President Poroshenko says Ukraine needs anti-corruption court
with representative offices in regions and a special anti-corruption chamber in the Supreme Court “in the nearest future.” Speaking on 112 TV, he urged Rada factions to support a bill for anti-corruption court and said money is allocated in the 2018 state budget
• Exports of IT services increased by 18.3% during the first half of this year, to $1.3 billion, compared with the same period last year, according to the European Business Association. At the same time, tax revenues from IT grew by 33%. Employment in Ukraine’s top 50 IT companies grew by 7%.
• GE Transportation, the largest producer of diesel-electric locomotives in North America, will work with Ukrzaliznytsia to modernize the state railroad’s rolling stock, Prime Minister Groysman writes on his Facebook page. Jamie Miller, president of the Chicago-based company, met on Tuesday in Kyiv with President Poroshenko. Ukraine’s only locomotive manufacturer is in the secessionist controlled portion of Luhansk. The Prime Minister wrote: “We've agreed that local content will be at least 40%, which means that our enterprises will receive orders, and workers will have work and decent wages. This will be strategic cooperation with General Electric.”
• In an indicator of small business activity, sales of new commercial vehicles through September increased by 1.5 times year-over-year, hitting 8,312 units, according to Ukrautoprom.
• Ukraine International Airlines has won permission to fly three times a week Kyiv to Guangzhou, China, according to Ukraine’s State Aviation Service. The airline has not announced when it will start flights to Guangzhou, the Pearl River trading center formerly known as Canton.
• With Chinese companies about to build a bridge across the Dnipro, a cement highway to the Black Sea, and deeper Ukrainian ports, First Vice Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv hailed China’s investment in transportation infrastructure at a Ukraine Silk Road Trade Forum held Wednesday at Kyiv’s Hyatt Hotel. Kubiv who traveled to Beijing in May for a Chinese “Belt and Road” aid summit, noted that a China to Europe freight train service started this year running through Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
Kharkiv International Airport is boosting security measures in face of a threat by the European Aviation Safety Agency to close the airspace over much of eastern Ukraine, the airport's press service told UNIAN. Ukraine has given arguments against expanding existing air traffic restrictions in eastern Ukraine.
• Ukraine invited Canada to build an ammunition factory, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said after talks Tuesday in Kyiv with Canada’s National Defense Minister, Harjit Singh Sajjan. Canada’s Magnum and Britain’s Stiletto Systems Ltd. are proposing to build a ammunition plant with an annual capacity of up to 100 million NATO and Soviet caliber bullets. The project could cost $50 million and take two years.
• A group of senior Black Sea grain traders who left Louis Dreyfus at the end of August plan to launch a new firm targeting the Ukrainian market, Reuters reports. Former Louis Dreyfus Global Head of Grains David Ohayon will lead the company from Geneva and former head of Ukraine Lamprakis Lazos will lead activities in Ukraine and hire more staff here, Reuters sources said.
• The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or EBRD will loan $25 million to Astarta to build sugar and grain storage facilities. Located in Poltava and Khmelnytsky regions, the project has a total cost of $83 million. The EBRD website reports: "The project involves the construction and acquisition of six grain storage facilities with a total capacity of 480,000 tons and the construction of one sugar storage facility with a total storage capacity of 50,000 tons.”
• The World Bank has detailed key principles for a farm land market in Ukraine: allowing individuals, companies, municipalities and the state to buy and sell land; banks can own foreclosed land temporarily, but they need to liquidate via e-auction within a certain time frame. The Bank also calls for a ban on foreign ownership; minimum price; temporary maximum size limit of land ownership for individuals and companies; and limits on concentration ownership or control. The Bank said the average rental price of farm land per hectare is $37 in Ukraine, compared to $195 in France, $219 in Germany, $279 in Bulgaria, and $672 in the Netherlands. Calling for an end to the 15-year-old ban on land sales, the Bank said: "The moratorium on agriculture land sales is a major impediment to attracting investment and unlocking productivity in Ukraine's agricultural sector."
• Through September, Ukraine has exported 19 percent more poultry meat -- 212,052 tons – compared to the same period last year, the State Fiscal Service reports. During the same period, pork exports nearly tripled.
• Ukraine has exported 11.3 million tons of grain crops since the beginning of 2017-2018 marketing year, a figure almost unchanged from the same period last year. But the mix of grains is shifting. Wheat exports are down 10 percent, to 6.48 million tons. Barley exports are unchanged at 3.2 million tons. Corn exports have almost doubled, to 1.2 million tns, according to the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection.
• Ukraine produced 309,800 tons of sugar from 2.35 million tons of sugar beets as of Monday, according to Ukrstukor, the National Association of Sugar Producers. This implies a sugar extraction rate of 13.2%. There are 35 sugar factories operating in the country.
• Prime Minister Groysman announced "motivating" laws aimed at doubling GDP growth next year. He told a government meeting on Wednesday: “We are seeing GDP growth, but we can double it by making right economic decisions.”
In a program open to foreign drug makers, Ukraine is budgeting the equivalent of $40 million next year for the Affordable Medicines program. Prime Minister Groysman told the Cabinet that the list of medicines will be expanded.
• Naftogaz reports a 21 percent increase in net profit in the first half of the year to 23.3 billion hryvnias ($870 million), the state-run energy company. A reform to bring Naftogaz's prices in line with the market helped it make a profit in 2016 for the first time in five years, Reuters notes.
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