A focus on Ukraine by ICE

What is the macro-economic situation on the Ukrainian market and what opportunities does it still hold in store for the furniture industry. We talked to Carlo Ferrari, Director of the ICE Agency in Kiev

A historical reference market for Italian companies in the furniture industry, among others, in recent years Ukraine has witnessed changes and revolutions – both economic and social – of international significance. Four years after the events of Maidan, numerous steps have been taken by the Ukrainian government in order to generally reform the country and thus make the market increasingly attractive to foreign investors. The result is a 2.5% increase in GDP in the first half of 2017 and a further rise of 3.2% forecast for 2018.

«The Ukrainian market remains a currently and potentially important market for Italian exports, in terms of consumer goods as well as capital goods and related technology, taking into account the country’s potential in terms of its size, resources and the many gaps that it still needs to bridge – explains Carlo Ferrari – Signs of the stabilization of the economic situation may be a valid reason to predict that there will be a modest recovery in market consumption and that there may be reasonable growth in the medium-term». The data recorded by the Statistics Service of Ukraine for the first half of 2017 shows an increase in both exports (+ 24.2%) and global imports (+ 29.9%) compared to the same period in the previous year, with Italy ranked fourth – with 5.7% – among Ukraine’s main customers, and ninth (with a 3% share) among the leading supplier countries. Indeed, furniture is one of the main Italian exports to Ukraine (around 5.4% of total exports. «Italian products are very popular on the domestic market and are perceived as one of the most representative elements of Italian lifestyle, which influences consumer choices even in Ukraine – continues the Director of ICE – Furthermore, Italy’s market share in certain furniture categories (such as kitchens) is much higher than the sector average. Considering the market segment in which Italian furniture is positioned, namely the upper and top end, it is important to underline that even with a reduction in numbers, Italian products remain a point of reference for the most demanding customers, confirming Italy’s position as the major supplier of high-end products».

ICE provides numerous services in Ukraine to support companies «by facilitating their understanding of the Ukrainian market and helping them to establish roots in the country by identifying commercial partners and even promoting products through events designed to meet specific customer needs».

ICE – Kiev