September 12, 2018 / 8:37 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-IKEA to open first store in Ukraine next year

(Adds quotes, details, background)

Sept 12 (Reuters) - Swedish retailer IKEA will open its first store in Ukraine next year because of the country’s improved business climate, a senior executive said on a visit to Kiev on Wednesday.

President Petro Poroshenko cheered the move as a vote of confidence in Ukraine, which is battling to shake off an image of entrenched corruption that has long deterred to foreign investors.

“It’s the right moment for IKEA to be here, when we look at the business climate and the opportunities,” Stefan Vanoverbeke, IKEA chief executive for southeastern Europe, told reporters when announcing plans to open next year.

He did not specify the size of the investment in Ukraine or say how many stores would open.

The announcement follows the entry of low-cost carrier Ryanair into Ukraine in March after initially walking away from the deal in 2017. “I think that the investment boom that is taking place today is a bright sign of confidence in Ukraine by global investors,” Ukraine’s president said.

Reporting by Matthias Williams and Natalia Zinets Editing by Edmund Blair

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