Written by: Anita Lišková & Todd Shaw
Photo by: Martin Loew
The magnificent architecture of Kiev (also known as Kyiv) is frequently imposing, giving the city grandeur and attesting to its heritage. On the other hand, the Ukrainian capital sparkles with light and airiness, and visitors will be tempted to explore both its history and its modernity.
director, CK Maximatour
Favorite hotel: Hotel Dnepr, 13 Frunze street, tel.: +380 47 247 2360
Favorite restaurant: Za Dvoma Zaytsiamy, 34 Andriyivsky Descent, tel.: +380 44 229 7972
There are more restaurants that I like, and they are much more luxurious than anywhere else in Europe. In Ukraine people place much more emphasis on luxury.
Favorite night club: Millenium, European Square, tel.: +380 44 229 8202
Favorite attraction: Hydropark during the summer – an entertainment island by Dněpr river. Sauna “banja” in the winter.
Advice: Give yourself an extra day to the business trip and “choroscho poguljajte” (have a good walk)…
sales manager for Eastern Europe and Asia, Škoda AutoFavorite hotel: Premier Palace, 5-7/29 T. Schevchenko Blvd., tel.: +380 44 244 1202 Good level of services.
Favorite restaurant: A stylish boat anchored at the Dnepr river embankment. Folklore, music, and super food.
Favorite night club: Moda Bar, Kreschatynska str. Pier 6, tel.: +380 44 416 7388
Favorite attraction: Lavra, Sofijskaja ploschad, Andreevskij spusk – historic area full of artists and galleries
Best-kept secret: Cars are stolen less often than in Prague; evening walks in the city are safe.
Favorite shop: Mandarín Plaza, Bassenaya 4, tel.: +380 44 238 6446
Advice: Pay with local currency or card. When paying with foreign currency you will get a poor “on-the-spot” exchange rate.
director, Czech center KievFavorite restaurant: Viola, Shevchenko av., tel.: +380 44 235 3751
Favorite night club: Art club 44, 44 Khreschatik Str., tel.: +380 44 229 4137
Favorite attraction: A walk along the Andrejevski uzviz – an old little street with souvenir vendors and unique atmosphere.
Best-kept secret: During Saturday and Sunday, the main boulevard Chrescatyk is closed for cars and changes into one big pedestrian zone. Street vendors, refreshments, karaoke, young people playing the guitar – in short, it’s full of “folky” amusements.
Favorite shop: Market, Besarabska Ploshchad 2, tel.: +380 44 224 2317
Fruit, vegetables, spices, flowers, meat, fish – everything fresh and high quality. Friendly shop assistants, but clever businessmen.
Advice: While driving, it may first appear that there are no traffic rules, so be careful. During rush hours there is really heavy traffic, so it is better to walk in the center.
|Basic factsPopulation: 2,625,000
Government: Republic. Gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Time zone: GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz.
Commercial Information: Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 33 vul. Velyka Zhytomyrska , 01601 Kyiv (tel: +380 44 212 2911; fax: +380 44 212 3353; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ucci.org.ua); Ministry of Foreign Affairs (www.mfa.gov.ua/eng/); Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Lvovska pl. 8, 254655 Kyiv (tel/fax: +380 44 212 0005)
Where on the web?
For further information, we suggest the following websites dedicated to Kiev:
http://www.executiveplanet.com/business-etiquette/Russia.html – insights into business practices of this dominant neighbor may prove useful in Ukraine-based dealings
http://www.uazone.net/Kiev.html – in-depth and useful info on the city, everything from accommodation to sight-seeing
http://www.kiss.svitonline.com/ukr_customs.htm – more information on the local customs and practices, in business and beyond
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/europe/ukraine/ – the people at Lonely Planet offer a decidedly touristy take on the Ukranian capital
http://www.travelnotes.org/Europe/ukraine.htm – a good jumping-off point, with lots of useful links
http://cities.com/country.asp?selectcountry=Ukraine – another good portal page, with info available on many Ukrainian cities
· A centralized authority extending back for centuries has left a legacy of bureaucracy, and an unwillingness to take initiative.
· Ukrainians can be shrewd negotiators. It is important to be very responsive to one’s negotiating partner, even over small details.
· Given the absence of a strong, transparent legal infrastructure, in the end your deal may depend on the trust you have painstakingly built over many months or years.
· Face-to-face meetings are the norm, with little business conducted over the phone. Business cards are de rigueur as are firm handshakes upon meeting.
Commerce & industry
· Once a powerful force on the European scene, Ukraine’s fate in modern times has been decided in far-off capitals. As a result, modern Ukrainian history, for the most part, has been defined by foreign occupation.
· Ukraine has large areas of very fertile land, which gave it its reputation as the “bread basket” of the former Soviet Union. Grain, sugar beet, and vegetables are the main crops, while a high proportion of land is devoted to livestock farming. The country is also blessed with mineral resources, particularly coal in the huge Donbass fields, as well as iron ore, manganese and titanium.
· Heavy industries still dominate the country’s manufacturing economy – metalworking, machinery and transport equipment, and chemicals are the most important. A large proportion of industry was previously devoted to military production but this has sharply declined since the demise of the Soviet Union and drastic cuts in defense budgets.
· Annual GDP growth during the last four years has been between 4 and 6 per cent, while inflation has been reduced to a manageable 5 per cent. Officially, unemployment is 4 per cent of the workforce, but a large “grey” economy has evolved which some estimates put at half the size of the legitimate economy. Ukraine’s major trading partners are the Russian Federation, China, Belarus, Turkmenistan and Germany.