What made Ukraine so attractive to Israeli heart and investments? (Delo.ua)


Olha Stoliarchuk, CEO of Israeli-Ukraine Alliance’s Kyiv Office

Talks about how attractive Ukraine is for foreigners and how many international investors are looking at projects and opportunities in Ukraine are heard everywhere. Everyone also says that Ukraine is conveniently located, has a huge number of university graduates and specialists in various fields, as well as competitive prices for services and accommodation. And don’t forget about unique natural resources, agriculture and developed industry.

But which sectors truly benefit from the talk and attract the investors’ attention? What sectors do our Israeli neighbors invest in?

According to the State Statistics Committee, the volume of bilateral trade in goods and services amounted to $907.3 million last year. Down by 18.9% compared to 2019 when it reached $1.1 billion.

As for the direct Israeli injections in Ukrainian economy, those were at $68.7 million as of September 30, 2020. Investments were mainly attracted in real estate, information and communication, as well as processing industries. In other words, the potential that Ukraine publicly claims to have is not yet that easily “sold” to investors and requires strong marketing — both by companies and the state itself. Now, let's dive into the details of successful Israeli investments.

Real Estate

COVID-19 had a massive impact on real estate markets worldwide, and Ukraine is no exception. Developers took the hit, especially the ones who lean on banks for funding as the latter now apply way more stringent loan conditions. Eventually, this will affect pricing. That said, is Ukrainian real estate still attractive for investment?

Yes. Analysts are seeing an increase in demand for Ukrainian properties and a new trend — the one developers are also talking about: emergence of Israeli funds that buy lots of apartments at once. Sometimes they purchase entire floors, sections or even buildings. Usually, these apartments are then rented out and managed by specialized funds. I believe this creates a field for new opportunities and rethinking of the residential real estate market.

Technologies and Solutions

It is too early to talk about Ukrainian companies and solutions in which Israeli investors invested last year. However, it is worth focusing on what Ukrainian companies have received Israeli investments and what Israeli structures have their offices and R&D capabilities in Ukraine. In my opinion, this is a true example of what Ukrainians are best at.

Playtech. It is the world’s largest provider of gaming software, offering solutions for online casinos, as well as for online sports betting and mobile games. The company has offices and development centers in 17 countries, including Ukraine, where developers and security, data processing and quality control engineers work on the latest R&D projects.

Wobi. The company offers clients to choose the best insurance provider by comparing products and prices. The company focuses on different types of insurance, such as travel insurance, vehicle insurance, loans, pension insurance and others. It is the offices in Kyiv and Kharkiv that develop Wobi’s React and Node.js based solutions.

MyHeritage. It is an online genealogy platform that first became known for its genealogical tree development service. Today, the company offers genetic testing services, diagnostic DNA screenings, tools for identifying relatives and family members. It currently has 93 million users worldwide. The company opened a special development center in Kyiv, where Ukrainian PHP and Java developers work on the company’s web and mobile products.

Zirra. A market research platform that aims to help its users avoid financial risks, understand trends, generate ideas and find investment opportunities. Those are Ukrainian artificial intelligence developers who help Zirra use NLP and machine learning for advanced data analytics.

Wix. Israeli web development platform that offers thousands of templates for web and mobile sites, web hosting and business management. Company’s international offices include two in Kyiv and Dnipro with more than 500 employees.

Additionally, there are many other Israeli companies in Ukraine: Check Point, Teva, Lumus, Imonomy, Bridge, Celeno, Trackimo, Plarium, Similarweb, and others. So, as reality clearly shows, excellent quality of Ukrainian STEM resource and performance of Ukraine’s outsourcing companies are already praised worldwide. Now, Ukrainian government’s #1 task should be promoting the trend of Israeli tech giants opening their offices in Ukraine.

Processing and Agroindustry

No one knows what industries got the biggest share of that $68.7 million attracted last year. But we can assume that vectors of financial injections coincide with the areas where Israeli-Ukrainian cooperation is in full swing, particularly the export of Ukrainian goods to Israel. When it comes to the processing industry, agricultural sector is undoubtedly the one showing the biggest “yield”. According to State Statistics Committee, Ukrainian agricultural exports in Israel mostly comprised cereals (40% of total exports); ferrous metals (18% of total exports); food industry residues and waste (6.6% of total exports); alcohol and soft drinks (3.6% of total exports); animal or vegetable fats and oils (3.4% of total exports); oilseeds and oilseed products (3.3% of total exports).

Investment attractiveness of the agricultural sector can be further strengthened by joint interstate projects, especially in the field of Israeli agro-tech innovations that are already gradually entering the Ukrainian market. Like a widely publicized pilot project in the south of Ukraine using innovative Israeli irrigation technologies.

What do we have now and what we do about it moving into the future?

Even though foreign investors, particularly from Israel, are already present in the market, Ukrainian companies vitally need to work on their brand awareness, quality of goods/services and export skills, and not be afraid to explore and enter new markets.

On this way they can expect assistance — both in theory and practice — from the Office for Entrepreneurship and Export Development. At the same time, business councils at city halls and foreign embassies have begun to actively help Ukrainian exporters and trade missions. In addition, there have long existed business communities, associations and alliances providing a wide range of services and assistance to businesses wishing to enter new markets or scale up their operations.

What should Ukraine do to attract Israeli investments? First, make itself clearly visible on every business platform imaginable. Second, work hard every day to better protect foreign financial injections. Today, international community also wants to see what will come out of the recently signed “investment nannies” law that introduces a number of benefits for the investment projects meeting its criteria and implemented till 2035. In addition, the international focus is on the newly announced Foreign Investment Fund. Thirdly, the analysis of several “hot” cases of foreign investors (in particular, Scania Ukraine) proves that protection of investments and assets, fair courts and the fight against corruption should be on the top of the state's agenda. Fourthly, Ukraine should consistently support exporters by clarifying conditions and opportunities of the Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and Israel.

Should we mention here the creation of favorable conditions for doing business for non-residents, digitalization and new opportunities for investing, for example, in the Ukrainian stock market, state facilities subject to privatization and land (after opening of the land market)? Sure. But first, let's get back to 2020 bilateral trade volumes. After that, the sky’s the limit.

Source: Delo.ua.


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Michael Furaev

Strategic partner

Head of Quattrgroup

Visionary leader and designer of synergistic teams

Anna Zharova


Entrepreneur and International Consultant, specializes in developing, managing and launching impact projects in commercial and social spheres

Co-founder of nonprofit organization "Israeli Friends of Ukraine"

Board Member in “Pnima” - Israeli organization, uniting public and government leaders

Eddy Dave

Chairman of IUA

15 years of experience in capital markets, investments, business development

Owner of Israeli-Ukrainian outsourcing company: 400 employees, 5 years of operations, offices in Kharkov and Kiev

Managing Partner of Camalia Capital Markets, which was successfully sold to Meitav Dash 5 years ago. Meitav Dash is the second biggest investment house in Israel with more than 50b$ at the disposal

Olha Stoliarchuk

Director of IUA

LL.M., Consultant, Project Manager, Attorney-at-Law

10 years of expertise in International and Ukrainian business and corporate law, energy law and antitrust law

Member of the GS Kyiv Hub community, WEF initiative

Co-founder of investment video blogs - VC ChatrOOm


Daniil Tsiporukha

Co-founder of IUA

Social Media, Digital Marketing and Paid Ad Expert, Entrepreneur

Skilled in PPC, Analytics, Product Marketing, Start-ups, and Product Development

BA degree in Communications and New Media Studies IDC Herzliya, MA in Law ISU Kyiv

Co-Founder at Draw Days Tel-Aviv, IUA and Echo

Eugene Proskulikov

Communication expert

Design of social, corporate, and business relations by developing and implementing long-term communication strategies and ad hoc campaigns, based on data-driven analyst, creative approach, and coherent content policy

17 years of practice in communications as a strategist, analyst, copywriter, and marketing expert. Provided services for about 200 international and Ukrainian brands in various industries

Mykyta Khodakivskyi

Co-founder of IUA

An independent international expert that has been in software development, in particular, in cross-application development projects in global e-payments, eCommerce and FINTECH for nearly 15 years

Founder of Paris-based DevteamRadar.com, he runs consultancy and software development projects to assure successful launches for new startups and SaaS businesses

Buyers Tour:Furniture and Interior Design Industries in Ukraine


05.02 - 08.02.2019


As for the Export Strategy of Ukraine 2017 - 2021, presented by the Ministry of Economy and Trade of Ukraine, the IT and creative industries (services) are one of the seven key directions. Moreover, the Ukrainian Furniture market is a fast-growing segment of the economy which augments 14% annually. That is why Architects & Designers Buyers Tour was a well-time event in terms of Ukrainian Export Strategy implementation and further policy adoption.



  • Deep dive into Ukrainian Furniture Industry and Interior Design Ecosystem.
  • Present Ukraine`s export capabilities in the sector of architecture and design
  • Lay the groundwork for long-term business relations between Israeli and Ukrainian enterprises in the sphere
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of the Ukrainian market niche.

Results/goals reached:

  • 10 - 15 participants, architects, developers and design businesses from Israel;
  • 20 - 40 B2B meetings in Kyiv and its region;
  • 60% of participants report increased business linkages with businesses in Ukraine;
  • 40 new business contacts established during the trade mission;
  • 5000 of target audience reached by the media campaign in Israel;
  • 8 B2B itineraries company-specific developed.
Study tour“Exploring Israeli FoodTech Industry”


29.10. - 02.11.2019


With expertise in biotech, food e-commerce and ingredient innovations, Israel holds its position as one of the biggest food tech communities globally. At the same time, Kormotech is the leading pet food producer in Ukraine. Therefore, we have found an opportunity for promising cooperation through sharing experiences with high-tech and family companies, innovation, and R&D сenters.


  • Deeper insight into the Israeli market niche.
  • Discover the hottest technologies, get to know innovative approaches in production, business development and sales strategies on an international scale.
  • Expand and strengthen the network.
  • Sharing experience and learning from real successful cases.

Results/goals reached:

  • 7 B2B meetings with key industry companies in Israel;
  • Bringing to negotiations with 3 Israeli companies.