introduction of a high-speed railway in Ukraine. The construction of the tunnel is part of International Transport Corridor No 5 - which runs from Italy to Russia via Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine. It is claimed that the tunnel will increase the safety of rail traffic as well as improving capacity and reducing travel time of trains.

The Ministry is also working on improving transport and the condition of roads on the approaches to Kiev.

The construction of a highway from Lviv to Krakovets is part of International Transport Corridor No 3 which starts in Berlin, Germany. The new road is said to provide high-quality transport for Ukraine and Poland through the new Krakovets/Korcheva border crossing, which has a capacity of 5,000 vehicles per day.

All these projects will be backed by state and local budget funding, the enterprises' own funds, by loans from international and international financial institutions, and private investors. The Ministry told the conference that it was, therefore, open to co-operation with all investors, including Italian.

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