Business news from Ukraine

In Moldova, sunflower oil producer has shut down 2 plants and demands to resume imports of Ukrainian sunflower seeds

Moldovan Agriculture and Food Minister Vladimir Bola will meet on Monday with sunflower seed producers and processors due to the difficult situation in his country with sunflower oil production. According to the Moldovan news agency Infotag, the decision to discuss the problem was made after Floarea Soarelui, the largest oil producer, shut down two plants. The producers said they had no raw materials, as farmers refused to sell their seeds at the current market price, and sunflower imports are strictly licensed.

“Today, Moldova’s sunflower seed stocks are about 350 thsd tonnes, so any statements about lack of stocks are speculation. At the same time, the pricing policy should be objective, fair and responsible towards the end consumer,” Bola wrote on Facebook.

He emphasized that “by abandoning political statements and relying solely on the economic component,” the Ministry of Agriculture of Moldova will provide a platform for dialogue between seed producers and processors.

“Each party will provide real figures so that we can make decisions and find viable solutions for the new sunflower harvest,” Bola said.

As reported, Moldova has extended the licensing of sunflower seed imports from Ukraine for three months.

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EU has decided to start negotiations on accession of Ukraine and Moldova to EU

President of the European Council Charles Michel said that the European Council has decided to start negotiations on the accession of Ukraine and Moldova to the EU.

“The European Council has decided to start negotiations on the accession of Ukraine and Moldova. The European Council has granted candidate status to Georgia. And the EU will start negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina as soon as the necessary degree of compliance with the membership criteria is achieved, and invited the Commission to submit a report by March with a view to making such a decision,” he wrote on Twitter.

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Austrian Chancellor categorically opposes “fast-track procedure” for EU accession of Ukraine and Moldova

Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer during a meeting with members of the National Council in the main committee on EU issues categorically opposed the “accelerated procedure” of Ukraine and Moldova’s accession to the European Union, the press service of the Austrian parliament reports.

“Nehammer told FPO MPs Petra Steger, Christian Hafeneker and Axel Kassegger that Austria would not agree to negotiate Ukraine’s accession under the current conditions. There should not be any preferential treatment for Ukraine, especially in relation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is also currently in accession negotiations,” the statement said.

He also noted that the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen did not hold consultations before announcing the prospect of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession.

Separately, Nehammer noted that in order for the EU to be “suitable” for enlargement, internal reforms must be carried out.

“In general, Austria continues to follow the EU line when it comes to solidarity with Ukraine, but without violating its neutrality,” Nehammer explained. “It is primarily about financial assistance to support Ukraine as a ‘state as a whole,'” the statement said.

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Brussels will continue to support Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia in implementing pro-European reforms

Brussels will continue to support Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia in carrying out pro-European reforms, according to a statement issued on Friday following the EU summit.

“The European Union will continue to work closely with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia and support their reform efforts on their European path,” it said.

The statement says that the meeting also decided that Brussels will support Moldova in addressing the challenges it faces due to the events in Ukraine.

Last March, Georgia applied for EU membership, but has not yet been granted candidate status.

In February 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed Ukraine’s application for EU membership. In June of the same year, the EU Council granted Ukraine candidate status.

In June 2022, Moldova was also granted candidate status.

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Greece offers to establish railroad connections with Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania to connect with Ukraine

Greek Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Christos Staikouras has initiated the launch of a railway connection between Greece, Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania to connect with Ukraine, Noi.md reports.

According to the report, the Greek minister proposed to launch the train during a summit in Varna (Bulgaria) on October 9 to diversify trade ties between Mediterranean ports and Ukraine.

The Greek government proposes that trains should run to the Greek ports of Alexandroupolis and Thessaloniki from the ports of Ruse in Bulgaria and Constanta in Romania, and then connections could be established with Moldova and Ukraine. This project can become an alternative option in trade relations between the two countries, strengthening transport links and international freight transportation, Greece believes.

The Greek Minister of Transport sent a letter of intent to European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean, Bulgarian Minister of Finance Assen Vasilev, Bulgarian Minister of Transport and Communications Georgi Gvozdeykov, and Romanian Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Sorin Grindian.

As reported, the European Union is exploring alternative routes for Ukrainian grain through Italy and Greece.

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Moldova reports that Ukraine may cancel anti-dumping duties on cement imports by end of 2023

The Ministry of Economic Development and Digitalization of Moldova has announced that Ukraine will cancel the anti-dumping duty on imports of Moldovan cement by the end of 2023, InfoMarket reports.
It is noted that the Ukrainian side announced such a possibility following constructive discussions held during a meeting of the co-chairs of the Moldovan-Ukrainian intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation held in Odesa, which was also attended by State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development and Digitalization Vadim Humene.
One of the main topics discussed at the meeting was Ukraine’s imposition of an anti-dumping duty on cement imports from Moldova, which affects the operations of cement production companies in Moldova and has negative consequences for bilateral trade between the countries.
In this regard, Vadim Ghumene insisted on a request to cancel the anti-dumping duty on imports of cement of Moldovan origin to Ukraine in the near future in order to avoid Moldova initiating trade defense processes in sectors affected by massive imports from Ukraine.
According to the Moldovan side, Ukraine has expressed its readiness to cancel the anti-dumping duty on imports of cement from Moldova by the end of 2023. In addition, the parties expressed their openness and readiness to help remove barriers to trade, in particular, to simplify border controls to optimize the flow of goods, review environmental duties and ensure transparent, uniform application of legislation by both countries.
As reported, in 2019, the Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade (hereinafter – the ICIT) applied anti-dumping duties on imports of cement to Ukraine at the level of 57.03% for cement from the Republic of Belarus; 94.46% for cement from the Republic of Moldova; 114.95% for cement from the Russian Federation. The application of such high duty rates indicated the existence of a violation of competition by these three countries and the need to protect Ukrainian producers. The measures were imposed for a period of five years and are valid until June 2024. They may be extended if the national producer initiates a review procedure, during which the Ministry of Economy and the ICIT will determine whether it is expedient or inexpedient to extend them.
In the summer of 2023, the ICIT terminated the interim review of anti-dumping measures against imports of cement produced by Rybnytsia Cement Plant originating in the Republic of Moldova, arguing that the extension of the final anti-dumping measures against imports of cement originating in Russia, Belarus and Moldova, in particular, produced by Rybnytsia Cement Plant, is necessary to level the playing field.
In the first half of 2023, Ukraine ranked second among Moldova’s main trading partners, accounting for about 14.6% of Moldova’s total trade. In January-June 2023, the trade turnover between Moldova and Ukraine amounted to approximately $929.5 million. At the same time, exports of Moldovan products to the Ukrainian market increased by 44% to $359.3 million, and imports of Ukrainian products increased by 42.6% to $570.2 million.

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