Ukraine

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6:42 AM Wednesday, August 22, 2018
UBJ.am
UBJ.am Thursday, July 12
Economic growth looking better; Ukraine overtakes Russia in innovation; PM urges parliament to vote in favour of IMF proposals on anticorruption court; Ukraine and Russia to build new nuclear fuel plant; Export of labour becomes primary source of currency
image/svg+xml Kyiv Lutsk Rivne Zhytomyr Lviv Ternopil Khmelnytskyi Uzhgorod Chernivtsi Vinnytsia Chernigiv Sumy Kharkiv Poltava Cherkasy Kirovohrad Lugansk Dnipropetrovsk Donetsk Zaporizhzhia Mykolaiv Odesa Kherson Simferopol Sevastopol Ivano- Frankivsk

Economic ministry improves forecast GDP growth. The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has projected economic growth at 3% in 2019.It has also upped its forecast of the country's GDP growth in 2018 from 3% to 3.2%. Forecasts are 3% in 2019, 3.8% in 2020, and 4.1% in 2021. However, the inflation outlook for 2018 worsened from 9% to 9.9%. Prices may rise by 7.4% in 2019 and drop by 5% in 2021, UNIAN reports.

Ukraine overtakes Russia in innovation ranking. Ukraine has moved up seven spots from a year ago to 43rd place in the ranking of innovative countries, overtaking Russia for the first time, according to the website of the Global Innovation Index. The top five innovation countries include Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Singapore. The rating is based on the analysis of many indicators of innovation activity in countries. In 2018, Ukraine's index is 38.5. Last year, Ukraine was in 50th place with an index of 37.6, Ukrinform reports.

Prime Minister urges MPs to adopt amendment on appeal to Anti-Corruption Court law.Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman has called on the Verkhovna Rada deputies to adopt on July 12 the amendment proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the appeal to the law on the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine (HACC). "I ask all parliamentarians to come to parliament tomorrow and vote a very important amendment to the new Anti-Corruption Court," the Prime Minister said during a government meeting on Wednesday. He stressed that this would allow everyone to be put on an equal footing before the law. "This is very important for the Ukrainian
society," (Interfax-Ukraine)

Prime Minister highlights anti-smuggling successes. At yesterdays meeting of the cabinet the Prime Minister announced that as a result of government action average, customs clearance revenues had risen by 50%. "Yesterday, tenders for the purchase of scanners were completed. The procurement volume was UAH 1.2 billion at the initial stage savings of UAH600 million. In May when shadow schemes were in force, customs clearance of, for example, toys were $5.5 thousand per container. When anti-smuggling actions were introduced customs clearance of the same goods amounted to $8.8 thousand. Customs clearance of shoes were $8 thousand per container, now - $14 thousand dollars will be transferred to the budget ".The Prime Minister added that every honest customs official will be protected and all attempts at bringing back shadow schemes will be futile.

Firtash’s plant in Zaporizhzhya returned to state ownership. The Zaporizhzhya region business court has returned the assets of the Zaporizhzhya titanium-magnesium mill to state ownership. It sustained in full the case made by the head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) against Tolexis Trading Ltd, an offshore company allegedly controlled by Dmytro Firtash, because of alleged embezzlement of funds meant for modernization and their removal via offshore companies.

Ukraine is considering renewed cooperation with Russia on building a nuclear fuel plant. The Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry has sent a proposal to this effect to Rosatom, Interfax-Ukraine reports. It states: "Taking into account the existing high level of cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, the prospects for increasing cooperation, as well as the need to resume a number of joint projects, in particular, the project to launch TVEL production in Ukraine, we propose holding a meeting in Brussels from July 9 to July 12.” Before the annexation of Crimea by Russia, Ukraine planned the construction of a plant in Kirovohrad region to produce nuclear fuel based on the technology developed by the Russian fuel company TVEL. The total cost of the construction of the plant was estimated at USD 450 million. In February 2016, Ukraine's State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate turned down the application for a license for the construction of the fuel plant. TVEL has reiterated its readiness to return to the project on the same terms.

Government approves 288 more regional development projects. The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the second list of investment programs and regional development projects, which will be financed by the State Regional Development Fund in 2018. Vice Prime Minister Hennadiy Zubko announced that "288 projects worth UAH 1.8 billion…will be spent on the construction of kindergartens, schools, medical institutions in the regions, the development of sports infrastructure, the restoration of road infrastructure, water supply and drainage facilities, thermal modernization, etc. The vast majority of projects will be completed in 2018". The total amount of financing by the State Regional Development Fund for 2018 amounts to UAH 6 billion.

Roadmap for green bonds market to be developed. The State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine (SAFE) has hosted a roundtable discussion dedicated to the introduction of the green bonds market in Ukraine.In synergy with partners, it will work on the drafting of a road map for the creation of green bonds market in Ukraine. The head of SAFE, Serhii Savchuk, stressed that the involvement of powerful financial instruments will accelerate the achievement of national targets: 11% of clean energy in final energy consumption by 2020 and 25% of green energy in the total primary energy supply in 2035. The participants agreed to continue work on developing a package of draft laws of primary and secondary legislation on the guidelines for green bonds, reducing investment barriers, and encouraging attraction of green investments to Ukraine.

Export of labor becomes a primary source of currency, 112.ua reports. During Q1 2018, according to the National Bank of Ukraine NBU), Ukraine received through official channels (bank accounts and payment systems) USD 2.6 billion, which is 34% up on 2017, and 75% more than for a similar period of 2015. Experts believe that from 30 to 50% of the official amount also arrives through unofficial channels. Poland is the main sources, having pushed Russia into the second place. In Q1 2018 Ukraine received USD 865 million from Poland, and USD 300 million from Russia. Salaries in Poland, even for guest workers, are 40% more than in Russia. A second factor is the ban on the operation of Russian payment systems on the territory of Ukraine, and therefore some guest workers now simply carry money home in “their pocket". In Q1 2018 Ukraine received USD 192 million dollars from the US from Ukrainian migrant workers, up 29% y-o-y. This reflects the fact that many Ukrainians have received legal work in the United State, particularly IT specialists, but also in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and even in space exploration. The increasing inflow of currency from Turkey and the United Arab Emirates has also been observed.

Draft law on Agreement on Financing the Danube Transnational Programme agreed. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved a draft law on Financing of the Danube Transnational Programme. When it comes into effectm it will provide EUR 5 million for the development of the Ukrainian part of the Danube Region, in particular in Chernivtsi, Odesa, Ivano-Frankivsk and Zakarpattya regions. Projects under this financing will be the development of innovations and infrastructure, implementation of energy efficiency, ecology and effective governance, the government portal reports.
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