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Business news from Ukraine

LARGE BUSINESSES SUPPORT NORMALIZATION OF FISCAL SERVICE AT MEETING WITH POROSHENKO

KYIV. May 26 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Heads of industrial enterprises and companies have assessed the actions and work of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine as unacceptable and threatening to the relative stabilization of tax payments and value added tax refunds for exported products.

A well-informed source has told Interfax-Ukraine that representatives of large business made their opinions known at a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday.

The source said that at a meeting organized by the European Business Association (EBA) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, around 200 top managers of the leading companies in the country were present.

The source said that representatives of large business expressed their dissatisfaction with the recent actions of the State Fiscal Service and appointments in the service. Poroshenko said there should be no hurry regarding the work of the new managers of the State Fiscal Service.

He called on businessmen to work honestly and openly, and that tax agencies should have a correct attitude towards companies working honestly.

One of those in attendance at the meeting – Director General of Zaporizhstal Rostyslav Shurma – said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine that the president the issue of disconnecting some large industrial companies from the automated VAT refunding system was discussed.

“Of course, the goal is good – to fight tax gaps. Unfortunately, the goal and mechanisms of fighting do not coincide. If there are problems in the tax system, make the system transparent and predictable for all. But the killing of enterprises, illegally taking away funds earned by them, would not settle the problems of the tax system mentioned by the country’s president,” he said.

He said that there are transparent producers, fair taxpayers, and Zaporizhstal and several dozen other large industrial companies with a perfect financial and industrial history are among them, adding the state should have a correct attitude towards them.

ECONOMY MINISTRY CALLS FOR BUSINESS PROPOSALSOVER MOVE FROM GOST TO EUROPEAN STANDARDS

KYIV. May 29 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Economic Development and Trade Ministry has called on businesses and all interested parties to participate in Ukraine’s switch to European and international standards, the ministry has reported on its website.

The ministry said that Ukraine’s membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the provisions of the Association Agreement with the EU foresee the adoption of international and European standards in the country as national standards with the synchronous scrapping of GOST (Soviet) standards drawn up before 1992. GOST standards which are currently in effect create extra technical barriers to trade and they will be scrapped this year under the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers.

The ministry said that GOST standards can be scrapped without being replaced to cut the risks to manufacturers, for example, due to GOST standards not being used, or only one or two companies use them, and there is no international or European equivalent (companies could design their own standard and use it).

Also, the ministry is to define GOST standards that should be replaced by relevant national standards, particularly those that are harmonized with international or regional standards. The ministry is to define national standards that are currently being designed, and international and European standards that could be passed as national ones.

The ministry said that sources of financing to create national standards (if there are no similar international or European standards) should be determined. The ministry said that the it will only order for the harmonization of national standards with European and international ones, in line with European practice.

According to the ministry, the national standards fund currently includes 29,600 documents, including 8,849 national standards harmonized with international and European ones and around 13,000 GOST standards designed before 1992.

EBRD TO STUDY INVESTMENT ATTRACTIVENESS OF UKRAINE’S WASTE MARKET IN SIX MONTH – MINISTRY

KYIV. May 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans in June 2015 to present a draft study of solid waste treatment in Ukraine to define opportunities for raising funds for the sustainable development of municipal solid waste treatment.

According to the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities Services, the decision was made after a meeting of representatives of the ministry and the bank to discuss implementing the project on May 27.

“The main directions of the project, its objectives and the ways of implementation will be presented. The term of the project implementation to study the investment attractiveness of solid waste treatment will be six months,” reads the report.

According to the ministry, it is expected that the participants in the research project realized by the EBRD will be representatives of the government and local authorities, businesses, and the general public.

As reported, in mid-October 2014 the director for solid waste recycling at Ukrecoresursy, a liquidated state-owned enterprise (Kyiv), Ara Safarian, said that the total volume of solid waste accumulated in Ukraine exceeds 11-12 million tonnes per year. Of these, 40% is packaging and bottles. The annual growth of solid waste is 3-5%.

AGRICULTURE MINISTRY IMPROVES FORECAST FOR UKRAINIAN GRAIN EXPORTS IN 2014/2015 MY BY ONE MLN TONNES

KYIV. May 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food expects that Ukraine by the end of the current marketing year (MY, July-June) could export 33 million tonnes of grain.

“Over the marketing year we could reach a figure of 33 million tonnes,” Minister Oleksiy Pavlenko told reporters in Kyiv.

Previously, the ministry estimated exports would total 32 million tonnes.

JORDAN, IRAN INTERESTED IN COOPERATION WITH UKRAINIAN CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES – OFFICIAL

KYIV. May 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Some countries in the Middle East, in particular Jordan and Iran, are interested in Ukrainian construction companies and construction materials producers and have invited them to cooperate, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine Hennadiy Chyzhykov has said.

“The Middle East is also in the serious situation and requires recovery. Yesterday we talked to several business representatives and ambassadors of Jordan and Iran. These countries actively invite our constructors to cooperation with these new markets,” he said at an open meeting of members of the Ukrainian Union of Construction Materials Producers in Kyiv on Thursday.

Chyzhykov said that the construction markets of the Middle East are promising for Ukrainian companies.

PIVDENNE DESIGN BUREAU PREPARING MODERNIZATION OF ZENIT ROCKETS

KYIV. May 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Pivdenne Design Bureau (Dnipropetrovsk) is working on plans to modernize the Zenit launch vehicle, and the modernization will be conducted on the basis of technical solutions of Ukrainian medium launch vehicle of the Mayak family.

Director General and Chief Designer of Pivdenne Design Bureau Oleksandr Dehtiariov said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine that the modernization of the Zenit launch vehicle is aimed at considerably cheapening the launch vehicle previously made in cooperation with Russia and increasing its market potential.

“The difficulties that we have with the exploitation of Zenit today are first linked to the fact that due to various negative factors, Zenit became expensive in production. It became more expensive than Proton [Russia’s heavy launch vehicle],” he said.

Dehtiariov said there are plans to modernize the Zenit launch vehicle on the basis of technical solutions of the new Ukrainian medium launch vehicle of the Mayak family: forming and expensive waffle structures will be removed from production.

“The upgraded Zenit will have Ukrainian engines, not Russian ones: first stage – RD-815 and second stage – RD-801. We also plan to replace the engine of the third stage, Pivdenne Design Bureau has large potential in this direction,” he said.

He said that until recently Zenit was used first in international projects to launch commercial satellites from the Sea Launch and Baikonur space centers and as part of the Federal Space Program of Russia.

He said the current portfolio of orders of the bureau includes orders for launches from Baikonur: one launch for autumn 2015 and one for 2016. This year it is planned to launch a Ukrainian satellite from Baikonur.

Commenting on Sea Launch, Dehtiariov said that unfortunately, Energia rocket and space corporation which became almost a 100% owners of Sea Launch after the restructuring of the consortium, failed to cope with this. Competitiveness was lost (on the global launch service market).