•Ukravtodor and a Chinese infrastructure construction firm signed a deal to cooperate on a project that entails construction of a bypass road around Kremenchug and a bridge across the Dnieper River, according to multiple sources. Ukravtodor's boss, Slawomir Nowak, said the major industrial city generates about 4 percent of Ukraine's national revenue. He added that the new bridge will make the Dnieper Basin region more enticing to investors and generate new jobs.
•Ukraine had a banner month for agricultural exports in January, sending $1.3 billion worth of its bounty abroad. The whopping 54 percent year-over-year increase marks a four-year record high, according to Unian and the Agricultural Ministry's public affairs office.
•USAID on Friday kicked off a four-year, $23 million program to transform Ukraine's financial sector, Interfax Ukraine reported. The project is designed to reinforce the reforms that Ukraine has undertaken and will offer assistance in a handful of areas. They are as follows: increasing confidence in banks, improving access to financing in the non-banking fiscal sector, increasing the share of e-finance and reforming the pension system.
•The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization forecasts that this year's wheat harvest in Ukraine will be about 25 million tons, down 4 percent from the previous year.
•Ukraine and Germany will hold a bilateral business forum in Berlin in the second half of the year, Interfax Ukraine reported. A task force will be arranged in the near future to lay the groundwork for the event. During the announcement of the news, Prime Minister Volodomyr Groysman praised the opening of the German-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, saying it will enhance cooperation.
•The World Trade Organization decided to create a special panel to deal with Ukraine's complaint over Russia's hindrance of goods making their way through Russia from Ukraine to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. In listing the countries that support the creation of the panel, a Ukrainian deputy minister wrote on Facebook that “Russia's aggression against Ukraine is reckless disregard of all requirements and rules of international trade.”
•Now that Ryanair has confirmed its impending arrival in the Ukrainian market, the European budget carrier par excellence is already talking about expansion. In an interview with Novoe Vremya, CEO David O'Brien said Ryanair could add as many as 50 destinations from Ukraine when it's all said and done.
•State-run Ukrgazbank is drawing interest from foreign investors and could become the first government financial institution to be auctioned off, Novoe Vremya reported. Finance Minister Alexander Danilyuk's update included an affirmation of the government's readiness to sell the bank, which was nationalized in 2009.
•Ukraine has dropped off the most recent list of the world's top 10 steel-producing countries, multiple sources reported. The No. 10 spot now belongs to Italy, and Ukraine sits one place below.
•The Infrastructure Ministry plans to open 40 new, free electric vehicle charging stations in the country this year, Novoe Vremya reported.
For comments and news tips, please email UBJ AM editor David Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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