Ukraine: Reinforcing Public-Private Dialogue in the Grain SectorUkraine: Reinforcing Public-Private Dialogue in the Grain Sector

Since 2009, FAO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have been working in Ukraine to create open dialogue between the public and private stakeholders in the grain sector. Ukraine has a major role as a global grain exporter and it still has potential to grow, which makes transparency and efficiency key sector improvements. FAO and EBRD recognized the importance of facilitating open dialogue between the private and the public sector stakeholders in the grain sector. In 2011 they commenced the joint project Reinforcing Public-Private Dialogue in the Ukrainian Grain Sector with primary activities of (i) setting up a consultation process, and (ii) providing continued support for improving transparency in key data collection systems on the grain sector in Ukraine.

Results: Since 2010, the EBRD/FAO-led Ukrainian Grain Working Group (WG) has provided a platform for policy dialogue. Thanks to the WG, policy transparency and predictability have improved, in turn increasing investor confidence. The platform, now run by the industry, has demonstrated that targeted policy dialogue between the industry and the Government can improve the business climate and bring about specific sector reforms. A tangible result has been the discontinuation of past practices of imposing damaging export restrictions. This has helped reduce volatility in the business environment as well as corruption that often accompanies such measures. Reduced export volatility has also helped global trade and importing countries in particular.

Specifically, the Ukraine Working Group, which has historically focused on grain exports, can claim major results: (a) a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ukrainian Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food and the grain industry that requires the Ministry to provide a prior notification to and to engage in consultation with the industry in case of possible export restrictions; and (b) increased efficiency in state testing requirements to certify grain without delays, greatly facilitating grain transportation and exports in peak times.

Topics: Since the first meeting, the WG has officially met over a dozen times. Meetings of the WG are often chaired at a deputy and/or first deputy minister level and recently topics have included international and domestic grain market perspectives; Ukraine’s grain market needs and export potential for wheat and corn; possible export restrictions; needs for a more efficient grain transportation system (using unit train shipment by Nibulon, an existing EBRD client, as an example); shortage of grain wagons at the Ukrainian Railways; reduced state testing and certification requirements for grain; and pre- and post-harvest financing options. Although the parties of the dialogue could not always agree, discussions have been institutionalized, open and transparent.

Members: Private-public sector platforms are industry-driven, with the participation of all stakeholders (including relevant government ministries/agencies, market participants and IFIs). International organizations – namely the EBRD, FAO and the World Bank – have played key roles in bringing all stakeholders together and helping the start of the dialogue. The objective has been to improve the business environment by removing jointly identified policy obstacles to trade and investment in the sector. The forum gives strong voice to private sector views and concerns in an objective manner, while advancing standards for public governance. Demonstration effect: An important indicator of success is the demonstration effect. In May 2013, Ukraine’s dairy industry representatives and the government requested that EBRD lead the establishment of a similar Working Group for the dairy sector in Ukraine. Public-private partnership is also planned to start in Egypt following up on recommendations of the meeting in Cairo in June 2013. The latter was an example of how success from the transition region can directly be transported to support policy reform in the new transition region SEMED. A Letter of Intent was signed in Cairo by the EBRD, FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture. The new public-private platform in Egypt will focus on grain import inefficiencies and improvements of trade logistics through private sector investments. Similar private-public platform initiating meetings are also planned in Serbia.

Related Meetings
document title
12th meeting of Working Group on Ukrainian Grain Market, Kiev, April 2013 view
2nd Ukrainian Grain Congress, October 2011
4th International Forum for Agribusiness in Ukraine, March 2012 view
A Step Forward for the Ukrainian Grain Sector, Kiev, January 2011 view
Ninth Annual Black Sea Grain Conference, Kiev, Ukraine, April 2012 view
Third Ukrainian Grain Congress, October 2012 view
Ukrainian Working Group visits FAO and Naples, March 2012 view
Related news
document title
EBRD arranges 125 million for Ukrainian grain sector, December 2012 view
EBRD continues to support Ukrainian grain sector development, October 2011 view
EBRD grains and oilseeds roundtable, 28 October 2010 view
EBRD lends USD 50 million to Ukraine grain operator Nibulon, June 2010 view
EBRD supports grain sector by lending 50 million to ACTI Ukraine, Sept 2012 view
EBRD supports Ukraine grain sector development, January 2011 view
FAO and EBRD assist Ukrainian grain operators, December 2009 view
FAO has strong presence at third Ukrainian Grain Congress, October 2012 view
Option of grain trade between Ukraine and the EU, May 2009 view
Shaping more intense dialogue in Ukraine's grain sector, April 2009 view
the Fifth Ukrainian Grain Congress in Paris, 2014 view
Third Ukrainian Grain Congress, October 16-17, 2012 in Kiev view
Ukraine Grain Congress- results of the first round, November 2014 download
Ukraine joins AMIS at Market Information Group meeting, October 2012 view
Ukrainian Delegation Visits FAO and Naples, April 2012 view
Wheat sends food prices up, September 2010 view
Useful resources and websites
document title
Adam Smith Conferences view
AMIS view
APK Inform view
Black Sea Grain view
Ukraine: Grain Sector Review and Public Private Policy Dialogue (2010) view
Working Group member websites
document title
Agrarian Union of Ukraine view
Ministry of Agriculture and Food Policy of Ukraine view
Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine view
State Statistics Service of Ukraine view
Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation view
Ukrainian Grain Association view

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