•President Petro Poroshenko signed into law a bill ratifying Ukraine's participation in the EU program Competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises, Interfax Ukraine reported. The $2.3 billion program runs through 2020 and helps fund the development of small and medium-sized businesses. Ratification of the agreement will give Ukrainian businesses in both the public and private sectors access to financing from the program budget as well as from EU investment and venture funds.
•One of Europe’s largest budget airlines is expected on Wednesday to announce its entrance into the Ukrainian market, according to Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan. The report did not specify the airline, but it is likely Ryanair, which has been negotiating with Ukraine for months and recently heralded a major announcement involving Ukraine.
•The news just keeps getting better for Ukrainian airports and carriers. On the heels of rises in passenger traffic that made airports in Kharkiv and Kyiv among the biggest winners in Europe, the country experienced a 52 percent year-on-year surge in airline passenger traffic in the first two months of 2017, the government aviation agency reported.
•After weeks of delay, the executive board of the IMF will meet to consider the allocation of $1 billion to Ukraine. Last week, Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk visited IMF headquarters to discuss the country’s economic situation and future dealings with the agency.
•Ukraine sent more pork and poultry abroad in the first two months of this year than it did in the same time frame in 2016, according to the State Statistics Service. The 31,000 tons of poultry represented a 45 percent increase, while pork exports went up a robust 57 percent.
•Economic turnover between Ukraine and France has increased 36 percent, Ukrinform quoted Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin as saying. Klimkin added that the bulk of the new jobs created in Ukraine came courtesy of French investment.
•The Ukrainian Business Association is sponsoring a grant program that will allow 20 Ukrainian businesses to participate in this year’s Annual Investment Meeting, a premier global showcase for attracting investment. Oleksii Chuiev, the executive director of the association, said the offer targets medium-sized businesses and will cover half of the grant winners’ expenses in attending the Dubai forum. The application deadline is March 20.
•As of March 7, Ukraine had exported nearly 30 million tons of grain in the current agricultural year. In related news, spring planting has begun in southern Ukraine, and the country said the amount of cropland seeded with spring and winter grains this year will total 14.4 million hectares.
•A Japanese group that surveyed Ukraine's seaports said that the Black Sea port of Yuzhne has the greatest development potential, according to UkrAgroConsult. The report estimates that the four ports analyzed will see their annual commodities processing increase 3 percent and their container processing increase 7 percent.
•French company Air Liquide, a global leader in the industrial gas market, announced last week that it is ending operations in the breakaway areas of Ukraine's Donbas region, where it has a subsidiary, Air Liquide Yenakievo.
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