Business news from Ukraine

INFRASTRUCTURE MINISTRY, STATE FISCAL SERVICE AGREE ON REDUCTION OF TIME FOR CUSTOMS CLEARANCE OF CARGOS AT PORTS

KYIV. Dec 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine and the State Fiscal Service have signed a memorandum of cooperation in the IT sector regarding port procedure cooperation.

An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent has reported that Infrastructure Minister Andriy Pyvovarsky and Head of the State Fiscal Service Roman Nasirov signed the document on Friday.

The sides would improve the processes of handling cargo, start exchanging data between information systems of the agencies and remove duplication of information submitted to marine agents on goods shipped in containers.

At the first stage the relaxation of customs procedures will touch internal and external transit cargos. The next stage will be the introduction of these rules for imported cargos.

“If earlier ships entered ports and then customs officers started cargo clearance procedures that could last for several days, today our goal is to reduce the term for customs clearance to a zero,” Pyvovarsky said.

Thus, the customs clearance will be settled before ships arrive to ports.

UKRAINIAN RAILWAYS SEE 15% RISE IN GRAIN TRANSPORTATION SINCE EARLY 2015

KYIV. Dec 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian railways in the period from January 1 to December 23, 2015 loaded 27.4 million tonnes of grain to almost 423,000 wagons, which is 15% more than a year ago when 23.8 million tonnes was loaded.

The press service of public joint-stock company Ukrzaliznytsia reported that almost 384,000 wagons with 25.3 million tonnes of grain were sent to ports, and 38,900 wagons with 2.14 million tonnes of grain were sent to the domestic market.

Ukrzaliznytsia said that in December 2015 its operating grain hoppers fleet is 10,800 wagons. The number of grain hoppers is enough to ship 2-2.5 million tonnes of grain and grain cargo every month.

STATE BUDGET FOR 2016 FORESEES UAH 5.9 BLN FOR INVESTMENT PROJECTS IN REGIONS – ZUBKO

KYIV. Dec 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The general fund of the national budget for 2016 foresees UAH 3 billion for the State Fund for Regional Development and UAH 1.94 billion for the socio-economic development of the regions of Ukraine.

These data were voiced by the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities Services, with reference to Vice Prime Minister, Regional Development Minister Hennadiy Zubko.

“As a result, this totals UAH 4.94 billion, which is more than the amount provided previously, namely UAH 4.64 billion. But the main thing is subventions to support the infrastructure projects of united territorial communities in the amount of UAH 1 billion,” Zubko said.

According to him, these funds will be spent on supporting united territorial communities, as well as developing infrastructure and administrative centers in the communities next year.

In addition, the national budget for 2016 foresees the following subventions for 159 territorial communities: educational subventions will amount to UAH 1.6 billion, health care to UAH 844 million, basic subventions to UAH 284.9 million, Zubko added.

UKRAINIAN BUSINESSES WILL COOPERATE WITH SWEDISH EXPERTS TO ADDRESS PROBLEM OF EMPLOYMENT OF GRADUATES

The business community of Ukraine supports the initiative of Sweden’s Folkuniversitetet, located in the city of Uppsala, to implement international projects related to employment and professional training of future specialists in Ukraine. In the long-term outlook, such measures are expected to double the level of employment. The Swedish side is willing to give a comprehensive assessment of interaction between educational institutions and employers, and the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE) can help with this initiative as the most powerful association of the Ukrainian business community and industry. The main thing here is how to adapt the Ukrainian educational sector to the standards used by the European Union, especially on the eve of opening of markets in January next year, and further closer integration with the EU.

The Swedes managed to reform this sector 20 years ago, after joining the European Union. These processes are the biggest impetus to change in countries. In addition to the adaptation to Western standards, which will facilitate the exchange of specialists, recognition of academic diplomas, etc., Ukraine must modernize mechanisms of employment of graduates.

“Ukraine in fact lacks policy and strategy for encouraging the employment potential, which has a direct connection with vocational training. At the same time, properly trained specialists are a decisive factor of economic competitiveness. These issues can be resolved only through dialogue between the government, businesses and the public, with the involvement of our international partners,” the ULIE’s representatives said.

The projects proposed to Ukraine have already been successfully tested in many countries, according to Director of the Department for International Cooperation at the University Ali Rashidi. They aim to create a certain synergy between the education and business spheres, i.e. between supply and demand. “If a graduate is not employed, the whole process of education was ineffective” ‒ this is the slogan our Western partners live up to.

This model provides for a clear definition of companies’ demand for various specialists and engagement of their representatives in the educational process. Ali Rashidi claims such measures were conductive to an increase in employment in Sweden from 45% to 95%.

“When Ukraine joins the EU, you’ll have to adapt your educational sector to the EU standards ‒ and there are many of them, namely qualifications, the quality of education and others. So now it’s time to assess the quality of education in Ukraine and start its upgrading,” the Swedish expert said.

Having received funding from its government, the University plans to launch such a pilot project in the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, and later it will be extended to other regions in Ukraine. The University counts on the ULIE’s support, having secured such support from the Ukrainian Education Ministry beforehand.

The parties agreed to work actively in that direction, and the ULIE has pledged to help with direct contacts, involvement of SMEs as the most flexible and suitable participant in this project.

UKRAINIAN ENTREPRENEURS WORKING TO IMPROVE RESOURCE EFFICIENCY OF PRODUCTION

Ukrainian businessmen and scientists continue to cooperate with foreign partners and international organizations, including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), to adapt and implement resource-efficient and cleaner production in the country. A number of initiatives are being implemented through a UNIDO project in Ukraine, in which such universities as “KPI” and NP “Kyiv Polytechnics,” as well as the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE) have created a Center for Resource-Efficient and Cleaner Production.

It serves as a platform for conferences and research events, and one of them was the presentation of the results of such activity at enterprises located in Kyiv region.

The conference was aimed at expanding the number of participants in the UNIDO project, attracting new businesses and raising awareness of the public, companies, scientists and other entities that are interested in resource-efficient production. In the two years, the Center has examined 50 companies in four regions of Ukraine (Kyiv, Vinnitsa, Odesa and Zaporizhia), it has prepared more than 40 certified experts in this field. In 2015, the Center’s offices have opened in Lviv and Kharkiv regions.

Deputy Head of the Mission at the Austrian Embassy in Kyiv Klaus Iro stressed that improving energy and resource efficiency in the industry is currently a challenge of global character. The agenda of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris proves this. For Ukraine, the diplomat said, these issues are of particular relevance in view of the fact that the Ukrainian economy has one of the world’s highest indicators of energy consumption in production.

This time, six companies located in Kyiv region joined the initiative. Following their comprehensive technical audit, the Centre proposed technical solutions that provide annual savings of natural gas by 4,403 m3, electricity by 128,464 kWh, and a reduction in the use of materials by 94 tonnes and CO2 emissions by 64 tonnes.

The overall economic impact that can be achieved from the introduction of the proposed solutions is about UAH 2.1 million per year.

“The significant results that have been achieved by the participating enterprises demonstrate the need to spread this experience to other regions and involve new companies in the project. The significant scientific potential of the Ukrainian universities and educational institutions will be conducive to the success of the project in Ukraine,” Director of the ULIE’s Corporate Security Department Serhiy Hudobin said.

Director of the Center for Resource-Efficient and Cleaner Production Ihor Shylovych says that most of the technical solutions proposed by the Center do not require additional investment, but the effect of their implementation can be a tangible reduction in inefficient resource and energy consumption.

Reference. The Center for Resource-Efficient and Cleaner Production was established in 2013. Its main purpose is to provide services to improve resource and energy efficiency, make production more environmental friendly. It conducts comprehensive engineering and technical assessments of production processes at enterprises. The project is implemented with financial support from the governments of Austria and Switzerland.

OVER UAH 230 MLN TO BE SPENT ON BUILDING SUBWAY IN KHARKIV IN 2016 – CITY COUNCIL

KHARKIV. Dec 25 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Kharkiv City Council at a session on December 23 approved the cost estimates for the program of the construction and development of the Kharkiv underground at the expense of the city budget for 2016.

According to an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent, the document provides for allocating UAH 232.475 million for this purpose, of which UAH 475,000 from the general fund and UAH 232 million from the special fund.

Funds from the general fund will be used for the financial support of the Kharkiv Directorate of Subway Construction, and the principal amount of the special fund (UAH 230 million) is intended for the construction of a section of the third line from the Oleksiyivska station to the Prospect Peremohy station. In addition, UAH 500,000 will be spent on building the Oleksiyivske depot with a connection branch to the third metro line, UAH 1.5 million for the construction of the third line from the Vaschenko Metrobudivelnykiv station to the station Odeska.