Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT, ESA PREPARING AGREEMENT FORMALIZING KYIV’S SPACE INTEGRATION PLANS

KYIV. Aug 13 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian government and European Space Agency (ESA) are preparing the agreement “On Ukraine’s acquiring the status of a European country cooperating with ESA,” which is a stage of realization of Kyiv’s plans for becoming a full member in European space structures.

According to the Cabinet of Ministers’ resolution No. 803-r as of August 5, Ukrainian government’s delegation, which is being formed and will be lead by Head of the State Space Agency of Ukraine Oleh Ursky, was ordered to conduct talks with ESA on agreeing on the draft of this agreement, in accordance with approved directives.

As approved by the document, the delegation consists of representatives of the State Space Agency, Justice Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Economic Development and Trade Ministry, Finance Ministry, government’s secretariat. If needed, the delegation head can replace delegation members and involve representatives of central government agencies in its work.

Signing of the above-mentioned agreement is one of Ukrainian Space Agency’s top priority tasks for Ukraine’s rocket-and-space industry in 2015. This is one of the stages of the roadmap of Ukraine’s integration into ESA developed by the partners.

Ukrainian rocket-and-space industry representatives believe that Ukraine’s membership in ESA will extend the country’s presence on European space market.

In July, Ukrainian State Space Agency and ESA started consultations on the cooperation of Ukrainian rocket-and-space industry enterprises with European companies within the ESA projects. Major prospect directions of bilateral cooperation at the given stage, which are being considered, include Earth’s remote sensing (ERS), rocket carriers, and scientific research. Earlier Ukraine stated its interest in the participation in the new European project of Ariane-6 rocket carrier. Europeans also showed interest in Ukrainian rocket engines. New European Vega-class, rocket carrier created upon the order of ESA is equipped with Ukrainian engine.

In 2008, Ukrainian government and ESA signed inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in researching and using space for peaceful purposes. At the beginning of 2014, the agreement was prolonged until 2019.

RISTONE HOLDINGS HARVESTS 142,000 TONNES OF EARLY GRAINS

KYIV. Aug 13 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ristone Holdings agricultural group (Dnipropetrovsk region) has completed harvesting early grain crops on an area of over 20,000 hectares and harvested more than 142,000 tonnes of grain.

According to a press release, the average yield was 71 centners per ha, while the yield of winter wheat is estimated at 74 centners per ha, winter barley at 51.5 centners per ha, spring barley at 42.1 centners per ha.

The company plans to sow 22,000 hectares with winter crops for the harvest of 2016.

Ristone Holdings is an agricultural vertically integrated holding, which includes a flour mill, four bakeries, and three elevators. The company cultivates about 60,000 hectares of land in Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions.

NEXT UKRAINE-EU-RUSSIA CONSULTATIONS ON UKRAINIAN-EU FREE TRADE AREA TO BE HELD IN SEPTEMBER – KLIMKIN

KYIV. Aug 13 (Interfax) – The next trilateral consultations between Ukraine, the European Union, and Russia concerning the establishment of a Ukrainian-EU free trade area are planned for September, says Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.

“The next consultations will be held at a ministerial level in September,” Klimkin said at a news briefing following a meeting with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Klimkin said he had informed his Belarusian counterpart of consultations with the European Commission and Russia regarding Russia’s claim that the implementation of the Ukrainian-EU association agreement would have a negative effect on Russian businesses.

Klimkin also said that the ministerial consultations scheduled for September would have to be held “with an approach toward how cooperation in various formats should be arranged.”

The parties also raised the issue of the Eastern Partnership, Klimkin said. “We have different short-term political goals. We will be moving consistently through association with the EU to carry out all reforms essential for filing an EU membership bid. Belarus is using the Eastern Partnership’s opportunities in its own way. Therefore, we have a lot of common points and a lot of projects,” Klimkin said.

The trade and economic section of the EU-Ukrainian association agreement would fully start working on January 1, 2016, when a free trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine takes effect. Russia has repeatedly claimed that the agreement’s implementation by Ukraine would jeopardize Russian producers, especially as concerns technical regulation and sanitary, phytosanitary, and veterinary control.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a government directive in September 2014 to extend most-favored nation treatment (that is, in fact, regular trade terms) to Ukraine, but its entry into effect has been suspended and tied precisely to the outcomes of the negotiations on eliminating risks for the Russian economy.

The participants in the EU-Russia-Ukraine ministerial negotiations on May 18 reaffirmed their commitment to the development of trade in the region as a way to secure inclusive economic growth, agreed to step up their efforts, and instructed their experts to complete practical resolution the problems raised by Russia, in particular, in customs cooperation, technical barriers in trade, and sanitary and phytosanitary issues, the document says. The experts were instructed to report the results of their work not later than in July.

Trilateral technical consultations at an expert level were held on June 4-5 and July 7-8 to discuss technical regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary problems, and customs cooperation.

Ukrainian Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Nataliya Mykolska said on July 7 that remarks by Russian officials on the intention to set quotas on exports of Ukrainian goods called into question Russia’s desire to look for practical solutions within the framework of a process agreed upon between the parties.

Following trilateral technical consultations at an expert level on July 7, Mykolska said: “There is no constructive element in Russia’s position, and it goes beyond the May 18 agreements between the ministers.” She also said Ukraine would insist on its positions at these negotiations, without giving more details.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade reported on its website on August 6 that the EU-Russia-Ukraine ministerial negotiations would take place in Brussels on September 7. The negotiations would be aimed at making further progress in practical decisions related to Russia’s concerns about the implementation of the EU-Ukrainian free trade agreement.

ODESA PORT APPROVES PLAN OF BUILDING 70,000 TONNES GRAIN TERMINAL

KYIV. Aug 12 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The council of Odesa seaport has approved the project of creating a compact grain complex with a capacity of 70,000 tonnes in the rear of the seventh pier, which will be able to accept grain from railway rolling stock and ship it on board vessels.

According to the press service of the Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine, the terminal is designed using modern technology and port transshipment equipment made in the United States.

“A distinctive feature of the complex from those existing in the port will be using modern transport networks and storage facilities for grain handling and storage, dust suppression technology that involves the use of deodorized and refined edible oil for dust binding,” reads a statement.

According to ministry experts, the launch of the grain terminal will provide job creation and investment in the port sector of business in Odesa, as well as stable contributions to the city budget.

 

ECONOMIC EFFECT OF WORK BOOKS ABOLITION WILL BE ABOUT UAH 500 MLN A YEAR – EXPERT

KYIV. Aug 12 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The expenditure of businesses for administration of work books by accountants and personnel department specialists, according to preliminary estimates, will be reduced by about UAH 300 million per year and the reduction of costs for archivists will reach about UAH 200 million a year, according to EasyBusiness co-founder Mykola Haidai.

According to him, the overall economic effect should manifest within the first year after the abolition of work books.

In addition, Haidai noted that alternative mechanisms for verification of seniority existed in Ukraine since 2000.

“Starting from 2000 the unified state register of insured persons contains information about deductions from wages to the Pension Fund, according to which it is possible to trace the seniority of the employee. Those who want to draw a pension for the period up to 2000, it is necessary to submit documents to the Pension Fund, indicating deductions from wages for the period required. Thus, the process of pension registration for seniority, acquired before 2000, remains unchanged,” the expert said.

In addition, he said these mechanisms are already available in the territory of the entire Ukraine, in particular in rural and remote areas.

HEAT WILL NOT AFFECT MAIZE YIELD – AGRICULTURE MINISTRY

KYIV. Aug 12 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food expects the corn yield at 26.5 million tonnes and notes that heat won’t affect the overall gross yield of this crop.

“Every year during the harvesting campaign we observe peak temperature regimes in those regions where there was not the sufficient amount of moisture…but it is not critical,” the director of the agriculture and technology policy department in the agroindustrial sector, Volodymyr Topchiy, told Interfax-Ukraine.

According to the ministry, the harvest of this crop is expected to reach 25.6 million tonnes.

The head of the agrometeorological department at the Hydrometeorological Center, Tetiana Adamenko, said heat will last for the whole next week, but it is premature to talk about changes in the numbers of the gross maize harvest.

As reported, with reference to data from the State Statistics Service, Ukraine in 2015 reduced the area under maize by 11.8%, to 4.1 million hectares.