Business news from Ukraine

VINNYTSIA LAUNCHES U-LEAD PROGRAM WITH EUROPE TO SUPPORT DECENTRALIZATION IN UKRAINE

VINNYTSIA. Sept 16 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Vinnytsia has officially launched the U-LEAD with Europe program to support decentralization in Ukraine.

“The decentralization reform is crucial in order to re-establish and strengthen the link between the local communities and their representatives,” European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said, when launching the program.

“The ongoing of the decentralization reform in Ukraine already provides real benefits to local communities through increase in local budgets and has a great potential to bring even more,” he stated.

Hahn said the U-LEAD program would support Ukraine in establishing a more transparent multi-level governance system, which is accountable and responsive to the needs of all citizens of Ukraine.

At the launch event, Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman thanked the European Union for its continued support to the decentralization process in Ukraine and stressed the government’s commitment to the implementation of this milestone reform.

The U-LEAD program provides for improvement of administrative services at the local level and strengthening the capacity of implementing the reform policy at the national, regional and local levels. At the local level it is planned to create and reconstruct up to 600 centers for providing administrative services, as well as conduct 1,800 trainings for their employees.

The program budget is EUR 102 million. Its implementation is planned for the period from 2016 to 2020.

GOVERNMENT APPROVES AGREEMENT WITH ROMANIA ON REVOKING LONG-TERM VISA FEES

KYIV. Sept 16 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved an agreement with Romania revoking long-term visa fees.

According to government resolution No. 617 dated September 8, the agreement was signed by the governments of the two countries on May 6, 2016 in Solotvyne (Zakarpattia region).

According to the report, the agreement envisages free-of-charge registration of long-term visas – permitting Ukrainian citizens and Romanian citizens to enter Romania or Ukraine to register documents permitting stay or residence in these states for the period of over 90 days.

The implementation of the agreement would help to develop bilateral relations between the two countries, intensify contacts in social, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres.

SWISS ASPRA FINANZ HOLDING LEAVES VECTOR INVEST, VECTOR INVEST LIFE INSURERS AS SHAREHOLDER

KYIV. Sept 16 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Switzerland’s Aspra Finanz Holding AG that held 48% each in insurance companies Vector Invest and Vector Invest Life (both based in Kyiv) has left the companies as a shareholder, the companies have reported.

An individual that held 42% of shares in Vector Invest left the company as a shareholder. An individual that held 42% of shares in Vector Invest Life also left the company as a shareholder.

Other individual acquired 100% or 7,500 voting shares in Vector Invest and an individual became the only shareholder in Vector Invest Life buying 11,000 shares.

Ultimate beneficiaries of the two companies are the founder of Pozniaky-Zhyl-Bud Corporation Never Mkhitarian and Aspra Finanz Holding AG, the ultimate beneficiary of which is Sinan Bodmer (Switzerland).

According to the public register, Mkhitarian holds 47% of shares in Vector Invest Life and Kyiv’s resident Hahik Mikaelian – 5%.

FRENCH-UKRAINIAN INVESTMENT FORUM TO BE HELD IN PARIS IN LATE OCT – AYRAULT

KYIV. Sept 15 (Interfax-Ukraine) – French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has said that a join investment forum with Ukraine will be held in Paris on October 28.

“An important investment forum between Ukraine and France is scheduled for October 28,” he said at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday.

The French foreign minister added that he welcomes Ukraine’s support by the IMF, which contributes to the implementation of reforms in the country.

GROYSMAN SAYS IMF TRANCHE IS GREEN LIGHT FOR INVESTING IN UKRAINIAN ECONOMY

KYIV. Sept 15 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman welcomes the decision of the International Monetary Fund to allocate the next tranche to Ukraine.

“Fund’s tranche is not just an aid, which is necessary for the economy, it is also a signal to foreign investors that one can and should invest into the economy of Ukraine. We will have workspaces together with the investment,” Groysman wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday night.

He also noted that the stabilization of the economic situation allows us to pose the question of raising social standards, “and we envisaged such decisions while forming the budget last week.”

BRITAIN WILL ASSIST UKRAINE IN IMPLEMENTING REFORMS

KYIV. Sept 15 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The United Kingdom will provide assistance to Ukraine in reforming the customs sector and the judicial system.

“We’ve agreed that the UK will consistently assist us in the reform of our customs system and the introduction of a parliamentary system of transparency,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday.

UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson, in turn, expressed his support for the reforms.

“We will contribute to the reform of the tax system, a few of our prominent experts, including tax attorneys, will work in Ukraine,” he said.

Johnson said the parties also discussed the reform of the judiciary, providing the transparency and integrity of the parliament.