• TE Connectivity, a US-multinational formerly known as Tyco Electronics, plans to build a second plant in Ivano Frankivsk’s Khryplyn Industrial-Investment Zone, according to the city’s mayor Ruslan Martsinkov. The new plant would employ 500 workers, expanding the company’s payroll by 50 percent. The Khryplyn park also hosts a washing machine factory of Electrolux, the Swedish appliance company, and Hyrych, a plastic recycling company. Khryplyn, an eastern suburb of Ivano Frankivsk, is 15 minutes by truck from the city’s international airport and five minutes from the H-10 highway and Poland, a 4-hour drive to the west.
• Ukraine's exports to the EU grew by 23% in the first six months, President Poroshenko told the Rada on Thursday. He said the EU share of Ukraine’s trade is now 40 percent.
• President Poroshenko expects Ukraine's GDP growth to accelerate from 1.8% in 2017 to 4% in 2020. He said Ukraine's GDP has been growing six quarters in a row, following 14 quarters of decline. He urged Rada members to help transforming “today's sluggish stir up of GDP into the quick and consistent uplift, which is called stable development.”
• Poroshenko said a key factor for growth will be to implement the IMF economic reform program. He told the Rada: "Healthcare, pension and education reforms would help attracting investment and increasing economic growth….We must implement the IMF program, without which Ukraine would become extremely vulnerable, especially, taking into account the fact that the peak of payments on external liabilities is in 2019."
• Blockchain technology was used for the first time by Ukraine’s justice ministry to carry out trial auctions on Wednesday, part of an effort to improve transparency in government transactions, Reuters reports. The ministry is using the technology to auction seized assets and plans to transfer state property and land registries to the platform by the end of the year, deputy minister Serhiy Petukhov said. Global technology firm the Bitfury Group is working with Ukraine to put a wide range of government data on a blockchain platform, which is a ledger of transactions that permanently records and tracks assets or transactions.
• Italian and Chinese engineers are designing a EU-standard refrigerator factory for the KTD Group in Cherkassy, 200 km south of Kyiv. The plant will open next spring and produce refrigerators for export and for the local market.
• French retailer Auchan will almost double its footprint in Ukraine by purchasing the Caravan hypermarkets network. Auchan has 11 stores in Ukraine. Caravan has nine stores in five regions. Auchan predicts that the merger will double its payroll, to about 7,000. The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a UAH 400 million ($15 million) eight-year loan to Auchan Retail to support its expansion program in Ukraine.
• Last year’s cut in tariffs on used import cars resulted in the purchase in August of 5,185 used imported cars – 19 times the level of Aug. 2016. Used imports now account for almost half of first time purchases of cars in Ukraine, according to Ukrautoprom, the auto industry association.
• Ukraine’s depressed auto making industry has almost doubled its production so far this year, hitting a total 4,125 cars from January through August. Talks are underway for the installation in Ukraine of major car plants. All of Ukraine’s neighbors, with the exception of Moldova, have large auto making industries.
• Ukraine should prepare for 5G mobile communications and follow Europe by freeing the 700 MHz band from TV broadcasting, Volodymyr Korsun, director of the State Center of Radio Frequencies, told Novoye Vremya. He said: “This range is almost released from television broadcasting in Europe. We need to move in this direction, and the Ukrainian State Center of Radio Frequencies does everything possible for this.” On 3G, he said that since 2015 this standard has been launched in all regional capitals. Mobile operators have four more years to cover the next layer of cities, those with more than 10,0000 people.
• China’s Xinjiang Beiken Energy Engineering Co. has signed contracts with Ukrgazvydobuvannya to drill 24 gas wells in Poltava and Kharkiv regions, the company's press service reported. The contracts, totaling $75 million, result from tenders announced last year. Work is to start after October, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
• Ukrnafta workers picketed the Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday protesting that the government is not renewing state oil company’s drilling and production permits. Nine permits have expired, threatening 20% of the oil and 16% of the gas that Ukrnafta produces annually. In 2018, another 27 licenses will expire. In 2019 another 22. If problem is not solved, then Ukrnafta, Ukraine’s largest oil producer will lose more than 80% of annual oil production. The holdup revolves around negotiating payment terms for the Finance Ministry’s claim for $13 billion in unpaid taxes.
• Towns and cities have received almost one third more in tax revenues so far this year than last year. Hennadiy Zubko, Minister for Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities, posted on his Facebook page: “Financial decentralization is being carried out. A total of UAH 120.7 billion ($7.4 billion) were transferred to the general fund of local budgets in January-August 2017…the increase in revenues amounted to 30.8% .”
• Ukroboronprom is showcasing high precision weapons at MSPO 2017 in Kielce, Poland through Sunday. The arms fair is considered to be third in Europe, after Farnborough in London and Le Bourget in Paris. On display are weapons that Ukraine produces jointly with Poland, including the Pirat laser-guided anti-tank missile system which has a range of 2.5 kilometers. It is produced by Ukraine’s Luch and Poland's Mesko.
• Organizers of the Canton Fair, China’s largest trade fair, expect 2,000 Ukrainian business visitors, including representatives of 90 Ukrainian companies, Xinhua reports. The fair will be held in Oct. 15 to Nov. 4 in Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton.
For comments and story ideas, please email UBJ Editor in Chief James Brooke at email@example.com