Business news from Ukraine

RADA PASSES AT FIRST READING BILL CANCELING OFFICIAL REGISTRATION OF FOREIGN INVESTMENT

KYIV. May 11 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Verkhovna Rada has passed at first reading bill No. 2763 amending some Ukrainian laws regarding the revoking of obligation for official registration of foreign investment.

A total of 261 lawmakers backed the decision on Tuesday.

The lawmakers also voted in favor of the reduction of the term of preparing the bill for second reading (240 deputies).

According to an explanatory note to the document, the measure will cancel obligation of the previous official registration of foreign investment and the replacement of the official registration by the submission of statistics on foreign investment.

Obligation to register foreign investment creates obstacles for business, and the registration procedure has no informative sense, as this information is open to public.

The implementation of the measure would allow creating a modern and as simplified as possible procedure for raising investment in Ukraine.

IMF REPRESENTATIVE AT MEETING WITH UKRAINIAN PREMIER: IMF READY TO SUPPORT UKRAINE IN REFORMS

KYIV. May 11 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and Director of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) European Department Poul M. Thomsen have discussed Ukraine’s cooperation with the IMF.

“Support is important for Ukraine in hard times, including support of the IMF. We also consider our cooperation as an opportunity of conducting structural reforms that would allow transforming Ukraine from the post-Soviet state into a modern European country,” Groysman said at a meeting with Thomsen on Tuesday, the government’s press service reported.

The prime minister said that the new Ukrainian government cleaves to the line of conducting and accelerating reforms in the country, particularly in the customs, taxation areas, transparency of public administration via public appointment of heads of state-run enterprises, improvement of the public procurement system and conducting open privatization.

“We believe that reforms are our homework, and the IMF is a strategic partner who helps use to take this difficult course,” Groysman said.

He said that jointly with the Group of Strategic Advisors for Support of Reforms in Ukraine with co-chairs Leszek Balcerowicz and Ivan Miklos the government is working on the action plan that would be presented soon.

Thomsen, in turn, welcomed the formation of the new government and said that the IMF is ready to support Ukraine in reforms.

JAPAN READY TO SUPPORT UKRAINE IN DEVELOPING CYBER POLICE

KYIV. May 10(Interfax-Ukraine) – Japanese Ambassador to Ukraine Shigeki Sumi at a meeting with Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said that his country is ready to provide support to Ukraine to develop cyber police, the communications department of the Interior Ministry has reported.

“The Japanese diplomat said that one of the key directions of cooperation between Ukraine and Japan in reforming the police is cyber security. He said that Japan backs the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s steps to create and develop cyber police and is ready to provide the country with financial and expert assistance,” the department said.

The ambassador also said that Japan welcomes the new Ukrainian government and the country is ready to continue cooperation.

Sumi invited Avakov to visit Japan in the near future to study the principles of work of the Japanese law enforcement system.

U.S. AMBASSADOR IN UKRAINE: METINVEST IS EXAMPLE OF EXTRAORDINARY RESILIENCE OF UKRAINIAN PEOPLE

KYIV. May 10 (Interfax-Ukraine) – United States Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt has said that Metinvest in Mariupol is the example of extraordinary resilience of Ukrainian people

“Metinvest is the example of extraordinary resilience of Ukrainian people,” the press service of Metinvest Group reported, citing Pyatt during his visit to Mariupol Illich Steel Works on April 28.

According to the press release, the largest environmental project in Ukraine, Sinter Plant Modernization, was demonstrated to the U.S. diplomat. Pyatt was made aware of the role of Metinvest in the Ukrainian economy, and other investment projects of Metinvest Group, and its social partnership programs in Mariupol and other cities of the company’s presence.

Metinvest Group’s Chief Executive Officer Yuriy Ryzhenkov, General Director of Illich Steel Works Yuriy Zinchenko and General Director of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works Enver Tskitishvili attended the meeting with Pyatt.

Zinchenko informed that today major overhaul of two sinter machines has completed with installation of modern gas cleaning equipment. In 2017, Metinvest plans to build a desulphurization system and install bag filters on the first building of the Sinter Plant. After the reconstruction, the Sinter Plant will meet the best European and international emission standards – max 30 mg/m3.

UKRAINE, GEORGIA, KOSOVO MAY GET VISA-FREE REGIME WITH EU IN 2016 – EU COMMISSIONER

KYIV. MAY 10 (Interfax-Ukraine) – European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn has said Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo may qualify for the visa-free regime with the EU in 2016.

There still needs to be a political decision, but Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo have already met the necessary criteria, Hahn told Radio Liberty Europe/Radio Liberty.

The commissioner said that Ukraine has fulfilled its obligations, which gives its citizens the right to the visa-free entry into the European Union, however Ukraine still has a long way to go, not only to adopt the necessary legislation on the association with the EU, but also to implement it.

Hahn said he was well aware of the challenges which Ukraine is facing – the continued armed conflict, half a million displaced persons and serious economic problems.

On April 20, the European Commission offered the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to cancel visas for Ukrainian citizens.

The same day, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said he was sure that European Union would grant free visa regime for Ukrainians already within several months.

MARKET OF PASSENGER CARS IN UKRAINE 56% UP IN FOUR MONTHS

KYIV. May 10 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Sales of new passenger cars in Ukraine in April 2016 increased by 72% compared to the same month in 2015, to 5,630 units, which allowed this market segment in January-April to grow by 56%, to almost 18,000 cars, reports AUTO-Consulting.

According to analysts, car sales in April compared to March of the current year rose by 15%.

At the same time, AUTO-Consulting notes that not all the dealer networks in April recorded a surge of interest on the part of buyers – everything depended on the range and attractive pricing policy.

Leadership in the market in April was kept by Toyota, which for the first time over the past few years was able to overcome the mark of 800 cars sold per month and occupied 14% of the market.

Volkswagen ranked second in April, a Jetta model accounted for almost half of the sales. Volkswagen sales increased by 2.3 times from March, to 625 units, while the share in total car sales rose to 11.1% compared to 5.56% in March.

Renault ranked third and increased sales by 4.5%, to 534 cars, while the share compared to March slightly fell to 9.48%.