Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINE TO SIGN AGREEMENT WITH U.S. ON PROJECTS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on Wednesday approved the draft decree on the signing of an agreement between the government of Ukraine and the government of the United States on projects in the field of research, developments, testing and evaluation, the authority to sign the agreement was given to Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andriy Taran, according to the Press and Information Office of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
“The signing of this agreement will give the Ukrainian side the opportunity to: conduct joint research and development work on the development of weapons and military equipment, their individual components; obtain information about advanced defense technologies, trends in their development; conduct of tests and testing of military equipment using equipment and technologies that are not available in Ukraine,” the office said.
The agreement also opens up the possibility of attracting foreign funding for research work by Ukrainian research institutions, as well as increasing the research potential of Ukraine through cooperation with partners in joint projects.
The ministry said that the implementation of the agreements will take place under project contracts within the framework of the agreement concluded between the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the U.S. Department of Defense.
“The signing of the Agreement is planned during the visit of the President of Ukraine to the United States and will be another important step in the development of strategic partnership with the United States in the field of armaments,” the Defense Ministry said.

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LITHUANIA AND UKRAINE AGREE ON DEVELOPMENT OF MULTIMODAL TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN BLACK SEA AND BALTIC STATES

The profile ministries of Ukraine and Lithuania have agreed to launch a pilot project to develop multimodal transportation between the countries, according to the website of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine on Thursday.
In Klaipeda, Lithuania, a meeting was held between Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov and Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania Marius Skuodis, during which the parties discussed issues of strengthening cooperation and prospects for new projects.
“Partnership in the field of transport is one of the priorities. We are restoring a dialogue on the implementation of an old idea – connecting the Baltic and Black Sea regions by rail. For both countries this is a chance to optimize logistics, increase the load on seaports and enter new world markets. We have already agreed to launch a pilot project, within the framework of which we will develop multimodal traffic between countries, including by increasing the flow of semi-trailers,” Kubrakov is quoted as saying.
He also noted the relevance of the resumption of the passenger railway route “four capitals” from Kyiv to Riga.
According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, there are currently large cargo flows between the Baltic and Black Sea regions, but the share of cargo moving from Ukraine is very low. At Klaipeda seaport, Ukrainian cargo accounts for only about 1-2% of all cargo. At the same time, according to the estimates of the Lithuanian side, the flow of goods from Ukraine could potentially be 10 times higher.
“For the implementation of multimodal cargo transportation by sea and rail, road semi-trailers will also be used as intermodal transport units. To make this possible, the ministry will initiate amendments to Ukrainian legislation, which will allow semi-trailers to be classified as cargo, and not as a vehicle,” the report said.
The launch of the pilot project is planned for September this year.
The successful implementation of the agreement, as noted in the Ministry of Infrastructure, has the potential to make Klaipeda seaport in Lithuania the northern gateway of Ukraine to Scandinavia and at the same time Odesa – the southern sea gate of Lithuania to the Black Sea region.

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CANADA TO EXTEND UKRAINE HORTICULTURE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT UNTIL MARCH 31, 2022

The Global Affairs Canada, implementing the Ukraine Horticulture Business Development Project (UHBDP), has decided to extend the project until March 31, 2022, whereas it was previously planned to be completed in 2021, project manager Dmytro Nikolayev said during a press conference in Kyiv. According to him, UHBDP for the period from 2014 to 2021 provided financial support for a total of UAH 43.25 million for 2,780 clients.
He clarified that by March 31, 2022, the project will additionally support clients under various programs in the amount of about UAH 20 million. He clarified that at present UHBDP focused on informing farmers about the legislative features of the land market launched from July 1, developing and implementing educational and online trading platforms, and providing grants for business restoration to the most vulnerable groups of agricultural producers.
As reported, UHBDP finances 30% of the total cost of projects, which are at least estimated at $ 200,000. The term of their implementation is a year and a half.
The Ukraine Horticulture Business Development Project (UHBDP) is funded by the Global Affairs Canada, implemented and co-financed by the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). MEDA works with Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation(MASHAV) and international service companies to provide technical support.
UHBDP works with producers from Zaporizhia, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odesa regions, engaged in fruit and vegetable growing, berry growing, viticulture and beekeeping.

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US PROVIDES $155 MLN TO SUPPORT UKRAINE’S DEVELOPMENT

The United States announced that it will provide $155 million in additional development funding to Ukraine through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve the lives of the Ukrainian people, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said on Tuesday.
“The additional resources will be used to address key development challenges in Ukraine, including: support economic growth and improve health of Ukrainians some $34 million; enhance anti-corruption efforts some $14 million; counter Russian aggression some $63 million; strengthen democracy and governance some $44 million,” the embassy said in the statement.
The first article provides support of Ukraine’s recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by improving essential health services; improvement of transparency and expansion of economic opportunities in energy, agriculture and finance to increase investor confidence, attract investment and improve economic investment in the agrarian sector.
Enhancing anti-corruption measures includes strengthening reforms and safeguard anti-corruption institutions to counter entrenched interests and ensure all of Ukraine’s resources benefit the Ukrainian people; reducing corrupt practices in the health sector and facilitate Ukraine’s purchases of vital medicines to reduce informal payments by patients and provide access to less expensive, quality medicines; supporting the continued development of online e-government platforms that simplify access to services and streamline how Ukrainians receive their pensions, unemployment benefits, and more.
Countering Russian aggression are planned to be used to human rights and ensure access to justice for the Ukrainians affected by Kremlin-backed aggression in the Crimea and Donbas; reduce Ukraine’s energy and economic dependence on Russia by advancing connections to Europe’s energy grid and strengthening businesses in the East; expand citizen access to high-quality, unbiased information to counter malign influence and disinformation, support European integration, and strengthen democratic processes.
Strengthening democracy and governance involves expanding judicial reform; strengthening consolidated communities and expand quality service provision to their residents to advance Ukraine’s decentralization reform efforts; encouraging youth leadership and innovation.

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PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE STANDS FOR INTENSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM WITH TURKEY

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky spoke about the importance of intensive development of tourism between Ukraine and Turkey.
“It is very important that we, [Erdogan] and I are talking about special conditions for Ukrainian and Turkish tourists, citizens. We talked about the need to really increase the level of tourism for Ukrainians and Turkish citizens. This is very important. I think especially now we have to support each other,” Zelensky said following a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council on Thursday, April 15.
“Erdogan supports our independence, our sovereignty. You heard that Russia said it would restrict tourists or tourism from the Russian Federation to Turkey. It’s their business. And I think that, on the contrary, we need to increase and show that we support Turkey,” Zelensky said.
Also, according to Zelensky, during a meeting with Erdogan in Turkey on April 10, “a number of important documents were signed between Ukraine and Turkey, but support for Ukrainian sovereignty is much more important.”
“But the most important thing today, when we talk about the geopolitical issue, the issue of peace in Ukraine and the support of our partners, it is important that President Erdogan supports Ukraine, supports our temporarily occupied territories, supports Crimea. It is important that he supports our position: he does not recognize annexation of Crimea,” the head of state said.

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PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE AND BILLIONAIRE LAKSHMI MITTAL DISCUSS DEVELOPMENT OF GREEN METALLURGY

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met with ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal, where the sides discussed the development of green metallurgy and increased investment in Ukraine, taking into account environmental characteristics due to international standards. According to the presidential press service on Wednesday, the company, as the largest foreign investor in Ukraine and one of the largest steel producers in the world, will launch the Steel Billion investment program in our country, which provides for investments of almost $1 billion in the ecological modernization of steel production in Kryvy Rih.
“Investments in the Ukrainian economy and the environment are a positive signal for all investors, to whom we will provide comprehensive support,” Zelensky said.
He also pointed out the need to finish the modernization of coke-chemical, sinter and blast-furnace production as soon as possible, which are the largest pollutants. The company confirmed its readiness to complete this program by the end of 2023.
The meeting was attended by First Assistant to the President Serhiy Shefir; Deputy Heads of the President’s Office Ihor Zhovkva and Yulia Svyrydenko; Director of JSC Helios Rostyslav Shurma; CEO of ArcelorMittal CIS Vijay Goyal; CEO of JSC ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih Mauro Longobardo.

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