•China's Huawei Technologies, the world's No. 3 seller of smartphones, intends to open its research center in Kyiv by the end of the year, according to the Economic Development and Trade Ministry. A company official said Ukraine is capable of making great strides in the digital realm, but it needs to use radio frequencies better, implement 4G communications and simplify licensing of the micro base stations that are widely used in the EU.
•The Rada ratified an agreement with the European Union to bring Ukraine into the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises program through 2020, multiple sources reported. The $2.3 billion program aims to create favorable conditions for countries to develop SMEs. “The COSME program not only relaxes access of Ukrainian entrepreneurs to the European market, but it gives a chance to establish partnership relations with foreign colleagues,” lawmaker Oleksiy Poroshenko said.
•Ukraine's central bank estimated that the country may lose up to $ 2 billion in forex revenue if the commercial blockade with the occupied Donbas continues, according to Unian.
•In the year since the EU-Ukraine association agreement took effect, on Jan. 1 2016, Ukrainian exports to the European Union have risen nearly 4 percent, showing that the bilateral free-trade agreement is benefiting Ukraine, the EU delegation to Ukraine reported on its website Wednesday. In contrast, Ukraine's exports to the rest of the world declined 9 percent over that span.
•One of Ukraine's highest priorities is ensuring the reliable and secure movement of goods along the Europe-Asia route, which it plans to achieve by creating digital corridors, Interfax Ukraine reported. "The digital corridor entails the use of modern information systems that provide constant monitoring of cargo flows, a tool for electronic cooperation by foreign operators with transport and shipping companies and public oversight agencies, and data exchange in the quantities required for the job," Infrastructure Minister Volodomyr Omelyan said.
•Government-owned Ukrgasbank will put about 180 properties worth more than $66 million up for sale through electronic auctions, Interfax Ukraine reported. "We believe that now is the right time for the sale of assets. The country is showing signs of macroeconomic stability, there's more business activity and the market is ready for new projects. We sense an interest in banking sector assets from foreign and local investors alike," said Dmytro Havrylenko, Ukrainian head of HLL, which is consulting for the bank on the asset sale.
•Ukrainian steelmakers boosted their January output 8.5 percent from the same month the previous year, and the country held steady in 10th place in the World Steel Association international rankings, Unian reported.
•The Cabinet decided to continue recapitalization of the nationalized PrivatBank with an additional $360 million influx, Unian reported.
•Ukrainian telecom firms saw their revenue in 2016 rise almost 11 percent from 2015, to $2.3 billion, according to the State Statistics Service.
•Natural gas prices for industrial consumers will dip 7 percent in March, Naftogaz announced, according to multiple sources.
•Airport officials in the western city of Rivne are in talks with
LOT Polish Airlines about the possibility of introducing service to
Poland, Ukrinform reported. The airport will compile data on customer
usage, and the carrier will decide whether projections would justify
the new route.
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