The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has been in Ukraine to look at the creation of an automotive cluster in Zaporozhye Oblast and the possibility of a further four clusters designed to improve transport links and logistics between automotive component suppliers. According to UNIDO, which had been invited by the Ukrainian automotive group Ukrautoprom, the gathering of suppliers in designated areas benefiting from state support would help develop the country as an automotive location in the coming years, writesVladislav Vorontnikov

Ukraine’s Ministry of Economic Development said the project would strengthen the position of small and medium-sized automotive suppliers enabling them to meet the needs of both domestic and foreign vehicle makers.

“I guess that in Ukraine, as well as in Slovenia, the cluster should be created in a form of non-profit partnership,” said UNIDO member Dusan Bushen, who is also director of the automotive cluster in Slovenia. “Its main part will be located in the territory of Zaporozhye Oblast. Thus, we will give impetus to the development and comprehensive support to small and medium-sized businesses, which are already working or will work in connection with Zaporizhia Automobile Plant (ZAP, pictured). Support can be very different. We will decide later on the specific areas, when we study the situation more carefully.”

UNIDO is planning the development of the cluster and will work with Ukraine authorities on its implementation.

"I think that the cluster must support investment in the development of production facilities, new solutions, so to help these enterprises to reach the world market, [and] to promote the training and development of personnel,” said Bushen. “There is a great scope for the support for institutions of UN.”

He said that, in addition, the cluster will provide ZAP and the SMEs gathered there with relationships with government as well as partners in other industries.

“All efforts taken within the cluster will increase through synergies,” said Bushen. “The goverment will not be able to ignore it and, conversely, it will support projects created inside the cluster.”

The new cluster was welcomed by the president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, who pointed out that Ukraine will be able to offer leading vehicle makers favorable conditions for cooperation. He invited companies to participate in this project.

"I sent a number of requests to the world's leading car manufacturers, including General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Daimler-Chrysler and Volkswagen, a proposal to deploy their business in our country,” said Yanukovych. “I hope that in the process of dialogue we can find suitable conditions that will satisfy both the representatives of major car producers and Ukraine government.”